- Associated Press - Friday, October 16, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - State-mandated exams are getting shorter for Texas students in grades 3 to 8.

The Legislature this session approved a requirement that State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR tests, be less time-consuming for young students.

It mandates that 85 percent of students in grades 3 to 5 complete the tests in two hours, and that 85 percent of 6th, 7th and 8th graders finish their tests in three hours.

Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Friday that, next year only, the number of questions on exams in grades 3 to 8 would be cut from eight to five.

Also, 2016 STAAR writing tests for grades 4 and 7 have been reconfigured.

Data collected during testing periods next year will inform future adjustments to exams in grades 3 to 8.

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