STAR Reading Test Scores

Instructor: Bill Sands
The STAR Reading Assessment gauges 1st through 12th grade students' ability to comprehend a variety of concepts related to reading and literacy. Find out how the test is scored along what you might expect to find on a student's scoring report.

What Are STAR Reading Scores Used For?

Scores on the STAR Reading assessment are an excellent tool for measuring a student's basic skills, and are used by parents and teachers alike to keep track of a student's academic growth or measure how well he or she is meeting state learning objectives. Test scores can also be used to modify instruction and address deficiencies in certain areas. Students often take these assessments multiple times in their academic careers, and the scores are used to ensure that they have a solid grasp of essential skills and knowledge.

How Is the Test Scored?

STAR exams are computer-adaptive tests (CAT) that modify the exam's difficulty according to the number of questions answered correctly. For every question that a student gets right, the CAT raises the difficulty level, and if a student struggles, the questions become simpler.

STAR exams convert these results into scaled scores (SS) ranging from 0-1400 points. These are derived by comparing the difficulty of the questions asked to the amount of correct responses. These scores can be used to provide specific information about students' performance, including how their scores compare to other students or a certain set of standards. Some of the scores available to teachers and parents include:

  • Percentile Rank (PR): This score compares a student's test results with those of students across the country in the same grade. These scores range from 1 to 99, with the number referring to the percentage of students who scored at or below a student's test score.
  • Percentile Rank Range (PR Range): This scoring range represents the PR score a student would probably earn if he or she were to retake the exam within the next month or so.
  • Grade Equivalent (GE): This score matches up a student's performance with his or her grade reading level. Students can earn a GE score of between 0.0 and 12.9+ points, with the first number representing the grade and the second representing the month of the school year. Students who earn GE scores that are higher than their current grade level have demonstrated above average reading skills.
  • Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD): This score is presented as a range that can be used by teachers and parents to select reading materials appropriate for a student's abilities.

How Is the Test Structured?

The reading assessment is designed to test the depth of students' knowledge by asking questions about a range of topics. The test consists of 46 reading skill areas in total, which are divided into 11 domains. Skill areas include theme, plot, summary, character, and context clues. Domains include fluency, vocabulary acquisition & use, and craft & structure. Though this may seem like an overly complex structure, the high volume of sections allows teachers to accurately identify each student's strengths and weaknesses.

Students will not need to complete any specialized training to prepare for this test; the assessment measures skills that students already posses. However, parents and teachers looking for resources to help students hone their reading abilities might want to check out the following courses, each of which addresses one or more of the skill areas tested by the exam:

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