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Shooting STAAR

Jill Mahony, Staffer

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With star testing coming up this week, all Highland Park freshmen and sophomore English teachers have been preparing students for how to succeed while taking these standardized tests.  

My English teacher, Mr. Hall, has provided our class with some of his helpful tips on how to not only survive, but thrive while taking the grammar portion of the STAAR tests.

  1. DO NOT trust your ear.  The STAAR test makers will place grammar that sounds wrong, but is correct in order to see your understanding of the rules.  Use this flowchart to help you spot the errors. 
  2. Consistency is another key aspect of doing well in the STAAR.  The next flowchart is based off of “The Big Three”.  That is the three mistakes that are most likely to be what is wrong with the sentence. 
  3. When a verb is underlined… find its subject and make sure they agree.  Singular with singular and plural with plural.
  4. Ignore the extra stuff between the subject and the verb (trim the fat).
  5. Always pair collective nouns (example… class) with singular verbs.
  6. If a subject is joined by “or” or “nor”, then make sure the verb agrees with the number closest to it.
  7. Pronouns have to agree with the nouns which they replace.


If you follow those rules for grammar STAAR, then you should do better than you have done in the past.  Good luck!

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Shooting STAAR