State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR)
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness also known as STAAR checks the academic progress of children from third grade onwards. It was initially launched in 2012 and replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). It assists parents and teachers to keep monitor the children academically. STAAR is an annual assessment and standardised testing program. The Texas Education Agency manages it.
It is important for students in the third, fifth and eighth grade to meet the state's standards. They need to do so to get promoted to the next grade. STAAR is committed to children's education. The program intends to make learning fun and entertaining as well as competitive. It engages students in all aspects and helps them build the necessary skills. STAAR gears the children for higher education. Experts have highlighted the fact that STAAR is a rigorous test and demands more from the children concerning readiness. The program is divided into the following sections:
- State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR)
- STAAR Alternate 2
- Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS)
- Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
The program looks at improving the elementary children's performance in math, writing, reading/language arts, social studies and science. In high school, children are assessed in mathematics (algebra I, algebra II, geometry); science (biology, chemistry, physics); English (I to III); geography; world and US history. STAAR regards reading as very important and wants children to analyse the comprehensions critically. The program assesses children in essays and wants them to be well-versed with the first-person style and expository. The science section is made up of open-ended questions whereby children have to come up with the answers on their own. No choice is given as it will influence their thinking. STAAR wants the children to be an academic all-rounder and ready for competition.
How Can Students Prepare
Preparation needs to be collectively done by the students, teachers and parents. Students need all the help they can get. Teachers should supervise students going over sample or past year papers. They will get a fair idea about the type of questions and the format of the paper. Sample papers always prove to be helpful. Here are other ways students can prepare:
- Guidance: teachers and parents should guide the children. Children need all the support they can to get over with the exam. Parents should encourage the children. Teachers can clarify the children's doubts and hold remedial classes if needed. Children should go through the study guide and the syllabus.
- Timetable: children should work according to the time-table. This lessens the workload and saves time. Children will remain focused and get to study a range of subjects.
- Textbooks: know your textbook. Many questions are developed from the material and information in the textbooks. Don't let it catch dust on the book shelves! Go through the textbooks!
- Eat well: a healthy diet is crucial for children and even more vital for those preparing for exams. Parents should see to that their children have a balanced diet inclusive of milk, fruits and vegetables.
- Positive: children and parents should stay positive. They shouldn't let negative energy get to them. Parents should tell their children that they can do it. They will pass the exam. It will help to motivate them.
- Fresh Air: children should not spend all their time indoors at their study tables. They need fresh air. It will relax their mind and body. Most of all, it makes a person feel fresh and relaxed.
Children can prepare for STAAR just in the manner they prepare for other exams. They should remember to take small breaks to stretch their muscles and get fresh air.
Tips to Crack STAAR
Children should practice the questions found in previous years papers. They should write essays to improve their writing. Children should focus on the questions. Here are some tips to crack the exam:
- For reading and writing: children should use a dictionary. It will improve their spelling, grammar and develop their vocabulary. They should read the question and proceed when they have understood it well.
- Don't Worry: they shouldn't stress themselves if they get stuck on a question. The best way to move onto other questions and come back to it later on.
- Relax: children should take exams as a challenge. They shouldn't be scared or nervous about it. The exam should be regarded as a stepping stone.\
Parents should see that their children get enough sleep before the exam. They should help them get ready in the morning of the paper and have proper breakfast.