If your child is a 4th grade student at a Texas public or charter school, you’ve probably heard of STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness). These tests are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the state-mandated curriculum standards.
STAAR testing begins in 3rd grade and continues through high school. 4th grade students are required to take STAAR Math, Reading, and Writing assessments.
In this article, we’ll focus on providing information about 4th grade Math and Reading assessments. We’re also providing a link to a STAAR practice test for 4th graders to help your child feel confident and prepared for STAAR testing.
Click the button below to get a practice test, plus you will receive a bonus PDF "5 Top Tips to Use Practice Tests Effectively" to help your child study for the test.
4th Grade STAAR Test Basics
The state of Texas initially implemented the STAAR program during the 2011-2012 school year. The tests are designed to assess how well students have mastered the skills and knowledge described in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
Each individual assessment is aligned with a specific set of readiness standards, which are the TEKS standards identified as most essential for that particular subject and grade.
4th grade readiness standards are selected for being essential to success in 4th grade, as well as key to preparedness for 5th grade.
All STAAR exams, including 4th grade Math and Reading, have a four-hour time limit. These tests are administered in paper-pencil format.
STAAR Math 4th Grade
The skills that will be assessed on the STAAR Math 4th grade exam are divided into four reporting categories.
These categories are:
As with all STAAR tests, students are allowed up to four hours to complete the assessment, and it is administered in paper-pencil format.
In total, the 4th grade Math test consists of 34 questions: 31 multiple choice and 3 griddable questions.
A calculator is not permitted on this assessment.
Let’s take a look at the types of questions your child will be asked within each of the four reporting categories.
Numerical Representations and Relationships
Questions in this category assess a student’s ability to represent and manipulate numbers and expressions.
Fourth grade students should be able to do the following:
Your child will be asked 9 questions on Numerical Representations and Relationships on the STAAR Math 4th grade test.
Computations and Algebraic Relationships
To be successful on this question type, your child must demonstrate an understanding of how to perform operations and represent algebraic relationships.
For fourth grade students, the following skills are required:
In total, there are 11 Computations and Algebraic Relationships questions on the STAAR Math 4th grade assessment.
Geometry and Measurement
These questions measure the ability to represent and apply geometry and measurement concepts.
By the end of 4th grade, students should be able to demonstrate the following skills:
Your child will be expected to answer 10 Geometry and Measurement questions on this assessment.
Data Analysis and Personal Financial Literacy
For these questions, students are expected to represent and analyze data and describe and apply personal financial concepts.
For fourth grade students, this means demonstrating the following abilities:
This is the least-tested category on STAAR Math 4th Grade, so your child will only be asked 4 questions measuring these skills.
If you feel your child needs additional 4th grade STAAR math practice, be sure to check out the STAAR practice tests 4th grade.
STAAR Reading 4th Grade
This test includes 36 multiple choice questions on the following three topics:
Your child will have up to four hours to complete this paper-pencil assessment.
Below, we’ll dive into the specifics of each of the three reporting categories for STAAR Reading 4th grade.
Understanding and Analysis Across Genres
To succeed with these questions, your child must demonstrate the ability to understand and analyze texts from a wide range of genres.
4th grade students should be able to:
4th grade students are asked 8 questions in this category.
Understanding/Analysis of Literary Texts
Students read literary passages and answer questions that demonstrate the ability to understand and analyze these texts.
Fourth grade students may be tested on the following skills:
The STAAR Reading 4th grade assessment includes 15 questions related to literary texts.
Understanding/Analysis of Informational Texts
The skills assessed by this question type are very similar to the previous category. However, students must answer these questions based on informational texts instead.
Additional skills required for 4th grade students include:
This assessment includes 13 questions related to understanding and analyzing informational texts.
If you feel your child would benefit from additional 4th grade STAAR reading practice, working with your child on the released STAAR practice tests 4th grade can be extremely beneficial in helping your child build confidence and familiarity with test content.
How to Prepare for 4th Grade STAAR Tests
STAAR tests are directly aligned with the curriculum that your child studies throughout the school year (TEKS), so encourage your child to pay attention in classes, complete classwork and homework, take notes, etc.
If your child seems to struggle, particularly with reading or mathematics, it’s advisable to ask the teacher for additional help or consider hiring a tutor.
Additionally, one of the most effective ways to prepare for any standardized test is by answering sample questions and completing practice tests. In this case, the 4th grade STAAR practice tests are an excellent resource to use with your child.
As you go over practice tests, be sure to discuss why right answers are correct and wrong answers are incorrect.
Using these tips and information should help your child feel confident and prepared heading into 4th grade STAAR testing.