STAR/CST Tips and Scoring Chart


Test Taking Tips:


1.            Read the questions before reading the passage.

2.            For reading passages, look for key words in the question, such as who, what, when, where, 

               why and how, that tell you what to look for.

3.            Read all the choices before choosing your answer.  Sometimes there is more than one correct 

               answer and you will need to choose “All of the above.”

4.            Eliminate answers you know are not right.

5.            When answering questions about a reading passage, look back at the passage to help you with

               the answer.  You don’t need to rely on memory.


·          Answers about when and where the story takes place are often found at the beginning

·          Answers about a problem in the story are usually found in the middle

·          Answers about how the problem was resolved are frequently found at the end


6.           If you come to a word in a reading passage you don’t know, look for context clues; other

              words in the sentence or paragraph that help to define or explain the unknown word.

7.           Don’t keep changing your answer; usually your first choice is the right one.

8.           Watch out for negative words in the directions, such as NOT or OPPOSITE.  These words often

              appear in bold or italic type, or in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.

9.           When asked to choose a word to complete a sentence, try out all the answer choices in the

              sentence.  Don’t rush to fill in the blank - you might get tricked by words that are similar but

              have different meanings.

10.        On the STAR test, guess if you do not know the answer.  Don’t leave questions blank.

11.        MAKE SURE that you are bubbling in the answer on the correct number.  If you skip a problem,

            make sure that you skip it on the answer key or all the answers that follow will be on the wrong

            number.  Periodically double-check what number you are on, even if you haven’t skipped any




CST Performance Levels


                            Far Below Basic      Below Basic             Basic                Proficient             Advanced            





















**Each question on the STAR is worth approximately 5-8 points**


You can review your 2009 scores and process:  How many more questions would you need to answer correctly to move up a “Performance Level”?


In Math:______ more questions would do it.

In English:______ more questions would do