Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
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A. Released Tests1. What tests were released in 2007?
2. Were answers to the tests also released?
3. Were earlier tests released?
4. How were the tests released?
5. Are the released tests the actual tests that were administered to students?
6. Why were students’ tests and answer sheets not released?
7. What are field-test questions and anchor questions?
8. Where do students record their answers?
B. Taking the Test
1. How much time are students given to take the test?
Tests usually take between 120–160 minutes per subject area. The exact amount of time depends on the grade level, as well as the number and type of questions on the test. More time is provided for tests that require students to give written answers versus when students answer only multiple-choice questions. Tests for students in elementary grades are typically spread across two days. Students in middle and high school take the tests in one day, with breaks provided periodically. Students who must retake the Grade 10 test can be given up to an entire day to complete the test; however, very few students use this much time. Every year, the Department of Education collects feedback from teachers regarding the amount of time needed for test-taking to make sure enough time is provided. If needed, the time limits are adjusted. Additionally, students with special needs may be given special time accommodations. (See the question “What allowances are made for students with disabilities who take the FCAT?”)
2. What tools/resources can students use during the test?
3. What are FCAT Achievement Levels 1 through 5? What is an acceptable performance level?
4. What score is needed to pass the test?
5. How can students who are visually-impaired take these tests?
6. What allowances are made for students with disabilities who take the FCAT?
7. What allowances are made for English Language Learners (ELLs)?
C. Using the Released Tests1. How should the released tests be used?
2. Are there improper uses of the released tests?
D. Test Questions1. How are test questions selected for the FCAT?
2. What kinds of answers must students provide on the FCAT?
3. Are all of the questions on the test on grade level?
4. Are all FCAT questions the same level of difficulty?
5. Why might FCAT questions seem hard to adults?
E. Scoring the Released Tests1. Are the correct answers for the test questions provided?
2. Are there different kinds of questions on the test?
3. What other information is provided about the test questions?
4. How are the FCAT written response questions scored?
5. How is the total score on the FCAT determined?
6. What score is needed to pass the Grade 10 FCAT?
7. Why is the FCAT scored using item response methods and pattern scoring?
8. What information do parents receive about student scores?
F. Release of Tests1. Why did the Department of Education release tests again in 2007?
2. Why aren’t all tests at all grade levels released every year?
3. How much does it cost to release tests?
4. What are the Department of Education’s plans for releasing tests?
G. Information About the FCAT1. What other information is available about the FCAT?
2. What information is provided to parents about the FCAT each year?
H. FCAT Released Tests Links1. How to Use the Released Tests
2. Return to FCAT Released Tests Home Page