Understanding Your Child’s STAR Test Results

What is the STAR Test?
The STAR test is an adaptive achievement test, similar to the NWEA MAP test.  The STAR test originally only included a reading assessment; however, it has since expanded to include early literacy and mathematics.  Reading assessments can be administered to all students in grades K-12.  However, the math assessment is only available for grades K – 8.  Each section takes about ten minutes to complete, somewhat shorter than the MAP Survey tests.  STAR does not offer more in-depth testing. 

The STAR reading assessment pairs with the Accelerated Reader program, a goal driven reading program that requires students to read within their AR level and answer questions on each book to gain points before advancing to more difficult texts. 
How is the STAR Test scored?
Students receive a scaled score for each STAR assessment (section) that they complete.  Questions are weighted for difficulty; higher level questions receive more weight than lower level questions.  Your child’s scale score will range from 0 to 1400. This scale is consistent across all grade levels.  As such, your child’s performance on this test can be tracked from one year to the next.  In addition, norm-referenced scores will be provided indicating how your child performed in comparison to other test-takers of the same grade.  

Your child’s school or test administrator may choose to produce a variety of additional reports that include information on your child’s performance on specific strands and norm-references based on your child’s class, school, or district.

You may request an additional parent report from your child’s school.  In addition to the scaled score, the parent report provides parents with a qualitative analysis of the child’s performance and minimal support recommendations.  
What do my child’s STAR scores mean?
Renaissance Learning reminds parents that, “As with any assessment, many factors can affect your child’s scores.  It is important to understand that these scores provide only one picture of how your child is doing in school.”  The STAR Test is a very short assessment designed to give educators and parents a general idea of how a student is performing in mathematics and/or reading.  Curriculum decisions should not be based solely on STAR scores; however, performance on the STAR test may indicate a need for further testing to determine if a child is in need of remedial or gifted services.  

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