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 Test1. How much time are students given to take the test?
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?
All grade-level FCAT assessments have multiple-choice questions, but at some grade levels, students also must provide written answers and complete number grids. Students at Grades 4, 5, 8, and 10 must provide written answers that show how well they understand the skill tested and are much like the type of work they typically do in school. Student answers to these questions also provide the school and district information about their instructional programs. Questions that require written answers are more costly and take longer to score. That’s why only one test in each grade range (elementary, middle, and high school) includes these types of test questions for the subject areas of reading, mathematics, and writing. (Note: Beginning in 2010, there are no questions requiring written answers on FCAT Science tests.) For some questions in mathematics and science, students in grades 5 through 11 are asked to find numerical answers and then bubble the answer into a number grid. More information and examples of all types of FCAT questions, the amount of time allocated to each type, and the guidelines for scoring are found on the Department of Education Web site. (See the publications listed in the “More Information About the FCAT” section.)
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