TEXAS (FOX 44/KWKT) — After forcing schools to close and moving curriculum online during the 2019 pandemic, agencies across the nation altered the way their institutions operate – The Texas Education Agency being one of them.

The organization announced a major redesign of the STAAR test as a result of House Bill 3906. This year, students will complete the exam through online assessments – allowing students to receive classroom accommodations, improved testing operations, and faster test results.

The STAAR exam will feature multiple choice questions, free form response and an essay.

“It allows the student to focus in on one question at a time without getting overwhelmed with the whole entire test booklet in front of them,” shared Study.com Test Prep Expert and tutor Rachel Mead. “STAAR testing is still about allowing the student to demonstrate mastery, which says, we’re not throwing you any curveballs, we’re testing you on the information that’s been presented in the classroom.”

Mead also says even though it is online, the test will still be administered with options of utilizing pen and paper to work through various problems. For parents with concerns about cheating, excess screen time, or any personal challenges the student might face, Mead offers some performance reassurance.

“The repercussions to the student have been lifted. So again, if it doesn’t go quite right, then all it’s going to do is put some additional resources or flag some potential resources that the student may want to access the next year or have availability to based upon their performance of this year.”

Mead also shared some key factors in preparing students for the exam, like:

  • Keeping a consistent day to day schedule.
  • A healthy amount of sleep.
  • Staying in a positive environment.
  • A balanced diet.
  • Staying hydrated.

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