Taking the Test

  • Read each question carefully. 

    • Before you answer a question, read the entire question before you choose an answer. It is important to do this even if you already feel like you know the answer. Underline any words that are important or that stand out to you. If the question is difficult to understand, try to rewrite/rephrase the question so it makes sense to you.[4]
    • Be sure to follow any written or verbal instructions you receive about the test.
    • If you are unsure about an answer, eliminate the answers you know are wrong and choose between the other possible choices. This will increase your chances of getting the question right.

     Monitor your time.

    • The STAAR test is a timed test. Wear a watch or make sure you can see the clock during your test. Your teacher will probably give you warnings about the time, but you should keep track of it as well.
    • If you have extra time, go back and double check your answers.
    • Be sure to leave some time at the end to answer the questions that you skipped. It is better to guess than to leave a question unanswered. For example, if you have 45 minutes to complete a section, try to finish in 40 minutes so you have time to go back.

    Stick with your first answer. 

    • When you take a test, the first answer that you choose is usually the best answer. You get into trouble when you begin to second guess yourself. Do not go back and change your answer unless you are absolutely sure.
    • If you go completely blank on a question, skip it and come back to it later.  You do not want to waste time thinking about one question when you could be answering the questions that you already know.
    • Make some type of mark by the questions that you skipped. You do not want to forget to go back and answer them.

    Eat a healthy breakfast. 

    • Wake up early enough to eat a nutritious breakfast.
    • Food is necessary to fuel your brain. If you take your test without eating, you will be more distracted and have problems concentrating. Do not experiment or try any new foods the day of your test either.
    • Good breakfast choices include fruit, whole grain-cereal, and protein rich foods (e.g. eggs, nuts, and yogurt).
    • Stay away from processed and sugary foods such as cookies, cakes, etc. Also avoid eating a carbohydrate (e.g. bread, pancakes, etc.) heavy breakfast because it will cause you to feel sluggish and sleepy.
    • If you do not feel like eating in the morning, try having a smoothie or a breakfast shake.