What is the FCAT?

In June 1995, the Florida State Board of Education adopted a comprehensive system of assessment, training, and accountability for Florida schools known as the Comprehensive Assessment Design. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is one component of the Comprehensive Assessment Design.

FCAT is designed to measure the first four standards of Goal 3 of Florida's System of School Improvement and Accountability, with an emphasis on reading and mathematics as defined by the Sunshine State Standards. FCAT assesses high-level, challenging standards appropriate to the grade levels assessed.

Students will be required to read and respond independently to multiple-choice questions and performance tasks. Some mathematics questions require students to find a numeric answer and grid the response.

Each school will receive two different sets of FCAT reports.

The first report is titled INDIVIDUAL PROFILE REPORT: A major purpose of this report is to inform each tested student's family about the performance of their child(ren) on the FCAT.

The INDIVIDUAL PROFILE REPORT contains the following information:

1. An overall FCAT scale score (100 to 500) for the test administered at that grade (e.g., at grade 8 each tested student will receive a reading and mathematics scale score.) will be reported. Each student's scale score will be placed into one of three categories (lower third, middle third, or upper third of tested students at that grade and subject).

2. A subscore for each test component will also be reported. Reading has two subscores: information and literature. Math has five subscores: number sense, concepts, and operations; measurement; geometry and spatial sense; algebraic thinking; and data analysis and probability. Each subscore represents the percentage of content in that area that the student responded to correctly.

3. A message to families that provides background information on the FCAT and describes the content of the FCAT.

The second report is titled SCHOOL REPORT OF STUDENT RESULTS. A major purpose of this report is to determine program strengths and areas for improvement in a school by analyzing the school's patterns of highest and lowest scores. There are separate listing and results for three curriculum groups of students. The state will not provide FCAT results based on all three groups combined.

Group 1 LEP program students - students who have participated in the Limited English Proficiency Program for 2 years or less.

Group 2 ESE Program Students: Students who are classified in an Exceptional Student Education Program other than gifted, speech impaired, language impaired, or hospital/homebound, and have not participated in the LEP program for 2 years or less.

Group 3 Standard Curriculum Students: All other students are reported in the Standard Curriculum Group. This is the group on which the critically-low designation is based.

The SCHOOL REPORT OF STUDENT RESULTS lists the name, scale score(s) and subscores for each tested student. In addition, this report provides mean (average) scale scores, subscores for each of the three curriculum groups of students, and a description of the content of the FCAT.

For more information on the FCAT see the following links.

Return to FCAT Summary Page

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