Manipulating Test Materials

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 Description of Designated Support

This accommodation, or designated support, allows the test administrator to physically manipulate test materials, online tools, and equipment for a student who is unable to do so independently.



For a student who meets the eligibility criterion, this designated support may be used on:

  • State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®)
  • STAAR Spanish
  • Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS)


 Student Eligibility Criterion

  • A student may use this designated support if that student routinely and effectively uses it during classroom instruction and classroom testing.


 Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • For a student not receiving special education or Section 504 services, the decision is made by the appropriate campus-level team (e.g., Response to Intervention [RtI] team, student assistance team) and documented according to district policies. The decision should be based on the eligibility criterion and aimed at addressing a student's consistent academic struggle in a specific area even after intensive instruction and remediation.

  • For a student receiving Section 504 services, the decision is made by the Section 504 committee based on the eligibility criterion and is documented in the student's individual accommodation plan (IAP).
  • For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee based on the eligibility criterion and is documented in the student's individualized education program (IEP).
  • In the case of an English learner (EL) with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group in conjunction with the student's language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC). The decision is to be documented by the LPAC in the student's permanent record file and by the other applicable group, as described previously.
  • After state testing, DS must be recorded in the ACCOMM. field on the STAAR answer document. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student. For students who test online, the Other Designated Supports field should be updated under the Non-Embedded Supports panel in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE).



This designated support includes but is not limited to

  • turning test booklet pages per student directions;
  • positioning the ruler per student directions;
  • operating technology per student directions, such as using the mouse to navigate the pages and operate the tools in an online administration;
  • highlighting per student directions; and
  • positioning mathematics manipulatives per student directions.


 Special Instructions/Considerations

  1. A student who uses this designated support may complete the test in a separate setting to eliminate distractions to other students and to ensure test confidentiality.
  2. The student must give specific directions about how the test administrator should manipulate test materials, online tools, and equipment. The test administrator may not provide feedback regarding the correctness of the student's directions.
  3. Manipulating test materials must be performed by a trained test administrator who has signed an Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality. Responding to test questions, making notes about test questions, and discussing the content of the test at any time are prohibited.
  4. If students need their responses to test questions or the writing prompt transcribed onto an answer document or into the Test Delivery System (TDS), refer to the Basic Transcribing or Complex Transcribing  policies.
  5. For TELPAS grades 2–12 assessments, manipulating test materials apply only to the online and paper reading test and the online listening and speaking test. This designated support does not apply to any holistically rated domain, since those are assessed during authentic classroom activities and the same accommodations routinely used during classroom instruction are acceptable.
  6. For situations when a student experiences an unexpected or emergency situation (e.g., broken arms, broken glasses) immediately before an assessment, refer to the instructions for Accommodations in Unexpected or Emergency Situations.

 Supporting Resources

For assistance with test administration functions for all Texas assessments, contact Texas Testing Support at 833-601-8821 or

If you have any questions, contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536, and ask to speak with your Accommodations Task Force representative.

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