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High School Competency Test (HSCT)

Note: The HSCT is no longer administered. For further information, please consult State Board of Education Rule 6A-1.09421.

Archived HSCT Information

One priority of the Florida public education system is to help all students acquire and apply the skills necessary to perform basic communications and mathematics functions. The Educational Accountability Act of 1976 outlined a system for defining and measuring the attainment of educational objectives and competencies in these content areas. The 1990 Legislature reaffirmed the importance of establishing minimum student performance skills for high school graduation.

Minimum student performance skills were initially approved by the State Board of Education in 1977. These skills were based upon minimum objectives developed cooperatively by the staff of the Division of Public Schools, Florida Department of Education; faculty of the state universities and community colleges; school district teachers, curriculum and testing supervisors and administrators; and laypersons. These performance skills were effective through the 1984-85 school year. A revised version of the skills was approved by the State Board of Education in May 1979, became effective with the 1985-86 school year, and remained in effect through the 1993-94 school year.

In 1989 and 1990, the State Board of Education approved the most recent version of the minimum performance skills, which are effective for school years 1994-95 through 1998-99. The early adoption of these minimum performance skills permitted time for advance notification to educators, creation of test question specifications, and field testing of the questions. October 1994 was the first administration of the High School Competency Test (HSCT) in which these revised skills were assessed.

Teaching the use of calculators was required in relation to these performance skills in mathematics. Calculators were permitted for the first time during the October 1994 administration of the HSCT.

Passing both the communications and mathematics sections of the HSCT is a requirement for high school graduation. Eleventh-grade students who do not pass the HSCT on the first administration have additional opportunities to take the test.