An Examination of High-frequency Words in the STAAR End-of-course Exams and in an English Language Arts Textbook



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Over the past couple of decades, the state of Texas has made numerous amendments to its standardized tests in an attempt to abide by legislation changes as well as its own shifting standards. The latest administration of the STAAR standardized end-of-course exams was released in the Fall of 2013, along with expectations that it fare more successfully than the previous edition of the STAAR. In order to assess one aspect of the test?s similarity to what is taught in the classroom, an attempt was made to compare the vocabulary of the STAAR Reading/Writing end-of-course exam to that of commonly used English Language Arts textbooks in Texas. After comparing the most frequently used words in the textbook and the corresponding STAAR exams, it was determined that there is not enough evidence to cite the textbook as the main reason students are failing the STAAR English Language Arts end-of-course exams.