The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in the 2011-2012 school year. This new testing system addresses legislative mandates outlined by Senate Bill 1031 in 2007 and House Bill 3 in 2009. While designed to test students’ knowledge and skills in a deeper way, STAAR will continue to be based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).


What’s different about STAAR?

The STAAR tests will be more rigorous than the TAKS tests and are designed to measure a student’s college and career readiness, starting in elementary school. These readiness standards will be defined by those TEKS considered critical for success in the current grade/course and important for preparedness in following grades/courses, and ultimately for college and career. The majority of the test (60-65 percent) will concentrate on these readiness standards, but STAAR will also assess other TEKS for the current grade/course -- known as supporting standards. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) provides more information about the assessed curriculum for each STAAR test at

STAAR will include more difficult testing and require a higher level of student performance. Examples of these changes are described in more detail under each school level tab.

The most significant difference between the TAKS and STAAR testing systems will be seen at the high school level. Under the TAKS system, high school students have to pass only four exit-level tests to graduate, which do not count toward their course grades. Under STAAR, first time high school freshmen in 2011-2012 will be required to take 5 end-of-course (EOC) assessments - English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History.