The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, is a standardized test given to public school students in Florida. FCAT scores offer teachers and administrators a way to measure student achievement in math and reading.The questions on the test are written for each grade level to determine whether students mastered the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in reading, math, writing, and now science.
All public school in grades 3-10 take the FCAT each spring. Third-graders are tested in reading and mathematics.
The FCAT is given to Florida public school students to make sure that classroom teaching and curriculum materials meet educational criteria known as the Sunshine State Standards. The FCAT helps identify problem areas for both the child and for the school.
The Florida Department of Education developed the FCAT to help ensure that children in Florida receive an education that will prepare them to meet the challenges of a changing world and workplace.
FCAT’s main intent is to ensure that Florida’s schools are meeting our children’s needs. The test should indicate when more resources and teacher training are needed at a school. Children benefit when school performance levels are raised and when expectations are clearly defined.
All Florida schools are required to teach the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, and the FCAT will provide parents, teachers, policy makers, and the general public with an understanding of how well students are learning these standards. The best understanding of a student’s academic achievement comes from looking at multiple pieces of evidence (including test scores) collected over time.
The FCAT is meant to be challenging. It tests the student’s ability to think through problems rather than simply to memorize information.
The FCAT measures student performance of reading and math skills as described in the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Administrators and educators developed these standards to reflect the skills children need to succeed, not only at higher levels of education, but also in real-world situations such as following written instructions. While the FCAT uses multiple-choice questions, it also poses questions that require your child to think, write, and solve problems.
The FCAT is given in school each spring. In accordance with Section 1008.22, Florida Statutes, students will be administered FCAT assessments no earlier than the week of April 15th each school year. Your child’s school office will provide you with specific dates and times for your school district. It takes four 70-minute sessions, over several days, to complete the test. Your child’s teacher will administer the FCAT. If you have questions about the test or the test results, be sure to contact your child’s teacher or guidance counselor.
The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is a criterion-referenced test that measures student achievement of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
On the FCAT, scores fall into one of five levels: Level 5 is the highest; Level 1 is the lowest.
In our county, third graders who score a Level 1 on the Reading FCAT must repeat the third grade, unless there is other evidence that proves these students can perform on grade level. Students who are retained must be given intensive instruction in reading to help them catch up.
Third graders who score a Level 1 on the Math FCAT and have an F for the year in math must be retained.
Test results are delivered to your child’s school district in the spring of the year the test is taken.Typically, we receive the third grade scores during the last week of school
The FCAT is intended to measure student mastery of Florida’s educational standards. Students who have been actively engaged in the learning process in Florida’s public schools should be well prepared for success on the FCAT without the need for special coaching or intensive instruction in test-taking strategies. To help students, parents, and educators understand what the FCAT test items will look like, the Department provides FCAT Sample Questions and Answer Keys online for public review.
Active participation in your child’s education is the best way to help your child prepare for the FCAT. Meeting with teachers, monitoring homework assignments, and reading with your child are all excellent ways to get involved. See the Family Fun and Parent Info sections for more tips on things you can do.