If your fifth grade student is enrolled in a Texas public or charter school, you’re probably somewhat familiar with the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR).
These tests are designed to measure how well students have mastered the Texas Essential Skills and Knowledge (TEKS) standards. At the fifth grade level, students are tested in both reading and mathematics.
In this article, we’ll help you increase your STAAR knowledge with key information about test structure, test content, and test preparation. We’re also providing a link to a STAAR practice test for 5th 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.
5th Grade STAAR Test Basics
Texas implemented the STAAR program beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Each test is closely aligned with TEKS academic standards.
For each specific grade level and subject test, questions are guided by a set of readiness standards, which are the TEKS standards identified as most essential for that particular subject area and grade level.
5th grade readiness standards were selected for being key to both success in 5th grade and preparedness for 6th grade.
All STAAR exams, including 5th grade Math and Reading, have a four-hour time limit. These tests are administered in paper-pencil format.
STAAR Math 5th Grade
The STAAR Math 5th grade exam contains 36 total questions: 33 multiple choice and 3 griddable questions.
These questions are divided into four “reporting categories”:
As with all STAAR assessments, students are allowed up to four hours to complete this paper-pencil test. Calculators are not permitted.
In the sections below, we’ll examine the skills and knowledge students need in order to succeed with each of the four reporting categories.
Numerical Representations and Relationships
These questions assess students’ ability to represent and manipulate numbers and expressions.
Fifth grade students should be able to demonstrate the following skills:
Your child will be asked 6 questions in this category on the STAAR Math 5th grade exam.
Computations and Algebraic Relationships
This question type measures the ability to perform operations and represent algebraic relationships.
Fifth grade students are expected to be able to:
The STAAR Math 5th grade exam includes 17 Computations and Algebraic Relationships questions.
Geometry and Measurement
With these questions, your child’s ability to represent and apply geometry and measurement concepts will be assessed.
Specifically, fifth grade students are expected to:
9 questions on STAAR Math 5th grade fall within this category.
Data Analysis and Personal Financial Literacy
This category measures the ability to represent and analyze data and describe and apply personal financial concepts.
Your fifth grade student is expected to:
Four questions from this category appear on the test.
If you feel your child needs additional 5th grade STAAR math practice, be sure to utilize the STAAR practice tests 5th grade.
STAAR Reading 5th Grade
The STAAR Reading 5th grade exam consists of 38 multiple choice questions. Students are allowed up to four hours to complete this paper-pencil assessment.
Questions are grouped into three categories:
Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of these three categories.
Understanding and Analysis Across Genres
As the name of the category suggests, these questions measure the ability to understand and analyze texts from a variety of genres.
For fifth grade students, this means the ability to demonstrate the following skills:
The STAAR Reading 5th grade exam contains 8 questions in this category.
Understanding/Analysis of Literary Texts
To answer these questions, students read literary passages and then respond to multiple choice questions assessing their understanding and analysis of these texts.
Fifth grade students should be able to:
There are 16 Understanding/Analysis of Literary Texts questions on STAAR Reading 5th grade.
Understanding/Analysis of Informational Texts
These questions are very similar to the questions from the previous category, except students must now demonstrate the ability to understand and analyze informational texts.
Additional skills required for fifth grade students include:
14 questions from this category appear on the exam.
If your child could benefit from extra 5th grade STAAR reading practice, the released STAAR practice tests 5th grade are an excellent resource.
How to Prepare for STAAR 5th Grade Exams
Remind your child of the importance of paying attention in class, completing homework and classwork, taking notes, studying, etc.
Texas teachers base their curriculum on the same standards (TEKS) that STAAR tests are aligned with, so what your child learns in class will be directly linked to STAAR tests.
If your child has difficulty in school, particularly with reading or mathematics, it’s a good idea to ask the teacher for additional assistance or consider hiring a specialized 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 5th grade STAAR practice tests are an excellent resource to use with your child.
Whether your child needs 5th grade STAAR math practice, 5th grade STAAR reading practice, or both, the 5th grade STAAR practice tests can help build your child’s familiarity and confidence with test content.
As you go over practice tests, be sure to discuss why right answers are correct and wrong answers are incorrect.
By using the tips and information found here, you’ll help your child perform successfully on the STAAR assessments.