Frequently Asked Questions
Required STAAR Alternate 2 tests vary by grade level as follows:
- mathematics and reading — Grades 3-8
- writing — Grades 4 and 7
- science — Grades 5 and 8
- social studies — Grade 8
- STAAR end-of-course assessments (required for high school graduation) include algebra I, biology, English I, English II, and U.S. history.
TEA releases two types of test questions for the STAAR Alternate 2 program—sample questions and test forms. Sample test questions are small subsets of test questions released from the STAAR Alternate 2 test banks. These test questions may have been previously administered. A test form is a set of released test questions previously administered together to Texas students which reflects the STAAR Alternate 2 test blueprints. Full test forms that were previously tested can be found at STAAR Alternate 2 Released Test Questions page.
Each student is allotted the amount of time specified in their specific accomodations set by their ARD committee. The STAAR Alternate 2 assessment is administered during a three week window. Pacing and student breaks are determined by the test administrator according to each student's need. For more informations specific to your child, contact you local campus ARD coordinatator.
For students with special needs, the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee makes the decision for each student based on the disability. The STAAR Alternate 2 has its own set of Allowable Accommodations. All STAAR Alternate 2 assessments are provided in paper form.
Language Proficiency Assessment Committees (LPACs) in conjunction with ARD committees decide what kinds of accommodations make sense for English learners (ELs). For students who are eligible for STAAR Alternate 2 and routinely receive their instruction in Spanish (grades 3-5), the presentation instructions only may be translated into Spanish. STAAR Alternate 2 is only provided in English.
The basic checklist for parents to help their child be ready for STAAR Alternate 2 tests includes:
- Setting regular teacher meetings to discuss goals
- Reviewing sample STAAR Alternate 2 questions and tests available
- Making sure your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before test day
The STAAR Alternate 2 test provides scores for students using both scale scores and raw scores. The basic score on any test is the raw score, which is simply the number of questions answered correctly. Scale scores convert the raw score onto a scale that is common to all test forms for that assessment, taking into account the difficulty level of the specific questions on the test. It scores a student’s performance according to passing standards or proficiency levels. To learn more, visit the STAAR Alternate 2 Performance Standards page.