Reading Passages and Test Items

STAAR Test Maker Reading features passages for grades 1 through 8 and for ELA I, II, and III. Passages and test items are created specifically for Texas by an in-house team of experienced assessment writers and editors. The Reading item bank offers the following special features:

  • Includes over 50 passages for each tested grade.
  • Items are grade-level appropriate and primarily assess one Student Expectation.
  • Item bank covers all Readiness and Supporting Standards for each grade and skill area, including vocabulary, media literacy, rhetorical techniques, poetic forms, and literary devices.
  • Item bank also includes passages and items for more difficult Expectations, such as those covering myths, epic poems, and rhetorical fallacies.
  • Item bank includes all Reading Passage Types found on STAAR exams:
    • Fiction
    • Expository
    • Persuasive
    • Drama
    • Poetry
      • Narrative
      • Lyrical
      • Free verse
      • Epic
    • Procedural
      • User Manuals
      • Craft Projects
  • Items are written to match STAAR formatting and style; vocabulary conforms to EDL grade levels.
  • Paired passages are available for each grade, and they include a broad range of topics.
  • Items are selectable by DOK, Lexile, Word Count, Dale-Chall, Spache, and more.
  • Passages and test items undergo rigorous review and revision to keep them current, relevant, and free of bias — scenarios are inclusive across gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion.
  • Passages often include numerous graphics and corresponding questions about tone, formality, audience, message, and medium.
  • Writers and editors follow Texas Education Agency item-creation guidelines.


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