AUSTIN (AP) – Students across Texas are beginning STAAR standardized tests this week.

Exams start Monday for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness in English I and III writing.

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On Tuesday, students take 4th grade writing exams; math exams for grades 5 and 8; and hold the first day of writing tests for seventh graders. Subsequent tests will follow throughout the week with Friday as a makeup day.

STAAR is replacing the much-maligned Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

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Its scores had been set to count 15 percent of ninth graders final grades in core subjects. But the state decided to allow districts to defer that requirement for one year.

STAAR costs $90 million annually to administer, or $3 to $7 per test given. That’s slightly more than its predecessor cost.

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