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STAR Assessments FAQ

STAR Assessment Frequently Asked Questions


What are STAR assessments?

STAR Assessments include STAR Early Literacy, STAR Reading and STAR Math


What are the questions like?

Here are some sample items for each test:


What does each assessment measure?

STAR Early Literacy measures skills developed for Pre-K–3 students. STAR Early Literacy tracks development in three domains:

  • Word Facility and Skills

  • Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning

  • Numbers and Operations

STAR Reading is an assessment of reading comprehension and skills for independent readers through grade 12. STAR Reading tracks development in five domains:

  • Word Knowledge and Skills

  • Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning

  • Analyzing Literary Text

  • Understanding Author’s Craft

  • Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text

STAR Math is an assessment of math achievement for students in grades 1–12. STAR Math tracks development in four domains:

  • Numbers and Operations

  • Algebra

  • Geometry and Measurement

  • Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability


What are computer-adaptive tests?

All STAR assessments are computer-adaptive tests (CATs). Computer-adaptive tests continually adjust the difficulty of each child’s test by choosing each test question based on the child’s previous response. If the child answers a question correctly, the difficulty level of the next item is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level is decreased. CATs save testing time and spare your child the frustration of items that are too difficult and the boredom of items that are too easy.


How long does it take to complete a STAR assessment?

STAR tests are designed to be as efficient as possible. On average, students complete the STAR Math test in about 20 minutes, the STAR Reading test in about 15 minutes, and the STAR Early Literacy test in 15–20 minutes. However, some students may require more time.

What are STAR assessments used for?

The STAR assessments are often used to screen students for their reading and math achievement levels. STAR Early Literacy assessments help educators monitor students’ growing literacy skills and students’ progress toward becoming independent readers. STAR assessments can also be used to monitor student growth throughout the year, to estimate students’ understanding of state standards, and predict students’ performance on the state test. In addition, STAR can help teachers determine appropriate instructional levels and skills that students are ready to learn.


What kind of score does my child get?

For every STAR assessment, your child receives a percentile rank (PR) score. The Percentile Rank score compares your child’s test performance with that of other students nationally in the same grade. For example, with a PR of 50, your child’s math skills are greater than 50% of students nationally in the same grade. The PR Range indicates that, if your child had taken the STAR Math test numerous times, most of his/her scores would likely have fallen within this range.

For some tests, you will also see a scaled score (SS), which is based on the difficulty of the questions and the number of correct answers. Scaled scores are useful for comparing your child’s performance over time and across grades. STAR Reading and STAR Math scaled scores range from 0–1400. STAR Early Literacy scaled scores range from 300–900.


How can I help my child prepare for future STAR assessments?

The teacher who gives the test uses pre-test instructions to explain the test to your child. It is important for you to encourage your child to try to do his or her best on the assessment. Since STAR is a general measure of student ability in math or reading, students perform best on the assessment in the same way they perform best in school—when they have had plenty of rest, attend school regularly and have eaten.


Whom do I contact if I still have further questions about STAR Assessments?

You may contact either your building principal or Mark Scheiber, the Director of Instruction, at 414-351-7170 ext. 2106 or mark.scheiber@glendale.k12.wi.us


Information in this letter from Parent’s Guide to STAR™ Assessments—Questions and Answers