“What is the CST/STAR?” The California Standards Test (CST) / Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) The CST test is a standardized test. That means all 2nd -11th grade public school students in California take the same test, at the same time, in the same way. Approximately 1.5 million students will take the CST this year. The CST will test 4 areas English, Math, History/Social Science, and Science.
6th Grade Language Arts• Word Analysis 13• Reading Comprehension 17• Literary Response and Analysis 12• Writing Strategies 17• Written Conventions 16• TOTAL 75
6th Grade Mathematics• Number Sense – Ratios, Proportions, Percentages, and Negative Fractions 15• Number Sense – Operations and Problem Solving with Fractions 10• Algebra and Functions 19• Measurement and Geometry 10• Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability 11 – TOTAL 65
7th Grade English Language Arts• Word Analysis 11• Reading Comprehension 18• Literary Response and Analysis 13• Writing Strategies 17• Written Conventions 16 TOTAL 75
7th Grade Mathematics• Number Sense – Rational Numbers 14• Number Sense – Exponents, Powers, and Roots 8• Algebra and Functions – Quantitative Relationships and Evaluating Expressions 10• Algebra and Functions – Multi-step Problems, Graphing, and Functions 15• Measurement and Geometry 13• Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability 5 – TOTAL 65
8th Grade Language Arts• Word Analysis 9• Reading Comprehension 18• Literary Response and Analysis 15• Writing Strategies 17• Written Conventions 16 – TOTAL 75
“Why do we spend so much time reading and reviewing the directions?”
“Why do we spend so much time reviewing the directions?” If you do not understand how to take the test, YOU could make a major mistake that could negatively affect your score. If you read and follow the directions your score will be higher than if you do not read the directions. It is as simple as that.
“Why do we spend so much time reviewing the directions?”If you have any questions about the test ASK THE TEACHER. It’s our job to answer the questions you have.Teachers cannot give you the answers, but we can explain what the test is asking you to do.
“Can my test score be lowered if I do not bubble in my answer the right way?”
“Can my test score be lowered if I do not bubble in my answer the right way?” o YES! Make sure you are bubbling in the answer completely, and not outside the lines. o Use a dark, #2 pencil. o Keep track of answers you skip . Make sure your questions and answers match up on the answer sheet. o Stop after a few questions (5,10, 15, so on) and check to make sure your test booklet and answer sheet match up.
“Why do we have to take these tests?” • The state of California wants to know how much you know compared to other students in the same grade. • Your teachers need to know what you know and what you still need to learn. That way, they will be able to teach you better.
“How well are we expected to do on the test?” • You should always do your best on tests and assignments. Expect Excellence! • This test is what we use to decide which classes you will take next school year. • You should use this to show yourself and your parents how good a student you really are.
“How well are we expected to do on the English Language Arts CST?”• Scores range from 150-600• Far Below Basic Score = – 6th: 150-267 – 7th: 150-262 – 8th: 150-265• Below Basic Score = – 6th: 268-299 – 7th: 263-299 – 8th: 266-299
“How well are we expected to do on the English Language Arts CST?”• Scores range from 150-600• Basic Score = – 6th: 300-349 – 7th: 300-349 – 8th: 300-349• Proficient Score = – 6th: 350-393 – 7th: 350-400 – 8th: 350-394
“How well are we expected to do on the English Language Arts CST?”• Scores range from 150-600• Advanced Score = – 6th: 394-600 – 7th: 401-600 – 8th: 395-600• Our goal is for ALL students to achieve at the Proficiency Level and above.
“How well are we expected to do on the Mathematics CST?”• Scores range from 150-600• Far Below Basic Score = – 6th: 150-252 – 7th: 150-256 – 8th (General Math): 150-256 – 8th (Algebra): 150-252• Below Basic Score = – 6th: 253-299 – 7th: 257-299 – 8th (General Math): 257-299 – 8th (Algebra): 253-299
“How well are we expected to do on the Mathematics CST?”• Scores range from 150-600• Basic Score = – 6th: 300-349 – 7th: 300-349 – 8th (General Math): 300-34956 – 8th (Algebra): 300-349• Proficient Score = – 6th: 350-414 – 7th: 350-413 – 8th (General Math): 350-413 – 8th (Algebra): 350-427
“How well are we expected to do on the Mathematics CST?”• Scores range from 150-600• Advanced Score = – 6th: 415-600 – 7th: 414-600 – 8th (General Math): 414-600 – 8th (Algebra): 428-600• Our goal is for ALL students to achieve at the Proficiency Level and above.
What’s the difference between my “Scale Score” and my “Raw Score?”• Your “Raw Score” is the total number of questions you answered correctly.• Your “Scale Score” is the CST score that is reported• You can find out how many questions you need to answer correctly for each performance level by examining the “CST score conversion table” (ask your teacher)
Remember, this test is used to measure what you do know, not to make you feel stupidbecause of what you don’t know.
More commonly asked questions regarding the CST.
Getting Stuck“What should I do if Iget stuck on a question? Should I work at it fora while, or should I skipit?”
Getting Stuck• Skip it. If you don’t get it within a minute you are wasting time.• Leave that space blank and move on to the next problem.• When you get to the end of the test, come back and use the strategies for guessing.• If you run out of time, make sure you answer every question.
Guessing“If I don’t know the answer should I guess, or is it better to leave the answer blank?”
Guessing• Guess, but only if you don’t know the answer.• You are not marked down for wrong answers, so a guess is better than a blank space.• Eliminate any obviously wrong answers first, your chances of guessing right are better if you do.
Guessing• Think very carefully on questions with “never” and “always.”• Once you guess, stick with your answer. Only change if you are absolutely sure you are wrong.• If you get 5 “All or None of the above” in a row….you may want to go back and double check.
Guessing• Many questions have the word “not,” for example, “which of the above is not an example…• Be sure not to miss the word “not.”
“What if there is a question we haven’t covered in class?”
“What if there is a question we haven’t covered in class?”• That is expected. The CST is designed to test state standards and there is a LOT to remember.• Since the test is administered before the end of the year, some of the information may not have been covered yet in your classes.• Do your best on what you do know and remember from class.• It is okay.
“What happens if I am sick and miss part of the test?”
You better be really Sick! • Do your best to be here every day. • You will have to make up the test eventually, so make it if you can. • If you are too ill to effectively take the test, stay home.
Test anxiety! • It is normal to be nervous. • Just slow down and relax. • Think of something peaceful. • Very few people get it all right. • Remember: No one, that we know of, has ever died from taking the CST. • Take the tests one day at a time. Concentrate on English while taking the Reading section and Math while taking the Mathematics portion, etc.
Fight Test Anxiety!• If you have a positive attitude going into the test, chances are you will do better.• Having a positive attitude will only make you feel better, it can’t make you do worse.
What can I do to be physically ready?• Sleep! You need to be rested and ready for the challenge of the new day.• This does not mean sleep in and get to school late, it means go to bed earlier.• Eat a good breakfast (not one full of empty calories).• Stay away from soda, candy and coffee. They will make you too hyper to take the test.
How Can I Prepare For the CST?• Pay attention in class• Carefully work through the CST Release Test Questions and the standards your teachers have been going over with you.• Analyze the Released Items to become familiar with the format of the CST.
Tip #1-Read the question first!• When you read the questions first you prepare your mind for reading the selection.• Study any graphs, charts and/or diagrams.• Get an idea of what the passage will be about.• Pay attention to any vocabulary words they give. Write them on your scratch paper.• Make sure you understand what each question is asking you.
Read the passage carefully! • Read the selection carefully, twice if necessary. • Use your scratch paper to write down any important words. • Use your scratch paper to take notes about important ideas.
Look for Clues!• Check the text and question for clues to the meaning.• Look for relationships between words in definition questions.• Break down large words to figure out their meaning.• Use the reading strategies you learned in class.
Answer the Questions!• Eliminate any obviously wrong answers.• Choose the best answer from the remaining choices.• Bubble in the answer on your answer sheet; make sure you bubble in the correct space.
Analogies• Open is to close as up is to Down• Back is to rear as under is to Below• Hand is to write as foot is to Kick -Or-• bed : sleep :: chair : Sit• Fish : school :: student : ClassAnalogies can be written either way.
Analogy Tips• Figure out the relationship between the two words; try to use them in a sentence.• Choose the pair of words that best fits the original short sentence.• Consider all 5 choices before you pick your answer, the first one you pick may not be the BEST answer.• Bubble in the best answer on the answer sheet.
Sentence CompletionThe Civil War documentary did a good job of showing the ___________ of the battlefield.a) stellarb) aqueductc) carnaged) recapitulatee) asteroid
Sentence Completion Fill in the blank• Try to answer the question first, without looking at the choices.• Look at the choices, chances are the right answer will be obvious.• Pay attention to key words such as not, never, although, because, however, if, but, and since.
Don’t Give Up Too Quickly!• Don’t give up without going part way. You may be able to eliminate some wrong answers.
Get Back to Basics!• Many items on the test are simply checking to see if you know what the vocabulary and if you know how to perform basic tasks.
Get a Direction!• Think…What is this problem asking me to solve???• Think…What steps would I use to get there?• Think…What tools can I use?• Remember…there are often many ways to solve the problem.
Check Your Work!• When you finish you’re the last question, go back and check your work for careless mistakes. Sometimes this buys you the one or two questions that can make a difference in proficiency level.
Check Your Work!• The STAR portion of the CST is untimed, so relax and enjoy! Take a deep breath, go back, and do your best. The results affect your future, your school and your community.
If can eliminate wrong answers or if you don’t have a clue...Guess!• If you can eliminate two obviously wrong answers you have a 50-50 chance of guessing the right one…do you feel lucky?
If can eliminate wrong answers or if you don’t have a clue...Guess!• Remember, guessing is not as good as reasoning out the correct answer, so try your best before the last resort… guessing.
Other Strategies…• Thoroughly study any graphs, charts or diagrams. Think…What is this table or chart telling me?
Solve the problem!• Use the process of elimination. Substitute in the answers until the correct answer is found.• MAKE SURE YOU USE YOUR SCRATCH PAPER. DO NOT WRITE ON THE TEST!!!
Evaluate and Check the Solution• Does the solution answer the question?• Does the solution make sense? In other words, is your answer reasonable?• Check your solution among the answer choices.
Evaluate and Check the Solution• Remember to eliminate wrong answers if you need to guess.• BUBBLE IN THE CORRECT ANSWER ON YOUR ANSWER SHEET.
The Goal for You is to Achieve Proficiency on the CST !• All 2nd -11th grade students will take this exam during the months of April & May• If we begin preparing for it now, you are sure to succeed.
Do Your Best!If you want:• To have the option to choose an elective like music, theater, or dance,• To have more equipment in the school,• To have teachers that are happy (or at least less grumpy),• To graduate with a high school diploma,• To have more fun days and school trips,Then you need to . . .