STAAR and End of Course Exams

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR)



The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) program, which was implemented in spring 2012, includes annual assessments for

  • reading and mathematics, grades 3–8
  • writing at grades 4 and 7
  • science at grades 5 and 8
  • social studies at grade 8
  • end-of-course (EOC) assessments for English I, English II, Algebra I, biology and U.S history.

All students enrolled in Texas public schools, grades 3-12, take STAAR tests. STAAR is the state’s testing program and is based on state curriculum standards in core subjects for reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. STAAR is specifically designed to measure individual student progress in relation to content that is directly tied to the TEKS. Every STAAR question is directly aligned to the TEKS currently in effect for the grade/subject of course being assessed.

STAAR assessments have a four-hour time limit. The STAAR English I and English II assessments have a five-hour time limit. Students must complete the test within the same school day.

High School STAAR Overview

High school students who entered the ninth grade in the 2011–2012 school year or later must take and pass certain required courses and end-of-course exams to graduate from a Texas public high school. These are English I, English II, algebra I, biology, and U.S. history. If a student takes and passes any of these end-of-course exams in middle school, those scores will count toward their state testing requirements for graduation.

STAAR Results-Performance Standards

STAAR performance standards report levels of test performance to the expectations defined in the state-mandated curriculum standards known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).Cut scores established by the Texas Education Agency distinguish between performance levels, or categories. The process of establishing cut scores that define performance levels for an assessment is standard setting. Standard setting is also used to classify students into an appropriate performance category.

For STAAR and STAAR Spanish, the labels for the performance categories are:

Did Not Meet Grade Level

Shows a lack of basic understanding of course content — student needs significant support in the coming year. Performance in this category indicates that students are unlikely to succeed in the next grade or course without significant, ongoing academic intervention. Students in this category do not demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the assessed knowledge and skills.

Approaches Grade Level

Shows some knowledge of course content but may be missing critical elements — student may need additional support in the coming year. Performance in this category indicates that students are likely to succeed in the next grade or course with targeted academic intervention. Students in this category generally demonstrate the ability to apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts.

Meets Grade Level

Shows strong knowledge of course content — student is prepared to progress to the next grade.
Performance in this category indicates that students have a high likelihood of success in the next grade or course but may still need some short-term, targeted academic intervention. Students in this category generally demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts.

Masters Grade Level

Shows mastery of the course content — student is on track for college and career readiness. Performance in this category indicates that students are expected to succeed in the next grade or course with little or no academic intervention. Students in this category demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in varied contexts, both familiar and unfamiliar.

STAAR Results – Assessment Data Portal

You have the ability to access your child’s state assessment testing history online through the Texas Education Agency’s Assessment Data Portal.

On the Assessment Data Portal you will use your child’s Unique Access Code and your child’s date of birth to access testing history, including STAAR, TAKS, and TELPAS assessments, where applicable.

Please note that the Unique Access Code is designed to stay with your child throughout his/her academic career. Additional information regarding the student portal can also be found by visiting the TEA website.

To locate your child’s Unique Access Code, with Canyon ISD you can do the following:

  1. Sign in to Grade Viewer. Click on your student’s name. Click on the Testing tab. On the right side of the screen, you should see the following:
    • For Grades 3-8 (STAAR Code)
    • For Grades 9-12 (EOC Code)
  2. Access the Texas Education Agency’s Assessment Data Portal, and click on Lookup Student Access Code.
    NOTE: The PEIMS ID is either the student’s Social Security or State Issued ID number. Contact your student’s campus for State Issued ID numbers.
  3. You may also locate the Unique Access code which is printed at the bottom right corner of any past Confidential Student Report your child had received for STAAR, TAKS, and TELPAS assessments.

Features of the Assessment Data Portal include:

  • Access to your child’s assessment results over the course of his/her academic career
    Note: Detailed information is only available beginning with Spring 2008.
  • Compare your child’s individual STAAR or TAKS results to campus, district, and state averages.
  • Examine your child’s performance on TAKS objectives or STAAR reporting categories.
  • Examine your child’s performance in TELPAS in the areas of listening, speaking, writing, reading.
  • Note: Only limited English Proficient students participate in TELPAS.


2018 Accessibility Features
Understanding Your Child’s Score
Resources for Parents and Students

State Assesments



The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness Alternate 2 (STAAR Alternate 2) fulfills federal requirements of both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ESEA requires that all students be assessed in specific grades and subjects throughout their academic career, whereas IDEA requires that students with disabilities have access to the same standards as their non-disabled peers and be included in statewide assessments.

STAAR Alternate 2 is standardized item-based assessment administered individually to each eligible student enrolled in grades 3-8 and end-of-course (EOC) subjects. STAAR Alternate 2 is administered to eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities who are receiving special education services in the following grades and subjects:

  • Grades 3-8 reading
  • Grades 3-8 mathematics
  • Grades 5 and 8 science
  • Grade 8 social studies
  • Grades 4 and 7 writing
  • Algebra I, English I, English II biology, and U.S. history

ARD Committee Responsibilities

Admissions, review, and dismissal (ARD) committees ensure that a student meets all mandated participation requirements, which were developed by TEA and reviewed by educator advisory committees and educator review committees. If the student has a significant cognitive disability that requires the student to access the grade-level TEKS through prerequisite skills, then the ARD committee should review the participation requirements for STAAR Alternate 2. If the ARD committee determines that a student meets all of the participation requirements, the student should be assessed with STAAR Alternate 2.



The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) fulfills federal requirements for assessing the English language proficiency of ELLS in kindergarten through grade 12 in four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. TELPAS reports student performance in terms of four English language proficiency levels: beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high. TELPAS results are used in accountability and performance-based monitoring indicators. The assessment components for grades K-1 and 2-12 include the following:

  • Grades K-1
    • holistically rated observational assessment of listening, speaking, reading, and writing based on classroom observations
  • Grades 2-12
    • multiple -choice online reading test in six grade clusters: 2,3, 4-5,6-7,8-9, and 10-12
    • online listening and speaking test
    • holistically rated student writing collections

TELPAS Alternate

TEA has developed the TELPAS Alternate assessment to meet the federal requirements mandated under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which requires states to administer an alternate English language proficiency (ELP) assessment for English learners (ELs) with the most significant cognitive disabilities who cannot participate in the general ELP assessment, even with allowable accommodations.