Can You Pass a STAAR Stress Test?


‘Tis the season for school age children in Texas to be stressing out.  It’s STAAR time.

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests, being administered to students in grades 3 through high school, rate students, schools and school districts.

Here’s three sample questions taken from STAAR tests. How’s your stress level?

 3rd Grade Math: What is the eighth number in the pattern: 321, 329, 337, 345, ____, ____, ____, ____?

a. 369b. 385c. 377d. 353

Answer: C 

Each number is 8 more than the previous number, which means that the next number can be found by adding 8 to the previous number. Thus, the fifth number is 353, the sixth number is 361, the seventh number is 369, and the eighth number is 377.

5th Grade Science: Which statement accurately describes a state of matter?

a. Solids take the shape of their containerb. Gases maintain a fixed shapec. Liquids will expand to fill the volume of a containerd. Gases expand to fill an entire space

Answer: D 

Molecules that make up gases are far apart and move about very quickly. Because they have a weak attraction to each other, they expand to take up as much space as possible.

8th grade Social Science: Which entity in American government is the closest to true democracy?

  1. The Electoral College
  2. The House of Representatives
  3. Committees within the Senate
  4. The Supreme Court

Answer: B

Members of the House of Representatives are elected in proportion to the population of each state. Representation by senators is not based on population, and is therefore skewed in electoral weight. The Electoral College can and has contradicted the popular vote in the Presidential election.

High School History - Which turning point event in the Spanish-American War occurred in 1898?

a. America gave financial support to Cuban nationalists' revolution against Spain.tb. Americans blamed Spain for the sinking of the USS Maine.tc. The Philippines declared independence from U.S. rule after Spain had transferred their rule of the Philippines to the U.S. td. The U.S. withdrew from Cuba.

Answer: B 

The sinking of the USS Maine happened in 1898, and the fact that America blamed Spain was a major cause of the U.S. and Spain declaring war on each other in 1898. All the other events listed did not happen in 1898, so even though they are related to the Spanish-American War, they would not be the correct answer. Choice A happened in 1895, choice C occurred in 1899, and choice D happened in 1902.


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