Your child will be taking a STAR assessment during this school year. This guide will explain what a STAR assessment is. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher or visit the STAR website at

What are STAR assessments?

Renaissance Learning pioneered computer-adaptive testing in the classroom in 1996 with the introduction of STAR Reading, and has been improving upon it ever since. As a result we offer a line of testing products that all function the same, are all built with the same high level of measurement accuracy, and all share the same design principles.

STAR Early Literacy is the leading computer-based diagnostic assessment of early literacy skills developed for Pre-K–3 students. STAR Early Literacy tracks development in three domains and ten sub-domains:

What are computer-adaptive tests?

All STAR assessments are computer-adaptive tests (CATs). Computer-adaptive tests continually adjustthe difficulty of each child’s test by choosing each test question based on the child’s previous response. If the child answers a question correctly, the difficulty level of the next item is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level is decreased. CATs save testing time and spare your child the frustration of items that are too difficult and the boredom of items that are too easy.

How long does it take to complete a STAR assessment?

STAR tests are designed to be as efficient as possible. On average, students will complete the STAR Math test in about 20 minutes, the STAR Reading test in about 15 minutes, and the STAR Early Literacy test in 15–20 minutes. However, some students may require more time and are allotted an hour to complete the test.

What are STAR assessments used for?

The STAR assessments are often used to screen students for their reading and math achievement levels. STAR Reading and STAR Math assessments help determine reading and math achievement levels. STAR Early Literacy assessments help educators monitor students’ growing literacy skills and students’ progress toward becoming independent readers. STAR

STAR assessments can also be used to monitor student growth throughout the year, to estimate students’ understanding of state standards, and predict students’ performance on the state test. In addition, STAR can help teachers determine appropriate instructional levels and skills that students are ready to learn.

What kind of score does my child get?

For every STAR assessment, your child receives a scaled score (SS), which is based on the difficulty of the questions and the number of correct answers. Scaled scores are useful for comparing your child’s performance over time and across grades. STAR Reading and STAR Math scaled scores range from 0–1400. STAR Early Literacy scaled scores range from 300–900. For the Spanish versions of the programs.

STAR offers educators a variety of scores and reports. Some STAR scores compare your child’s performance to a specific criteria or to a standard (criterion-referenced scores). STAR reports also include scores which compare your child’s performance to other students who have taken the same test (norm-referenced scores). The criterion- and norm-referenced scores are based on the scaled score.

How can I help my child prepare for a STAR assessment?

The teacher who gives the test uses pre-test instructions to explain the test to your child. It is important for you to encourage your child to try to do his or her best on the assessment. Since STAR is a general measure of student ability in math or reading, students perform best on the assessment in the same way they perform best in school—when they have had plenty of rest, attend school regularly, and have eaten.

How will I know how my child is doing?

Please ask your child’s teacher for the results from any of the STAR assessments. Teachers can run a Parent Report for any of the STAR tests. Often teachers may share this information during a parent/teacher conference. You must contact your child’s school or district directly about your child’s information. Renaissance Learning cannot disclose, delete, or make changes to educational records without authorization from the school.