Difference Between TAKS and STAAR


STAAR is the new standardized test in the state of Texas that will assess the knowledge and the skills of the students in elementary and secondary school classes from grade 3 to grade 11. It replaces the old standardized assessment test called TAKS. It becomes necessary for students to know the differences between TAKS and STAAR to improve their scores in STAAR. This article takes a closer look at TAKS and STAAR to come up with their differences.

Texas Education Agency (TEA) started making use of STAAR and not TAKS, to assess the knowledge and skills of students from grade 3-11 from the academic session 2011-2012. STAAR is an acronym that stands for State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. STAAR is the successor to TAKS, also called Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. It is being introduced in line with the requirements set forth in 80th and 81st Texas legislatures. The new system will assess the readiness of the graduating High School students to ensure that the students of Texas are competitive with the students of other states and also with international students.

In TAKS, a student could take as long as he wanted to complete the test. He could also choose not to answer some of the questions. There is no time pressure, and the student does not need to think a lot. In comparison, a student has to think critically and answer more questions in less time in STAAR. The exam is timed, and the student has to write three essays in different formats. The new tests are more rigorous and assess a deeper level of understanding of the students. STAAR measures readiness to graduate to a higher grade and it focuses on the content that has been taught the previous year rather than on multiple years as was the focus in TAKS. In most of the subjects, STAAR has more questions than TAKS. The new test is also more subjective than TAKS as there are fewer multiple choice questions in STAAR.


• STAAR assesses readiness to graduate to a higher grade whereas TAKS assesses knowledge and skill gained over multiple years.

• STAAR is more subjective than TAKS.

• STAAR is believed to be more rigorous than TAKS.

• There is a time limit in STAAR that was not there in TAKS.

• There are fewer multiple choice questions in STAAR than TAKS.

• STAAR is believed to be harder than TAKS.

• TAKS was not timed while there is a 4 hour time limit in STAAR.