Longer STAR Reading test from 8th September

An iPad showing a longer STAR Reading question

STAR Reading tests now feature 24 longer skill-based items.

The first round of the significant enhancements coming to STAR Assessments this year will see the STAR Reading test increase in length to 34 questions. The first ten items (for years 3 and above) or 15 items (for years 1 and 2) will be similar to the existing test, asking vocabulary-in-context questions. The remaining items are new skill-based questions linked to the requirements of the new national curriculum. Because there are more items and the new items take longer to read, the new tests will take slightly longer to complete; typically about 15-20 minutes.

When will students start seeing the longer tests?

The longer tests will go live over the weekend prior to the week beginning 8th September 2014 – we will update this page if that schedule changes. The new tests form the basis of the significantly enhanced reporting coming to STAR in the autumn. Because many of the enhanced reporting features of the new test rely upon data from the new assessments, we recommend that schools delay screening students until the new tests are available or re-test their students soon afterwards.

Will students’ scores change?

Because every one of the existing and new test items is calibrated to the same scale, students’ test results are not expected to change upon taking the new test. Reading ages, percentile ranks and national curriculum levels will remain linked to the scaled score exactly as they have been.

However, some of the schools piloting the new test in the 2013/14 academic year have reported that some students’ scores dropped a little the first time they took the new STAR Reading test. These scores normalised to expected levels of progress thereafter. This is probably because the students were unused to the more extensive skills-based questions in the new test. Therefore, schools are strongly urged to prepare students for the longer test so they know what to expect.

To help prepare students for the longer STAR Reading tests, we have put together these presentations to show students before they are screened with the new tests.

What other changes are coming later in the term?

The STAR Assessments programmes have been redeveloped for the new national curriculum. Incorporating new skill-based questions and learning progressions, the assessments will provide detailed information about how students are progressing in relation to the requirements of the new national curriculum.

Find out more about the changes to STAR