Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a standardized test administered by the Florida Department of Education. The aim of this test is to increase academic achievements of primary and secondary school students by implementing higher standards. FCAT consists of criterion referenced tests in science, mathematics, reading and writing. Passing these tests allows students meet Sunshine State Standard (SSS).
These tests are taken by high school students of grades from 3 to 11. FCAT results reflect academic achievements and excellence of the students. It ensures that they meet state approved standards and possess required skills and knowledge.
FCAT is administered in four subject areas at different grade levels. These FCAT tests are-
Science: – The FCAT science test is conducted for grades 5, 8 and 11. The content areas covered under this test are physical and chemical sciences, life and environmental science, earth and space science, and scientific reasoning.
Mathematics: – The mathematics test is conducted for grades 3 to 10. The content includes number sense, algebra, geometry, measurement and data analysis.
Reading: – This test is conducted for grades 3 to 10. The content includes words and phrases in context, comparison and clause/effect, reference and research, and main idea, plot and purpose.
Writing: – This test is conducted for grades 4, 8 and 10. In this test, examinee has to write an essay on a given prompt. The time allotted for completing writing assignment is 45 minutes.
The FCAT science test consists of multiple choice questions. There are grid-response questions also in the science test of eleventh grade. The time allotted for test administration is two hours for grades 5 and 8 while two and half hours for grade 11. The mathematics test consists of MCQs, grid response questions and performance tasks. It is administered in two hours for grades 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9 while 2 hours and 40 minutes for grades 5, 8 and 10. The reading test consists of MCQs and performance tasks.
The examinees are awarded scaled scores in range from 100 to 500 for reading, science and mathematics tests. The reading and mathematics test are also given raw scores in range from 0 to 3000. The writing test is given points lying between 1 and 6. Besides these scores, achievement level in range from 1 to 5 as per sunshine state standard is also mentioned. The score cards are sent to parents and students, school administration, district and state authorities. The results are made available on internet at official website of Florida Department of Education, but individual scores are not mentioned for maintaining student’s privacy.
The science, mathematics and reading tests are administered in March and writing test in the month of February. For FCAT grade 10, there is retest opportunity in months of October and April. A statewide schedule of this test can be found at the link- http://www.fldoe.org/asp/schedule.asp. The students get five opportunities for passing FCAT grade 10 before graduation.
FCAT test fee is $19.44.