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

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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.

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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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