A Guide to the STAR Math Test for 3rd and 4th Grade 2023
Updated March 17, 2023
Math can be a challenging subject for students of all ages. However, children in the 3rd and 4th grades face many new variables, making it that much harder for them to keep their progress smooth and worry-free.
With the valid and reliable STAR math test, your child's math skills can be assessed in a matter of minutes, so you and your child will know the problems they are facing regarding their math skills.
Here is a comprehensive guide on STAR math tests for 3rd and 4th-grade students.
What Are STAR Math Assessments?
STAR Math assessments are a type of aptitude test that provides an accurate picture of students' math skill levels.
Apart from testing current knowledge, STAR Math tests can also monitor changes in learning patterns and allow for the setting of criteria for making decisions regarding the further development of your child's skill set.
By providing predictions about future performance, the issues of students with at-risk criteria can be addressed effectively.
STAR Math assessments are computer-adaptive tests. This means that they are run by a program that recognizes aptitude patterns and continually adapts the test to these patterns as your child resolves one problem after another.
Consequently, if your child successfully resolves the current math problem, the difficulty of the next one will increase. If they can’t resolve an issue, the difficulty of the next one will decrease.
All questions are multiple choice, with three-to-four possible answers, involving subjects such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry and statistics. The students must take the test without a teacher's involvement – just with minimal supervision.
They are allowed to have paper and pens or pencils during testing. They can use these to resolve math problems, though they are encouraged to do it without additional aid.
What Is on a STAR Math Test for 3rd and 4th Grade?
STAR Math tests for the 3rd and 4th grades have some fundamental elements.
Getting your child to familiarize themselves with the type of content and the structure of these tests can help raise their confidence levels, which increases their chances of doing well on the test.
The test consists of 34 multiple choice questions, which students are typically required to complete within 20 to 30 minutes. Some of the questions are timed to ensure the tests are completed within this timeframe.
Overall, the STAR Math tests cover the following topics:
Numbers and Operations
This tests your child's ability to recognize basic arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.
It also measures whether your child can use them appropriately to solve problems.
This assesses your child's basic arithmetic skills, referring to their knowledge about variables, equations, coordinate systems and more calculations.
Geometry and Measurement
This part tests the student's understanding of the processes needed for identifying and measuring common and complex shapes, including angles and lines.
It also covers their understanding of the connection between the structure and the function of these shapes and their ability to use different units and make conversions.
Data, Statistics and Probability
This will test your child's knowledge in analyzing data represented in graphs, tables and charts and making these by themselves. They’ll do this by using statistical terms like mean and median. Range averages may also be tested.
These topics are designed to evaluate the child's general math skills and provide a more accurately targeted learning plan for each child.
Moreover, the STAR Math test can provide performance predictions regarding standardized state testing. An above-average score is a good indicator of the student's readiness to be selected into an accelerated math program.
How to Prepare for a STAR Math Test for the 3rd and 4th Grade in 2023
Your child's teacher will provide instructions for preparing your child for a STAR Math test. You will need to explain to your child that they must complete this test by giving it the proper attention as they would do any school assignment.
Here are some general suggestions for preparing your child for a STAR Math test for the 3rd and the 4th grade. Each of them has a specific purpose and a method you can follow for better results.
These are just some of the most common methods to improve a child's math skills at home. Naturally, there are many other strategies you can employ, but keep in mind that not all of them work with all children.
Step 1. Get Them to Do Everyday Calculations
The simplest way to get your child interested in solving math problems is to show them how they can use this skill in everyday life.
Next time you are grocery shopping together, get the child to add up the prices of the items you are putting in the basket and ask them to calculate how much the bill will be.
Or, if you are buying a new rug or furniture, ask the child to help you measure the space needed for the item.
You can even make this a game with rewards. They may find calculating surface areas in the classroom boring, but they will definitely be interested in it if it involves a little bit of fun.
Step 2. Use Online Math Games
If you are out of ideas on how to get your child to focus on resolving specific math problems, you can always turn to the internet for a solution.
After all, it contains plenty of math games for each age level. Some of these are even based on real-life games, except your child can play them by themselves.
That being said, it's a good idea to do a little research on the different types of games to see which work best for your child's current aptitude in math.
You may want to ask your child's math teacher to see if they can recommend some suitable online games.
If you want 12-month access to all the practice resources for this test, our partner TestPrep-Online.com offers a Family Membership.
Family Membership gives you access to all the TestPrep-Online resources for the next 12 months. You will also get two separate accounts, which can be very helpful if you have two children preparing for their tests.
Step 3. Play Mathematical Games
There are plenty of games you can play with your child to help them hone their math skills and have lots of fun in the process. You may use your child's school supplies, art supplies or even common household items.
For example, folding paper into shapes can make them discover symmetry, and you may end up with some unique decorations.
You can also go on a measurement hunt around your home. Just make a list of measurements you want your child to find, give them a few measuring tools and let the fun begin.
Get a deck of cards, and have your child pull out cards one by one. They can even play this game with a classmate or a friend of a similar age.
Ask them to build the highest number to the thousandth place by writing each number down on a piece of paper.
The factor game is a similar competitive game. It involves writing numbers down from 1 to 30 and asking a child to choose a number. Then another child should mark the remaining factors of that number. The game continues until no unmarked numbers remain.
Making your own game supplies is another option. Cut craft paper into playing card formats and write or print fractions on the cards.
Shuffle the cards, then get your child to start pulling out cards and arranging them in ascending order in front of them. This also works for expanded forms, except the cards should contain whole numbers, and your child should add a few of them together.
Step 4. Complete STAR Math Practice Tests
Lastly, it's recommended to have your child complete a few STAR math practice tests to see how they will fare on the STAR test.
Here is a short sample test you can get your child to do:
1. Select the expanded form of 4,987:
a) 4,000 + 900 + 80 + 7
b) 4,000 + 900 + 70 + 8
c) 4,000 + 700 + 80 + 9
d) 4,000 + 800 + 90 + 7
2. Find the value of the missing number:
68 + ? = 85
3. If a car travels 55 miles on one gallon of gas, how many miles can it travel using 30 gallons of gas?
4. Write ¾ as a decimal.
Step 5. Use Several Learning Methods and Make Them Enjoyable
Some interactive online games use animation and clever design to retain children’s attention and help them progress with their basic math skills.
However, you don't want your child to be distracted by them, so you may want to combine their use with other educational exercises that motivate your child to solve math problems.
Getting your child to improve their basic math skills may take some time and effort. However, if you make the exercises enjoyable, they will learn much easier.
This method is particularly great for underperforming students, as it helps them to stay committed so they can perform better on their next STAR Math test by reaching the appropriate grade goals.
Additional Tips for Preparing Your Child
Get Plenty of Rest
A child will perform best on a STAR test as they perform best in school, by attending school regularly, having plenty of rest and eating healthy meals.
For the best performance, your child should get a good night’s sleep before the STAR math assessment.
The amount of sleep a person gets has a proven effect on their cognitive functions needed to resolve even simple math problems. For optimal cognitive functions, children in the 3rd and 4ths grades should have at least 10 hours of quality sleep every night.
Having enough rest will also decrease their anxiety levels. If they feel agitated about the assessment before going to bed, talk to them and reassure them that they will do well on the test.
Explain to them that it's important for them to give their best effort, no matter how challenging the test feels.
Give Them Extra Support on Test Day
Prepare some comfortable clothes for them to wear and put their favorite snack into their bag to show additional support.
On the day of the test, make sure your child wakes up on time to avoid arriving late, as this can upset their focus.
Have them eat a nutritious breakfast without too much sugar to prevent drowsiness.
If your child wears a hearing aid, glasses or any other assistive device, remind them to wear it in school, particularly during the testing.
Raising the child's confidence levels with a few encouraging words can help send them off to school in good spirits.
Avoid scheduling any doctor's appointments on the day of the assessment.
Talk to Them Once It’s Over
Talk to your child about the testing when they arrive home from school. Ask them how they feel they did on the test, but reiterate that, whatever the results, they did great.
You should also ask them if they find any part of the test particularly challenging and whether they have learned something about the testing.
Discuss the Results with Them
Your child's teacher will soon share the test results with you, explaining how your child did on the test and what you can do to improve their math skills.
Make sure to discuss the results with your child too. Third and 4th graders may yet comprehend the entire purpose of the testing, so you should explain to your child the meaning of the results in a language they can understand.
Gently point out the areas in which they had success, then move on to the ones that may need improvement by giving your child two to three examples for overcoming these areas.
Their teacher can also help with this, and you may want to consult them regularly and let them know how the child fares with their exercises.
Frequently Asked Questions
The STAR tests are often used to screen students for their math skills. These assessments help determine whether their current program is adequate for obtaining the required achievement levels.
They are also a great way to monitor children's progress even after placing them into another program – whether accelerated or otherwise.
Teachers can use STAR tests to estimate the children's standard comprehension levels required by the state they live in and predict their performance on state tests.
The child's further instructional levels may depend on this, as this factor determines the pace at which the students are ready to learn.
Third graders are expected to score at least 501 points on their test at the beginning of a school year and a minimum of 534 points at the end of it.
For 4th graders, these numbers range from at least 534 at the start of the year and 594 by the time they are finishing it.
Students are also required to be in the 95 percentile with their STAR math scores compared to their peers.
With its core learning progression strategy, STAR Math tests create empirically valuable data that provide the full pictures of children's learning advances in math.
This allows teachers to screen their entire class in 20 to 30 minutes and uncover which students need additional help to meet the state-allocated criteria.
It also helps filter out those ready to be placed in a program for students with higher proficiency levels.
STAR Math tests provide an actionable assessment plan through which the math skills growth of each child can be monitored continually. This means any necessary changes can be made in due time.
After establishing the areas a student’s math skills can be improved via a STAR Math test, the student, parents and teacher can work together to further develop these areas.
The teacher can design additional assignments the student needs to complete, in and out of the school environment.
Parents can also find a way to improve their children's aptitude by challenging them through games that require solving math problems.
There are many games that can help students understand the patterns they need to recognize to solve the problem, including card games, board games and those that simply require some household supplies and a bit of creativity.
STAR Math assessments are conducted through a scaled score system, which is based on the number of correct answers given on the test and the difficulty of the questions the child can resolve.
STAR Math scales have a range from 0 to 1400. Apart from determining your child's aptitude in math, some STAR math scores will also compare their performance to predetermined criteria.
One of these is comparing a child's performance to the results of the other students in the same grade. The data gathered by this method is expressed in percentile and refers to the number of students who performed worse.
Math skills are essential in day-to-day life, and ensuring your child acquires them will prepare them for their future.
Measuring your child's advancement through a STAR Math test is a great way to stay on top of their progress.
If they learn how to make accurate predictions in 3rd and 4th grade, this will make it much easier for them to solve more complex issues later on.