Waco, TX (FOX 44) — In less than a week all schools across Texas will take the first of the newly formatted STAAR tests.

The test redesign passed in 2021 through House Bill 3261 now requires the exam to be completed online.

Killeen and Marlin ISD have been working nonstop to prepare students for the STAAR test.

Both districts are providing tutoring hours and fun ways to engage.

“For my sixth grade math class, those students are excited and ready,” said Marlin ISD superintendent Darryl Henson Ph.D. “I’ve always told them that the test that I give them will be harder than any test that they will ever take in their life.”

Henson says last school year Marlin ISD scores jumped from a 56 to an 86 on the star test assessment.

This year Henson wants to keep the momentum going.

“Having to answer questions on a computer and not the traditional format of paper and pencil has been a challenge, but we have trained, we have exposed them, and ultimately, I do feel like our children are prepared,” said Henson.

Marlin has completed all of its assessments online this year to prepare for the STAAR test.

The district also has a 1:1 technology initiative so every student can practice in advance.

“Student achievement. We want our students to perform well, so we want to provide them with every opportunity that we can so that they can perform at their best,” said Killeen ISD, Manor Middle School campus instructional specialist Zendria Anderson.

Anderson and her colleagues Latoya Bobbitt and Megan Schneider are on the same page when tackling the STAAR test.

This month they started STAAR Jam sessions on the weekends so students can learn in a fun way while preparing for the test.

“Our district instructional specialists put together a scavenger hunt for each of the core content areas that would be tested, and that scavenger hunt consisted of the tools that students would need to navigate through each of the tests,” said Anderson.

Even though STAAR testing starts on Tuesday, Manor Middle School will still hold STAAR jam sessions each Saturday this month from 9 – 1 p-m.