Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE)
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or call FTCE/FELE Customer Service toll-free at 866-613-3281 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Mon.– Fri., excluding holidays. (The Automated Information System is available by phone 24 hours daily.)
FTCE Cognitive Complexity and Sample Items (Mathematics and Science)
In 2008 the Office of Assessment began implementing new cognitive complexity taxonomic classifications for all subject area examinations undergoing development, based on the Norman Webb model. Previously, test questions had been coded as Recall (R) and Above Recall (AR), based on Benjamin Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy.
The following sample mathematics and science questions from the Elementary Education K–6 and Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum 5–9 examinations were developed during the 2008 FTCE test development cycle using the cognitive complexities –– low, moderate, and high ––discussed below:
Low Complexity Questions
Low complexity questions require examinees to recall, observe, or represent basic facts and previously learned concepts. Cognitive tasks that would fit within the low complexity level may include
- selecting the correct definition, principle, or statute;
- solving a one-step problem;
- recognizing component parts of a large system; and
- identifying specific theories, units of measurement, text, or mere facts.
Moderate Complexity Questions
Moderate complexity questions require examinees to move beyond simple recall and involve more thought and decision making about responses. Cognitive tasks that would fit within the moderate complexity level may include
- bringing together skills and knowledge from multiple domains;
- solving a problem with multiple steps;
- using informal methods of reasoning and problem-solving strategies;
- requiring responses that go beyond the habitual;
- analyzing a specific problem for the solution; and
- applying proven theories.
High Complexity Questions
High complexity questions make heavy demands on examinee thinking. Cognitive tasks that would fit within the high complexity level may include
- explaining, generalizing, or making multiple connections;
- solving a problem that requires analysis and synthesis of information;
- engaging examinees in more abstract reasoning, planning, analysis, judgment, and creative thought;
- assessing a situation to determine the next step;
- evaluating student, classroom, or school data; and
- diagnosing student errors and omissions and selecting a correct methodological response.