STAAR stands for State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, and is a corpus of standardized tests administered to students in the state between grades three and 11 in varying clusters. STAAR was first instituted in force in 2012 to immediately begin grandfathering out its predecessor test, TAKS.
STAAR structuring requires all students in grades three through eight to be tested in math and reading each year, with writing tests introduced in grades four and seven and science testing in grades five and eight. A social science examination is also given during the eighth grade year. Students in grades nine through 11 are not expected to take the core subject tests, but rather end-of-course assessments in subjects such as algebra, chemistry, biology, geometry and history.
There are a number of variations of STAAR test formats designed to accommodate specific students or group needs. For example, STAAR A is formulated for students with cognitive disabilities and who have commonly accessed special education resources prior to testing. Formal eligibility requirements must be met to take the altered test. STAAR L is another variation, and is adapted to those for whom English is not a first language. A number of online resources, including STAARPracticeTest.com, allow students to sample questions, gain confidence and work under timed conditions in anticipation of the actual test.