What is CARS & STARS?

CARS & STARS is a comprehensive reading program consisting of ten levels (P-H) that allows you to identify and teach twelve reading and comprehension strategies and improve literacy results.

The program is divided into two parts: CARS (the assessment portion) and STARS (the instruction portion). Each CARS and STARS level (P-H) consists of both a Student Book and a Teacher Guide.

CARS & STARS were designed to be used together. The Placement Book places students in the correct level. The Pre-tests in CARS help teachers to diagnose problem areas with their students. STARS assists teachers to teach those strategies found lacking. Benchmarking tests and Post Tests in CARS are used to assess how goals are progressing and then to determine if goals have been achieved.

CARS & STARS is designed for students to stay on the same level for the entire year (until retesting the next year) and so throughout the year STARS instruction can be supplemented by EXTENSIONS in Reading (for students looking to further extend their knowledge) and FOCUS on Reading (for student needing extra practice on a specific strategy).

What is CARS?

The research-based Comprehensive Assessment of Reading Strategies (CARS) series helps you quickly identify which of the twelve standards-based reading comprehension strategies your students might be struggling to understand. Informed by this data, you can then provide students with targeted instruction depending on each student’s individual needs by using STARS. Using the results of the CARS pre-test, you target instruction on the essential reading comprehension strategies with the highly-scaffolded, five-part lessons in STARS.

CARS is available in print form, in a series that includes both Student Books and Teacher Guides for each level. Now, for the first time, CARS is also available online, in a digitised version available on every major platform.

CARS is the diagnostic part of the series, where students’ abilities with the reading strategies are established and documented. STARS, the second part of the program, involves instruction in each of the strategies, to improve and enhance comprehension.

What is STARS?

The research-based Strategies to Achieve Reading Success (STARS) series provides explicit direct instruction in the 12 core reading strategies tested in CARS. Each lesson is broken into five parts providing a gradual release of responsibility and increase in student confidence.

STARS supports all student learning including ELL/ESL/EAL-D learners with prior knowledge activation, explicit instruction, graphic organisers and theme-based instruction. Multiple definitions and examples of each strategy within each lesson continually reinforce understanding. The easy-to-use, informative Teacher Guide makes every teacher a reading expert, offering step-by-step instructions on administering assessments with classes and individual students, as well as a detailed breakdown of every page of the Student Books.

STARS Online content is currently being developed and will be available in 2018.

What is CARS & STARS Online?

CARS & STARS Online is a web-based reading comprehension application for students and teachers. The program is derived from the reading comprehension program CARS & STARS that is produced as a printed series featuring a student workbook and a teacher guidebook. The web application is modulated in a similar structure to the printed work, with a student subscription and a teacher subscription available.

The CARS & STARS Online: Diagnostic module of the Cars & Stars Online program recreates the reading experience of the CARS student workbook – the diagnostic and assessment portion of the program through the student subscription. Students are presented with the same stories as in the printed workbook but in a full-colour, illustrated digital format. Students read a story, using their laptop, tablet, desktop PC or smartphone they complete a series of multiple-choice questions. The module then automatically analyses the student’s answers to determine their grasp of the CARS & STARS 12 reading comprehension strategies, and delivers detailed reports of student, class or whole school performance via the teacher subscription.

A completely digital experience from reading to assessment, the CARS & STARS Online: Diagnostic module prepares students and teachers for the Instruction (STARS) module of the CARS & STARS reading comprehension program.

CARS & STARS Online: Diagnostic (CARS) is currently available, presenting the full CARS series in an exciting digital form that is accessible on all major devices and platforms. CARS & STARS Online: Instruction (STARS) is currently being developed and will be available in 2018.

What is the CARS & STARS: Online Management Tool?

The CARS & STARS: Online Management Tool is an online service used in conjunction with the printed CARS & STARS books that allows you to produce detailed reports of how your students and class progress using the CARS & STARS reading and comprehension program.

The CARS & STARS Online Management Tool automatically analyses both student performance and overall class performance per reading level, and displays individual strengths and weaknesses in the twelve reading strategies. As students’ complete lessons, teachers can input, track and analyse their results from the paper books with CARS & STARS Online for detailed assessment and reports on every student in the classroom.

Why should I use CARS & STARS Online?

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CARS & STARS Online makes teachers’ lives easier

Teachers are busy and spend a lot of time either copying answers or figuring things out. CARS & STARS Online has been designed to help make marking, tracking and generating reports quicker and more intuitive, allowing more time to concentrate on the most important element – student learning.

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Helps students achieve better results

CARS & STARS Online is designed to empower teachers to improve their students’ performance. It provides in-depth reporting related to each strategy, and suggests how teachers can further improve their students’ work in specific areas. This allows teachers to pinpoint individual student’s weaknesses and strengths.

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Engages parents with their child's education

CARS & STARS Online allows parents to keep up to date with their child's day-to-day progress, while providing contextual information about their learning and important school information all in one place. Having this service at their fingertips removes the need for constant parental contact with the school, which results in parents being better prepared at parent–teacher nights.

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We’re here to support you

With support desks located in Melbourne (Australia) and a well-stocked help site full of step-by-step guidelines, community support, FAQs and a live search bar, we’ll help you get the most out of your CARS & STARS Online experience. Support is never far away for teachers, students or parents.


Not sure which CARS & STARS Online product is for you?
Browse the links below for subscription features and pricing plans.