What Is the STAR Reading Test?

Students in grades k–12 are usually required to take at least two Renaissance STAR assessments, one of which is the STAR Reading assessment. The test was developed by Renaissance Learning basing its materials on each grade level of the common core reading standards. These standards ensure that students are only assessed on relevant material that is important in preparing them for the following grade, college, and their future careers.

The test is designed to determine a student's reading skills and weaknesses. It assists educators and schools in tracking students' progress and determining who may require more support and instruction.

Learn more about Renaissance STAR Testing

STAR Reading Format & Administration

The Renaissance STAR Reading assessment comes in two versions: the Enterprise version, which consists of 34 questions, and is administered a few times a year. The second shortened version of the test, consisting of 24 questions and is designed to be distributed more frequently, is also available for progress tracking.

Both versions take about 20-35 minutes to complete. The questions vary from sentences to short passages, all questions have three answer choices, and they are all multiple-choice. While the test is not timed, some questions have a time limit to keep the test moving and for security reasons.

The Test is a computer adaptive test, which means that it adapts to the student’s ability in real-time by selecting different questions from the pool in order to provide a more accurate measure of their ability level.

Renaissance Star Reading Domains & Practice Questions

While reading concepts and skills vary between each grade and require varying degrees of comprehension, some subjects are covered in some way or another in almost all grades:

  • Word Knowledge and Skills- Covers vocabulary and comprehension skills, as well as the ability to apply those tactics in a variety of situations. Subtopics include the usage of context clues, structural analysis, understanding synonyms, while recognizing and comprehending homonyms and multi-meaning words. Additionally, you will also have to recognize connotations and denotations, while making sense of idioms to Understand analogies
STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #1

The word match has several of its meanings listed below.  Choose the word meaning that does not go with this word.  

Answer & Explanation|

STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #2

Read the sentences.

I found my new ______ in the basement.
A ______ flew over my head when I walked down the street.

Which word will fit in both places?

Answer & Explanation|


  • Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning - Covers tactics for making predictions based on text while utilizing text features to draw conclusions on a number of sub topics, including:  Highlighting the author’s purpose, recognizing an accurate summary of the text, understanding vocabulary in context, drawing conclusions, and identifying and understanding primary ideas. Additionally, you will be challenged to extend meaning and form generalizations, identify and differentiate fact and opinion, understand cause and effect, while grasping comparison and contrast, and sequence. 
STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #3

Read the sentences. Philip is one of my most honest friends. If I ask for his opinion about something, he will always tell me the truth. Philip is a credible friend.

What does credible mean?

Answer & Explanation|

STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #4

Read the passage.

Eli Whitney was a young boy who lived on a farm, but he wanted to be an inventor. When he was only a teenager, he made and sold nails in his father's workshop. He grew up and became a teacher and a farmer.
He wanted more out of life, so he moved to the South. There he noticed that the farmers were spending a very long time picking cotton every day. He invented a machine called the "cotton gin." It picked cotton quickly and separated the sharp parts from the soft part of the cotton plant. This revolutionized the way that cotton was picked and increased the speed of the harvest, as well as cotton sales.

Which is the meaning of the word revolutionized in the story?

Answer & Explanation|


  • Analyzing short Literary Text - Involves examining and understanding features of a literary text, such as the setting, plot, theme, summary, inference and characters, and theme. Other sub-topics include understanding characterization, literature key ideas, Identifying the narrator and point of view, detecting fiction, nonfiction, reality, and fantasy, while identifying and understanding the characteristics of genres.
STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #5

Read the passage.
Maid [in the doorway]: A lady to see you, ma'am, a stranger.
Nora: Ask her to come in.
This passage is an example of which type of text?

Answer & Explanation|

STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #6

Read the stanza and answer the question that follows.

I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 

(Taken from I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth)

Which is a simile from the poem? 

Answer & Explanation|


  • Understanding Author’s Craft - Analyzing the author’s use of language and literary devices, other sub-topics include Understanding figurative language, connotation,integration and identifying sensory detail. 
STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #7

Read the passage.
Sophia stood alone at the corner of the classroom. She looked around as her classmates talked to each other enthusiastically. Although she would have liked to, she was too shy to join the group next to her or the group across the room. She wished someone would come over and start a conversation.
What does the author want us to think about Sophia?  

Answer & Explanation|

STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #8

Which of the sentences is the most appropriate to convey imagery?

Answer & Explanation|


  • Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text - Includes recognizing and comprehending argumentative language, persuasive techniques, and claims in non-fiction texts. Other sub-topics include Identifying bias and analyze text for logical fallacies, evaluate reasoning and support and Evaluate credibility (this domain is not applicable at grades 1-3).
STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #9

Which is the correct definition of "plagiarism"?

Answer & Explanation|

STAR Reading Assessment Sample Question #10

DeAngelo is writing an article about the accomplishments of the city government this year.

Which of the following sentences supports this objective the best if it appears in the article?

Answer & Explanation|

If you are looking for information on the STAR Math test, click here!

STAR Reading Scores

Each Renaissance Star assessments Score report contains four numerical scores and ranks: 

  • Scaled Score (SS)-The test uses a Scaled Score system between 0 -1400. Scaled scores are useful for monitoring student performance over time and across grades. Scaled scores are calculated based on the number of correct answers and the difficulty of the questions unrelated to the age group or grade. 
  • Grade Equivalent (GE)-These scores range from 0.0-12.9+. The scores show how a student’s test performance compares with that of other students in the same grade. For example, a third-grade student with a GE of 4.3 performed as well on the Star Reading as an average 4th-grader after the third month of the academic year. 
  • Percentile Rank (PR)-The Percentile Rank scale ranges from 1-99 and compares student performance to other students in the same grade level. For Example, A student with a PR of 40 performed better on the Star Reading test than 40% of students in the same grade in the 4th month of the academic year nationally. 
  • Domain Scores- Like the PR scores the Domain Scores RANGE from 0–100. these scores evaluate a student’s proficiency in each domain of his grade level. The scores are divided into three categories: Beginning 0-59, Developing 60-79 and Secure 80-100. For example, a domain score of 60 for a fifth- grader in the “Word knowledge and skills domain means the student would most likely be able to answer correctly about 60 percent of the fifth-grade question in that domain. 


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How to prepare for the STAR Reading Test?

Here are four tips to ace the STAR Reading assessments: 

  • Vocabulary. Each day, try to teach your child a few new words. Instead of memorizing them, ask your child to use them in sentences throughout the day. Increasing your child's vocabulary improves their reading, which will serve well on test day and in general. 
  • Read. The best way to broaden a student's vocabulary and improve his or her reading skills is to introduce him or her to books that are both interesting and challenging. Collect reading material for your child from a variety of sources and highlight new words and learn their definitions. Try also to ask questions about the plot, the setting, and the author's intent. 
  • Read the questions first. This may appear unusual at first, but it makes perfect sense. A lot of questions in the test contain passages, so to get a better grasp of what to look for in the passage so first read the questions. Then highlight keywords and pay attention to where you need to look for information. 
  • Know the difference between a main idea, point of view, theme, setting, and mood of a story. A lot of questions on Star Reading Test contain literary devices, so make sure you practice by recognizing each one. It may help review various literary definitions every now and then. 


Online STAR Reading Practice Test

The Renaissance  STAR  Reading  is a critical test that can impact and shape your child's academic  future. Make  sure  your child  is prepared  for the test by using  TestPrep-Online’s STAR  Reading  test  practice  pack.

TestPrep-Online’s  accurate and comprehensive prep pack will help your child master the skills  and  knowledge vital for test day. The Reading test practice pack includes realistic full test simulations and intricate explanations. All our practice tests are administered in a user-friendly platform with detailed score reports to tracking your child’s progress over time.

Our packs will allow your child to become familiar with the test structure and provide him or her with the confidence they need to ace the test! 


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