What is the Renaissance Star Reading Test for 5th & 6th Grades? 

The Renaissance Star Reading Test for 5th and 6th grades is an academic evaluation designed to help students and educators gauge individual progress and identify areas for improvement. The Star Test is an adaptive online assessment, where the difficulty of questions is determined by how the student answers the preceding questions.

Star tests provide a personalized assessment by adapting to each student's learning level. If a student answers a question correctly, the test progresses to a more challenging question. If a student answers incorrectly, the test follows up with an easier question.

Star Reading Test 5th & 6th Grade Sample Questions  

Let’s take a look at the Star Reading test. The test includes 34 questions that measure your child’s reading proficiency in five domains. The first 10 questions on the test are Word Knowledge & Skills questions, then the questions blend between the other four domains: 

  • Comprehension Strategies & Constructing Meaning  
  • Analyzing Literary Text  
  • Understanding Author's Craft  
  • Analyzing Arguments & Evaluating Text 

Word Knowledge & Skills 

Questions in this domain cover knowledge and understanding of vocabulary, as well as the ability to apply vocabulary-related strategies

STAR Sample Question #1

If the meaning of the prefix hetero- is "different / other," which of the following might be described as heterochromatic?

A. of diverse colors 
B. of the same color 
C. of a unique color 

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is A. The meaning of the prefix hetero- is "different / other." Therefore, to answer the question, you need to search for the answer that contains this idea. Answer (A) includes the word diverse, which means, “differing from one another.” Therefore, this is the correct answer. Answer (B) is incorrect because "of the same color," contradicts the idea of heterochromatic as it suggests that the object is composed of only one color. Answer (C) is incorrect because if something is described as heterochromatic, it suggests that it contains or displays a range of different colors, rather than being limited to a unique color.


Solving Tip: 

To successfully answer questions that require you to understand prefixes and suffixes, 

familiarize yourself with common prefixes and suffixes derived from Latin and Greek. These often carry specific meanings and can significantly influence the overall meaning of a word. It is also useful to break down the word and analyze it into its constituent parts, such as prefixes, roots, and suffixes. This process can often provide valuable clues about the word's meaning:  

"hetero-" (prefix) = "different / other" 

"chromatic" (root- “chrom") = related to color 


STAR Sample Question #2

Read the following two sentences and determine the definition of the underlined word that appears in both of them. 

1. The thief entered surreptitiously into the house to steal the jewelry without being noticed.
2. During the exam, the student made an attempt to surreptitiously look at his neighbor's paper. 

What is the correct definition of the underlined word? 

    1. Something that is intricate and is done after careful planning.
    2. Something that is done in secret, with the intention of avoiding being detected.
    3. Something that is done impulsively without thinking of possible consequences. 

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is B. The underlined word surreptitiously primarily implies secrecy or sneaky behavior with the intention to avoid detection or observation. In the first sentence, the thief sneaked into the house to steal jewelry without being noticed. Similarly, in the second sentence, the student attempted to cheat by discreetly looking at his neighbor's paper during the exam, to avoid getting caught. Therefore, the correct answer is (B). Answers (A) and (C) are incorrect because the core meaning of surreptitiously does not necessarily emphasize intricacy or extensive planning, nor something that is done impulsively.


Solving Tip: 

When tackling questions that ask for the definition of a word based on its usage in two sentences, pay close attention to the context in which the word appears in both sentences. The surrounding words and phrases can provide valuable clues about the word's meaning. It is also useful to observe how the word relates to other words in the sentences, including the subject, object, or action. Understanding these relationships can aid in determining the word's meaning. 


Comprehension Strategies & Constructing Meaning 

Questions in this domain include texts that require the use of strategies such as self-monitoring, making predictions, drawing conclusions, and using the organizational structure of the text to improve understanding. 

STAR Sample Question #1

Read the passage and answer the question that follows: 

Simon and I had been best friends since elementary school. We had grown up together and had always been there for each other. Now as we entered our teenage years, Simon was outgoing and sociable, always surrounded by friends and excited to try new things. I, on the other hand, was more introverted and reserved, preferring to spend my time playing video games and taking long walks with my dog. Our differences had never been a problem before, but as we grew older, we started clashing more frequently. Yesterday Simon said to me, “Come on Steve, it’s so annoying that you don’t want to try new things!” I felt terrible. All I wanted to tell him was that he should consider my side too, but the words didn’t come out of my mouth. I felt like he was always dragging me out of my comfort zone, and I have never liked it. 

Which best describes Simon and Steve’s current relationship? 

A. They compete with each other. 
B. They complete each other. 
C. They have been drifting apart. 

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is C. This passage is about two friends, Simon and Steve, who have been drifting apart. The two have been best friends since elementary school and have always been there for each other. Problems first occurred as the boys became teens; each changed and liked spending his time doing different things. Simon was an extravert and adventurous, and Steve was an introvert and liked his routine activities. Their relationship was on the rocks and reached a crisis point when Simon told Steve he was frustrated with him for not wanting to try new things. Steve was frustrated as well, feeling that Simon was trying to change him. However, unlike his friend, Steve did not voice his thoughts. Steve’s inability to communicate with Simon when feeling uncomfortable with his behavior further emphasizes the difficulties they face with each other. Therefore, the correct answer is (C). Answer (A) is incorrect because there is no indication that Simon and Steve are in any competition, rather that they “have been drifting apart”. Answer (B) is incorrect because although this can be understood about Simon and Steve’s past relationship, it is only briefly mentioned at the beginning of the passage. The main focus in the passage is on the change each had been through and how his change negatively affected their relationship.


Solving Tip: 

When tackling questions that ask about the characters’ relationship, consider the character traits and interactions described in the text. Then, look for a turning point and evidence of changing dynamics or feelings between the characters.  


STAR Sample Question #2

Read the passage and answer the question that follows: 

Hugs are a powerful and often underestimated way of expressing affection and connection with others. However, hugs are more than emotional acts, as they offer numerous physical benefits as well. Research conducted in 2005 found that daily hugs help improve our overall health. When we embrace someone in a hug, our bodies release the hormone oxytocin, which promotes feelings of happiness, relaxation, and bonding. As a result, the level of the stress hormone cortisol is reduced, which leads to lower blood pressure, decreased heart rate, and improved immune function. Nevertheless, I believe hugs are much more than that; they  

provide a sense of comfort and security and help alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression. 

Which statement is a fact rather than an opinion? 

A. Hugs provide a sense of comfort and security.
B.Hugs help improve our overall health.
C. Hugs alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression.

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is B. This question requires you to distinguish factual information from opinion. A fact is an objective statement that can be verified (proven) and relies on observation or research. An opinion is a subjective statement that expresses a person’s thought, perspective, position or belief on a particular topic. Unlike a fact, an opinion cannot be proven or checked. This passage presents some of the ways hugs improve our overall health, both physically and emotionally. It goes into detail about the role of two hormones: Oxytocin that is released when we give or are given a hug, and cortisol—a stress hormone that is reduced due to the emotional effects of a hug. This information is based on research conducted in 2005, so it is proven scientific information. Therefore, the correct answer is B. Answers (A) and (C) are incorrect because they are subjective opinions rather than facts. Each expresses the author’s personal belief, and the role hugs play in the author’s life; they cannot be proven and universally accepted as true. The author says: “I believe hugs are much more than that; they provide a sense of comfort and security, which help alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression.” Note that the use of the phrase "I believe" indicates that this is the author’s subjective opinion that is based on personal feelings and experiences rather than an objective fact.


Solving Tip: 

When asked to identify a statement that is a fact rather than an opinion, examine the provided statements in the passage to identify objective claims. Look for statements that are supported by evidence, research, or widely accepted knowledge. These statements are likely to be facts rather than personal opinions.   


Analyzing Literary Text 

Questions in this domain require presenting an understanding of literary devices and techniques, as well as an understanding of the characteristics of different literary genres. 

STAR Sample Question #1

Read the passage and answer the question that follows: 

Charlotte opened the velvet-lined box. It was time to polish the delicate necklace nestled inside. The silver necklace had a small, heart-shaped locket, and once opened, a little photograph of her beloved grandmother Erica could be seen. She had given it to Charlotte on her 12th birthday and told her, “It represents my pride and love for you,” to which Charlotte replied, “I shall cherish it forever and ever!” Although the photograph had faded over the years, and the silver had to be polished often, Charlotte still wore the necklace on special occasions.    

How does the necklace relate to the theme of the story? 

A. The silver necklace has a special shine once polished. 
B. Charlotte cherished the necklace and wore it on occasion. 
C. The necklace symbolizes Charlotte’s connection to her grandmother.  

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is C. A theme is the main idea of a story. The theme of this story is the bond between a grandmother and her granddaughter. The story tells about a special gift Charlotte received from her beloved grandmother Erica for her 12th birthday, which symbolizes the connection between the two. Charlotte was very happy with the silver necklace that had a small heart-shaped locket with Erica’s photograph inside. It is clear the two were close, since upon gifting the necklace, the grandmother said that it represented her pride and love for Charlotte, and Charlotte’s responded: “I shall cherish it forever and ever!” Charlotte still wears the necklace on special occasions, which demonstrates the sentimental value that the necklace holds for her. Therefore, the correct answer is (C). Answer (A) is incorrect because, although it is true that once polished, the silver necklace shines, it is of secondary importance and does not contribute to our understanding of the theme. Note that it is the act of polishing the necklace that makes Charlotte think about her grandmother and not the fact that the silver necklace shines. Answer (B) is incorrect because although it is true that Charlotte cherished the necklace and wore it on occasion, it does not capture the significance of the necklace to the theme of the story. Hence, this answer is confusing and misleading.


Solving Tip: 

When answering questions that refer to the influence of something in the theme of the story, start by understanding the main message or idea that the story conveys. Themes can be about love, friendship, family, loss, growth, or any other overarching concept that runs through the narrative.

It is also useful to pay attention to the character’s reactions to the object you are asked about. In addition, look for recurring elements, symbols, motifs, or actions that appear repeatedly throughout the story. These often serve to reinforce or represent the theme. 


STAR Sample Question #2

Read the passage and answer the question that follows: 

Nika returned home after a long day at school. She was overwhelmed with tasks due to the many homework assignments she was given that day. She thought to herself how unfair it was that after an exhausting day at school, she still needed to sit for hours upon hours and study instead of playing outside with her friends. She was especially stressed about her science and math homework since she needed assistance from her older sister. After giving it some thought, Nika decided to take her beloved dog Rocky for a walk around the neighborhood park. While walking around the lush greenery in the fresh air, she reflected on her day. Soon she came up with a fantastic idea: She should list her tasks and prioritize them according to their level of difficulty. She would start with all the assignments she could do on her own, and when her sister arrives, she would ask for her help. She might even have some time to play a quick game with her friends before bedtime.   

How is Nika’s conflict resolved?  

     A. While walking her dog, Nika realizes that her assignments would not take as long as she thought and that she would manage without her sister’s help. 
     B. Nika decides to take a break from her chores and goes for a walk to clear her mind. 
     C. Nika finishes her homework assignments and goes outside to play with her friends.  

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is B. This passage tells us about Nika, a schoolgirl who arrives home and faces a problem: She has a lot of homework and little time to do it. In addition, she finds it unfair that she cannot spend the afternoon playing with her friends because of all the school assignments she has. Being overwhelmed, she decides to take a walk with her dog and heads to the park. The change of scenery and the breath of fresh air help her calm down, think reasonably and productively, and find a solution to her problem. Therefore, answer (B) is the correct answer.  Answer (A) is incorrect because while Nika takes her dog for a walk, she does not reach the conclusion that her assignments will not be time-consuming, nor that she will manage without her sister’s help. In fact, we are told that she would do whatever she could on her own to make progress until her sister returned home.   Answer (C) is incorrect because there is no indication that Nika finished her homework. In addition, while finishing her homework would be a potential outcome, it does not help her resolve the problem of having a lot of homework and little time to do it.  


Solving Tip: 

When asked to pinpoint the specific conflict described in the passage, begin by grasping the overall context of the passage. Identify the main topic, setting, and characters involved. It is also useful to note any challenges, problems, or obstacles faced by the characters.  

If asked about conflict resolution, track the steps taken by the characters to resolve the conflict. Note any pivotal moments or realizations that lead to the resolution and focus on the outcome to determine whether the conflict is completely resolved, partially resolved, or if it has lasting implications for the characters or the story. 

Understanding Author's Craft 

Questions in this domain require the understanding and analysis of an author’s use of language, literary devices, techniques, and style to create certain effects.

STAR Sample Question #1

Read the passage and answer the question that follows: 

If you are interested in subscribing to a teen magazine, it is advisable to buy it a few times prior to subscribing. After all, this will enable you to review its content over time. For instance, you will be able to decide if the various articles are for your liking, if the health and fitness suggestions it offers interest you, if it covers your favorite celebrities and tv shows, and if the stories inspire you.  

How does the author support the main claim? 

A. The author provides facts about the importance of purchasing individual copies.
B. The author provides practical advantages his readers might enjoy if they follow his advice. 
C. The author shares his positive experience of purchasing individual copies prior to becoming a subscriber.   


Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is B. The main idea of a passage is the point that it wishes to make. A statement of the main idea will function as a summary of the most important things that are written. To figure out the main idea of a passage it is advisable to ask yourself the following questions:  • What is the passage mostly about?  • What is being said about the topic?  • Which words or ideas repeat themselves?  From the opening sentence, we are exposed to the main idea: The author advises the readers to buy a few issues of a teen magazine before subscribing to it. We know this is the main idea because the rest of the passage is designed to explain why this advice should be followed. Therefore, the correct answer is (B). Answer (A) is incorrect because the author states his opinion about the topic of buying a few issues of a teen magazine before subscribing to it and does not include facts about it. In other words, the author does not use facts to support his arguments, rather reasons why his suggestion would be beneficial. Answer (C) is incorrect because the author does not present himself as a subscriber, nor does he provide insights based on his own experience.


Solving Tip: 

When faced with questions about the author’s support of the main claim, start by locating the central argument or main point that the author is making in the passage. In addition, look for supporting details provided by the author to back up the main claim. It is also useful to consider the author's perspective. 


STAR Sample Question #2

Read the passage and answer the question that follows: 

Suddenly it started to rain, and we all knew we were in serious trouble. We loved hiking in this area, exploring the crannies of the mountain range. We were intrigued by the system of caves that we were forbidden to enter and were sure there was a hidden treasure in the deepest cave, also known as the Skeleton Cave. We heard stories about people who had entered the cave and never came back, and we knew that if it rained, the cave could go from innocuous to extremely dangerous in a matter of minutes. It was Tom who suggested we enter the cave for an hour and start looking for the treasure. Soon the five of us crawled across narrow paths. We kept scrambling, barely managing to keep our heads above water until we reached one of the chambers in the cave. We were tired, hungry, wet, and freezing. It had been four hours since we entered the cave and none of us knew the way out.  

What is the mood of this passage?  

A. brave  
B. melancholic  
C. tense  

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is C.  A tense mood is the feeling of tension and suspense conveyed to the readers. In this passage, the tense mood creates the atmosphere. It tells about five friends who went hiking in the mountains and entered a cave they were not allowed to enter. The tension continues as the five search for a hidden treasure in the Skeleton Cave (pay attention to the connotation of the name that adds to the tense mood). Soon it starts to rain, and the kids understand they are trapped underground in a dangerous situation. An additional indication of the tense mood is revealed when we are told that the cave was known for going “from innocuous to extremely dangerous in a matter of minutes” and for people who went searching for its treasure and never came back. The passage spends almost all of its time describing tense situations and building tension in the way it reveals these scary elements one by one in increasing fashion. Therefore, the correct answer is (C).  Answer (A) is incorrect because a brave mood is characterized by having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty. Answer (B) is incorrect because a melancholic mood is characterized by intense sadness and hopelessness.


Solving Tip: 

When approaching questions about the mood of a passage, pay attention to how the characters in the passage respond to events. In addition, look for words, phrases, and descriptions that evoke specific emotional responses that set the tone and atmosphere of the passage.

It is also useful to consider why the author might have chosen to create a particular mood in the passage and how it serves the purpose of the narrative or supports the main theme. 


Analyzing Argument & Evaluating Text 

Questions in this domain require recognizing, analyzing, and evaluating arguments in various types of texts such as persuasive, editorial, and academic writing. 

STAR Sample Question #1

Read the passage and answer the question that follows: 

Most people agree that chocolate chip cookies are delicious, but the style of this popular cookie is open for debate. Should it have white, milk or dark chocolate chips? Should it have nuts, marshmallows or raisin toppings? However, nothing provokes more debate about chocolate chip cookies than their texture. Should they be chewy or crispy? In this matter, at least, the choice is clear to me: A chocolate chip cookie that has a melt-in-your-mouth texture is better in every way imaginable.  

What is the author’s main claim or argument? 

A. Chocolate chip cookies are the best when they have nuts, marshmallows, and raisin toppings. 
B. Gooey Chocolate chip cookies are the best. 
C. Chocolate chip cookies are known to be the most delicious dessert. 

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is B. This passage discusses chocolate chip cookies and the debate about their best toppings and texture. The author concludes that while there may be different opinions on the ingredients used in chocolate chip cookies, the texture of the cookie is the most important factor and that a chewy texture is the best option according to the author. Therefore, the correct answer is (B). (Note: “Gooey” has a similar connotation as “chewy” and “melt-in-your-mouth.") Answer (A) is incorrect because it is not an argument that the author makes. These toppings are mentioned as a topic of debate and the author does not take either side. Answer (C) is incorrect because this is not the main point of the passage. This claim is made as an introduction to the topic. We can say that since the rest of the passage does not serve to support it, but rather discusses the debates about the cookie. Additionally, although chocolate chip cookies are described as delicious and popular, there is no indication in the passage that they are the most delicious dessert.


Solving Tip: 

When encountering questions about the author's main claim or argument, begin by understanding the central topic of the passage. In addition, look for keywords or phrases that indicate the author's preference or opinion.

It is also important to pay attention to the author's strong and definitive statements throughout the passage and overall perspective. These statements often indicate the main claim or argument. 


STAR Sample Question #2

Read the prompt and answer the question that follows: 

Shannon and Julie were asked to create a presentation for their class entitled, "Cooking for Life: The Importance of Adding Cookery Lessons to Schools Curricula Nationwide.” 

Which detail does NOT support the topic of the presentation? 

A. Adding cookery lessons will lead students to make healthier food choices in life. 
B. Adding cookery lessons will give students the opportunity to eat during the lessons.  
C. Adding cookery lessons will develop students’ essential life skills, such as planning, following instructions, and time management.  

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is B. Supporting details demonstrate the importance of the main idea by providing information to clarify, prove or explain it. Answer (B) is correct because it is the detail that does not support the topic of the presentation, as it does not address the main reasons why cookery lessons are valuable. While it is true that students may have the opportunity to eat during the lessons, the primary purpose of adding cookery lessons to school curricula is to have a long-lasting and meaningful impact on students' lives. Answers (A) and (C) support the topic of the presentation. Therefore, they can be ruled out. They highlight the potential long-term benefits of teaching cookery lessons in schools.


Solving Tip: 

When faced with questions asking which detail does not support the main topic, think about the main idea or subject that the presentation is focused on. Then go over the options and identify the one that contains unrelated or irrelevant information and does not directly support the main topic.

Remember to choose the detail that is not in line with the main topic or does not directly contribute to supporting the overall argument or theme of the presentation. 

Why is it Important to be Prepared for the Renaissance Star Reading Test? 

Despite being a standardized test, a child can—and should—prepare for the Renaissance Star Reading test beforehand, since Star testing scores can be a deciding factor for placement in either regular or gifted classes. In addition, being well-prepared for the test is crucial for: 

  • Academic Growth 
  • Identifying Weaknesses 
  • Parental Involvement
  • Building Confidence 

7 Tips to Help Your Child Ace the 5th and 6th Grade Star Reading Test 

Before the test: 

  • Make a study plan. Once your child has taken our initial sample test, create a hierarchy of things to study based on where your child’s strengths and weaknesses lie. 
  • Stick to a routine. Help your child stay focused. Keep a fixed routine by scheduling the same time every day for studying. This keeps your child mentally prepared. 
  • Keep your child motivated. Add fun activities to the study plan to help keep your child excited about the learning process. We recommend the question game, in which you encourage your child to ask a specific number of questions every day with the promise of a reward at the end. 
  • Be positive. A negative attitude can be contagious- but so can a positive one! By being visibly excited about the subject at hand, your child is bound to be, too! 

Day of the Test: 

  • Review- don’t learn. At this stage, you’ve hopefully already covered a good deal of new information. It is therefore not recommended to start learning anything new, as this can hinder your child from utilizing the material s/he has already learned and feels more comfortable with, and getting the optimal scores s/he deserves. 
  • Bring snacks. It’s hard to focus on an empty stomach; we recommend avoiding this issue by packing a variety of healthy energy sources for your child to nibble on during the exam. Who knows? That extra push could make a difference between a right answer and a wrong one. 
  • Come early. Encourage your child to arrive to class 5 minutes before the scheduled test time.  

Prepare for Success with Test Prep Online!

At Test Prep Online, we understand the importance of preparing for the Renaissance Star Test. That's why we offer comprehensive study materials, practice tests, and quizzes, experts’ explanations, as well as a study guide to ensure your child can excel on the test day. Our resources are designed to boost confidence, enhance subject knowledge, and make test preparation an enjoyable journey. 

Our 5th & 6th practice Star Reading Pack includes the following components: 

  • 177 sample questions, including section-specific practice tests to focus on one skill at a time, if necessary. 
  • Three accurate full-length simulations of the Renaissance Star Reading test. These simulations contain a wide variety of topics that appear on the Star reading tests. They enable your child to practice under test-like conditions. 
  • Five Star Reading practice quizzes: These quizzes thoroughly cover the 5 Reading topics and enable your child to deepen his or her understanding and knowledge of specific topics in reading, which appear on the Star Reading test for grades 5 and 6. 
  • Full solutions and explanations: At the end of each simulation and quiz your child gets a report in which he or she can see their mistakes and read detailed solutions and explanations to all questions. 
  • A Study Guide: Thoughtfully organized to provide a clear and concise overview of the essential information about the Renaissance Star Reading Test. 

Prepare your child to shine brightly on the Renaissance Star Test and unveil his/her full academic potential. Enroll your child today, to take the first step towards a successful academic future! 

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