The STAAR end-of-course (EOC) tests focus on the content for a specific course compared to TAKS tests that covered general subject knowledge by grade level. STAAR includes 5 EOC assessments for the following foundation subjects (math, science, English and social studies) at the high school level:
Math: Algebra I
English: English I, English II
Social Studies: U.S. History
Students not enrolled in a class would not be required to take the EOC exam for that course. Students will initially take the STAAR tests listed above during the spring semester of enrollment in the class. For students who fail to reach the minimum passing requirements, numerous retesting opportunities will also be offered. In general, students must pass (meet or exceed Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance) the five STAAR EOC assessments—Algebra I, English I, English II, biology, and U.S. history—in order to earn a high school diploma from a Texas public or charter school as required in TEC §39.025.
If a student passes the course, but does not pass the EOC assessment, he or she may take the test again. However, a student is not required to retake a course just because he or she failed the assessment. A school is required to proivde accelerated instruction to each student who does not show satisfactory performance on STAAR.
Time Limit and Questions
STAAR will include more difficult testing and require a higher level of student performance than TAKS required. There will also be a four-hour time limit for the STAAR EOC assessments. The English I and II tests will cover both writing and reading over two days. These English EOCs will require students to write more essays and place greater emphasis on critical analysis of reading passages rather than literal understanding. For English I, students will write literary and expository compositions. For English II, students will write expository and persuasive compositions.
On two of the science EOCs and all of the mathematics EOCs, STAAR will include a type of open-ended question known as a griddable item. The purpose of griddable items is to allow students to develop answers independently without being influenced by answer choices provided with the questions (commonly known as multiple-choice).
With the increase in the number of assessments students will be taking, more testing days at the high school level will be necessary. STAAR EOC assessments will require up to 45 testing days when fully implemented, compared with 25 testing days for TAKS.