STAAR™ will include the following middle school assessments:

  • 6th grade Mathematics and Reading
  • 7th grade Mathematics, Reading and Writing
  • 8th grade Mathematics, Reading, Social Studies and Science


The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™) replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in the 2011-2012 school year. STAAR includes assessments in the following grades and subjects at the middle school level:

  • 6th – Mathematics and Reading
  • 7th – Mathematics, Reading and Writing
  • 8th – Mathematics, Reading, Social Studies and Science

What’s different about STAAR™?

STAAR includes more difficult testing and requires a higher level of student performance. Assessments increased in length at most grades and subjects. For reading, greater emphasis is placed on critical analysis of passages rather than literal understanding. The 7th grade writing test includes three compositions: personal narrative that has a clearly defined focus and communicates the importance of or reasons for actions and/or consequences and multi-paragraph essay to convey information about a topic (also referred to as expository).

On the science and mathematics tests, STAAR includes a type of open-ended question known as a griddable item. The purpose of griddable items is to allow students to develop answers independently without being influenced by answer choices provided with the questions (commonly known as multiple-choice). Most science and mathematics assessments include three to five griddable items. Illustrations of the test design, released tests and further explanation about griddable items are available at

How does STAAR™ affect middle school students enrolled in a high-school level course (e.g. Algebra I)?

Students are required to take both the 8th grade STAAR and the high school level course test.

How does STAAR™ affect promotion to the next grade level?

The Student Success Initiative (SSI) promotion requirements for grades 5 and 8 are in effect. Districts will be required to provide remediation to any student who fails a STAAR assessment, whether in grades 3-8 or high school. More information on the Student Success Initiative (SSI) can be found at