STAAR Grade 3 Reading Practice Test Questions

Questions 1 – 3 pertain to the following passage:

Snacks Made Easy By Martha Gold

After school, Mika came running from the school bus into her house. 
Mom, I’m starving,” she said, dropping her school bag on the kitchen floor and opening the refrigerator. “What do we have to eat?”
“Not much,” said her mother. “I have to go shopping today.”
“Do we still have those cheese crackers?” asked Mika. 
“We’re all out,” said Mika’s mother. “If you want, we can make some.”
“MAKE them?” asked Mika. “You mean with cheese and stuff?”
“There is a recipe I want to try,” said Mika’s mother. “Why don’t we make some? Then we can go shopping.” 
“But I want something NOW,” whined Mika. 
“Have some fruit,” said her mother, holding out an apple.
“Okay,” said Mika, taking the apple. “Now, how do you make these crackers?”
Mika’s mother put a sheet of paper on the kitchen table in front of her. On the paper was a recipe, or directions, on how to make cheese crackers.

Cheese Crackers


  • 1-cup all-purpose flour and a little
  • Extra flour to roll out dough
  • 1/2-teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • 8 ounces grated cheese
  • (Cheddar or Monterey Jack)
  • 1/4-cup of water

Cooking Utensils: 

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 measuring cup
  • 1/2-teaspoon measure
  • Mixing spoon
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • 2 table knives or potato masher


  • Heat the oven to 350° F.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces.
  • Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Add the butter and cut it into the flour using two table knives or a potato masher. Cut until the pieces of butter are smaller than a pea.
  • Add the water gradually, one tablespoon at a time. Mix it in until the dough sticks together in a ball.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator for half-an-hour.
  • Sprinkle flour on a clean table or on the counter. Put the dough in the middle of the flour.
  • Roll out the dough until it is as thick as a regular-sized magazine. Cut out shapes using small cookie cutters.
  • Place the shapes on a greased, non-stick cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crackers are golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!

1. What is the title of this story?

  1. Snacks Made Easy
  2. Cheese Crackers
  3. By Martha Gold
  4. Snacks Made Easy By Martha Gold

2. Why did Mika’s mother want to make cheese crackers?

  1. Because Mika was hungry
  2. Because they were out of cheese crackers
  3. Because Mika’s mother wanted to try a new recipe
  4. Because Mika didn’t want an apple

3. What does the word “ingredient” mean?

  1. A statement that tells how to do something
  2. One of the items used to make a food. 
  3. The temperature at which the food should bake
  4. A name for the recipe

Questions 4 -7 pertain to the following passage:

An Unforgettable Day at the History Museum by Martha Gold

1. Hakeem’s third-grade class takes a field trip every spring to the county historical museum. The county historian gives the class a tour and afterward sets the students loose to explore the museum. Hakeem’s older brother, Gerard, went two years earlier. Gerard said the museum was great except for one room.

“Watch out for the room with the old war uniforms, it’s haunted,” said Gerard at dinner one night. “What do you mean, haunted?” asked Hakeem.

2. “We heard funny noises in the room,” said Gerard. “We looked around to see if anyone else was there, but it was empty. Then Sammy swore he saw the eyes of one of the costume dummies move around, as if it were watching us. We were so scared we left before we got to the end of the exhibit.”

“Gerard, stop scaring your brother,” said Hakeem’s mother. “Hakeem, there is no such thing as ghosts. I’m sure there is a logical explanation for those noises. As for the eyes moving, that’s just Sammy’s imagination getting out of hand.”

3. Stories about ghosts usually do not frighten Hakeem. He laughed at all the ghost stories his counselor told at camp last summer around the campfire. He watched scary movies with his babysitter and felt fine. But something about Gerard’s words made Hakeem feel uneasy. Gerard does not usually joke around. Hakeem doubted that Gerard was just trying to scare him. Instead, Gerard was probably trying to warn him.

4. On the day of the field trip, Hakeem asked his teacher, Mr. Orwell, about Gerard’s story as they rode the bus to the museum.

“It’s an old building,” said Mr. Orwell. “The floor boards creak and I’m sure there are other parts of the museum that make strange noises. It’s not haunted, just a little creepy.” 
“What about the eyes watching Sammy?” asked Hakeem.

Mr. Orwell laughed. “Sammy’s got a great imagination,” he said. “I’m sure that’s what made him think the statue was watching him.”

5. After the tour, Hakeem walked around the museum with his best friend Malcolm. Malcolm wanted to see the old war uniforms, but Hakeem was nervous. Finally, he agreed to follow his friend into the room. There were just a few standing lamps and one small bulb on the ceiling to provide light. Ten life-size dummies, or mannequins, each one wearing a different war uniform, stood in the dim room. As Hakeem walked by a mannequin, the overhead light flickered. At that moment, Hakeem looked at the mannequin’s face. The flickering light made the shadows over its eyes jump. Hakeem gasped.

6. “What is it?” asked Malcolm. 
“Watch,” said Hakeem. They stood in front of the mannequin and waited. After a minute, the light overhead flickered. 
“Whoa!” said Malcolm. “That looked like he was shifting his eyes!”
“That explains what Sammy saw,” said Hakeem. “What about the noises?”

7. Malcolm started leaning from side to side and walked around the room like a duck. Each time he shifted his weight to one side, a floorboard creaked. As he wobbled around the room, the floorboards creaked and moaned.

Hakeem laughed. “This place is great!” he said. “I’m so glad my brother didn’t scare me away!

4. What did Hakeem’s brother Gerard warn him about?

  1. The old war uniforms room
  2. The old records room
  3. The old costume dummies room
  4. The old museum room

5. What made the mannequin’s eyes look like they were moving?

  1. The few standing lamps
  2. The creaky floorboards
  3. The flickering overhead bulb
  4. The old uniform

6. Why did Hakeem laugh in paragraph seven?

  1. Because Malcolm walked like a duck in the old uniform room
  2. Because the old uniform room was haunted
  3. Because his brother, Gerard, lied to him about the old uniform room
  4. Because he found out the old uniform room was not haunted

7. Which statement in paragraph 2 shows that Hakeem’s mother does not trust Sammy?

  1. Gerard, stop scaring your brother
  2. Hakeem, there is no such thing as ghosts
  3. I’m sure there is a logical explanation to those noises
  4. That’s just Sammy’s imagination getting out of hand

Questions 8 -10 pertain to the following passage:

The State Fair of Texas

Manuela wrote the following journal entry about her visit to the annual State Fair in Dallas, Texas. 
October 11, 2009

My father woke me up early, at 6 a.m., so we could get to the Texas State Fair in time to get a good parking spot. This was my first visit to the fair. I am eight-years-old, and I live near Dallas, where the fair is held every year from late September to early October. We quickly ate breakfast. Dad put his coffee in a thermos cup so he could finish it on the drive.

It only took us 20 minutes to get to the fairgrounds, but we had to wait for 30 minutes to get a parking space! By the time we got into the fair, it was almost 8 a.m. We were at the fair to see my cousin Gloria with her prize goats. Gloria is four years older than I am. She lives on a farm near Austin where her family raises goats and sheep. They use the animals’ milk to make cheese and the sheep’s wool to make yarn. Gloria has five goats, and she was showing two of them. Gloria’s goats are Nubian. They have short hair and very long, dangly ears. Gloria’s two goats are named Maja and Henry. Maja, a girl, is white with black and tan spots. Henry, a boy, is mostly black with white feet and a white spot on his throat.

Gloria was judged on how her goats looked and how they behaved in the ring. Gloria had washed and brushed both goats so they had very shiny coats. The goats were not very tall. Maja’s head came up to my chest, and Henry was tall enough to rest his chin on my shoulder. Gloria said they were supposed to look well fed, but not fat.

“No ribs showing and no belly sticking out,” she said as she walked Maja around the pen.

The goats also were judged on how well they behaved in front of the judges. Gloria got points if the goats followed her and did everything she told them to do. She lost points if the goats did not follow her or ran away. Gloria said that last year, her friend’s goat got only halfway around the ring before a whistle scared him and he ran back to the gate. Finally, it was time for Gloria to show her goats. She brought out Maja first. Maja was wearing a harness with a leash attached to it. Maja followed Gloria very quietly until they reached the judge’s table. Then Maja began to bleat. At first, she bleated softly, but then she got louder. By the time Gloria brought her back to the gate, Maja was bleating very loudly.

I wondered if the judges took away points if the goat was noisy while it was being shown. Henry was much better. He did everything Gloria told him to do without making a sound. I thought for sure Henry would get a prize. After Gloria was finished, we waited for the judges to announce the prizes. We were so surprised when Maja got second place!

“I guess the judges understand goat,” joked Gloria, as she showed off her prizes. Henry only got an honorable mention. We had a great time at the fair. I learned a lesson from Maja. The squeaky wheel gets the grease after all!

8. Why does Manuela most likely write this journal entry?

  1. For an assignment at school
  2. To tell her parents about the fair
  3. To remember the fair
  4. To write a story about Gloria

9. Why was Manuela sure that Henry would get a prize?

  1. Because he was so fat
  2. Because he was so quiet
  3. Because his coat was so shiny
  4. Because he was so tall

10. What does “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” mean in this story?

  1. Manuela had a great day at the fair
  2. Henry got an award for being quiet
  3. Gloria won two prizes for her goats
  4. Maja was noisy, but she still won a prize

Grade 3 Reading Answer Key

1.Answer A 
“Snacks Made Easy” is the title of the story. “Cheese Crackers” is the name of the recipe, and “By Martha Gold” tells who wrote the story.

2. Answer: C 
Mika’s mother said she had a new recipe that she wanted to try.

3. Answer: B 
The items needed to make the crackers are listed under the word “ingredients.” Therefore, “ingredients” means the items necessary to make a food or dish.

4. Answer: A 
Gerard, Hakeem’s brother, warned him about the old war uniforms room where he heard strange noises and thought he saw a mannequin’s eyes move.

5. Answer: C 
The flickering overhead light made the shadows around the mannequin’s eyes jump. This made the eyes look like they were moving.

6. Answer: D 
Hakeem laughed because he found out that what his brother thought were ghosts actually were just creaking floorboards and a flickering bulb. He laughed because there was a logical explanation for the scary parts of the room.

7. Answer: D 
That’s just Sammy’s imagination getting out of hand. This phrase tells the reader that Hakeem’s mother thinks Sammy makes up things, and she does not trust his judgment.

8. Answer: C 
To remember the fair. Journals and diaries are for the writers to remember certain events by getting their thoughts down on paper.

9. Answer: B 
Henry was quiet and did not bleat like Maja. Manuela thought he would win a prize because of his good behavior.

10. Answer: D 
The squeaky wheel in this story was Maja. Even though she was noisy in the ring, she still won a prize. Perhaps the judges indeed understood “goat”!