The program is divided into two parts: CARS Plus (the assessment portion) and STARS Plus (the instruction portion). Each CARS and STARS Plus level (P–H) consists of both a Student Book and a Teacher Guide.
The two were designed to be used together. The Placement Book places students in the correct level. The Pretests in CARS Plus help teachers to diagnose problem areas with their students. STARS Plus assists teachers to teach those strategies found lacking. Benchmarking tests and Post Tests in CARS Plus are used to assess how goals are progressing and then to determine if goals have been achieved.
CARS & STARS Plus 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 students needing extra practice on a specific strategy).
CARS & STARS Plus assessments test student comprehension of the following 12 reading strategies: CARS & STARS Plus assessments test student comprehension of the following 12 reading strategies.
The strategies are based on comprehension ability and so levels P and AA focus on only six of the twelve (including pre-reading and listening skills, these are visual and teacher-guided), level A focuses on eight, and levels B-H focus on all twelve strategies. The names of the strategies change slightly in pre-reading levels to compensate for comprehension abilities.