Read an Excerpt
Passing the FCAT Mathematics Test
About This Book
This book will provide you with an accurate and complete representation of the
FCAT Grade 10 Mathematics test. Inside this book you will find chapters providing
instruction on the mathematics concepts tested on the FCAT. At the end of each chapter
are practice questions and answer explanations. The book also provides two full-length
practice tests, which are based on the official FCAT. The practice tests contain
every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the FCAT. Following each
test, you will find an answer key with detailed explanations designed to help you completely
understand the test material.
About the Test
Who Takes These Tests, and What Are They Used For?
Students in Florida public schools in grades 3 through 10 must take the FCAT,
which is the foundation of the statewide educational assessment and accountability
program. It includes assessment in the following areas:
Writing for students in grades 4, 8, and 10
Reading and mathematics for students in grades 3 through 10
Science for students in grades 5, 8, and 11
The purpose of the FCAT is to gather information for parents, students, and teachers
about student mastery of skills and to provide the public with information (1) to
better understand the “educational health” of students, and (2) to hold schools and
districts accountable for progress.
Is There a Registration Fee?
When and Where Is the Test Given?
The Mathematics portion of the FCAT is given each year in March. Since 1998,
the FCAT has been administered in all public schools. The Grade 10 FCAT has now
become the high school graduation test.
Test Accommodations and Special Situations
Every effort is made to provide a level playing field for students with disabilities
who are taking the FCAT and seeking a standard high school diploma. Accommodations
are available for students in special education programs and students with limited
proficiency in English. Check with your school for more information.
Additional Information and Support
Additional resources to help you prepare to take the FCAT can be found on the
Florida Department of Education Web site at www.fldoe.org.
How to Use This Book
What Do I Study First?
Read each chapter and complete all of the problems within the chapter and at the
end of the chapter. Be sure to read the answer explanation. Review lessons for questions
that you missed. When you feel that you have mastered the material, take the
practice tests to become familiar with the format and procedures involved with taking
the actual FCAT.
When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the FCAT. The earlier you begin, the more
time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not an
effective way to study, because it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test
material. The sooner you learn the format of the exam, the more time you will have to
familiarize yourself with the exam content.
Overview of the FCAT
For Grade 10, the Mathematics portion of the FCAT consists of 45 to 50 multiple-choice
items, some of which are gridded-response items, and 5 to 7 performance tasks
The Mathematics portion of the FCAT is based on five broad strands, which
embrace the curriculum and assessment guidelines expressed by the Sunshine State
Strand A: Number Sense, Concepts, and Operations (17% of the test)
Strand B: Measurement (17% of the test)
Strand C: Geometry and Spatial Sense (25% of the test)
Strand D: Algebraic Thinking (25% of the test)
Strand E: Data Analysis and Probability (16% of the test)
Students are allowed to use a calculator on the FCAT Mathematics test.
Multiple-choice itemsStudents choose the correct answer from four possible
choices and mark the choice by filling in a bubble in the test booklet or answer document.
Multiple-choice items require approximately one minute to answer and are each
worth one raw score point.
Gridded-response itemsStudents solve problems or answer questions requiring
a numerical response and bubble or mark their numerical answers in response grids.
Answers may be gridded by using several correct formats. Students must accurately
fill in the bubbles below the grids to receive credit for their answers. Students are
provided with detailed instructions for filling in the bubbles in the FCAT Sample Test
Materials, which they receive before taking the actual test. Additional instructions
are also included in the front of the test booklet. Each gridded-response item requires
approximately one and a half minutes to answer and is worth one raw score point.
Performance Tasksshort- and extended-response itemsStudents show their
solutions to problems. Each short-response task requires approximately five minutes
to complete and is worth a raw score of 0, 1, or 2 points. Extended-response tasks
require approximately 15 minutes to complete, and students may receive a raw score
of 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 points for each item.
What to Do before the Test
Pay attention in class.
Carefully work through the chapters of this book. Mark any
topics that you find difficult, so that you can focus on them while
studying and get extra help if necessary.
Take the practice tests and become familiar with the format
of the FCAT. When you are practicing, simulate the conditions
under which you will be taking the actual test. Stay calm and
pace yourself. After simulating the test only a couple of times,
you will feel more confident, and this will boost your chances
of doing well.
Students who have difficulty concentrating or taking tests
in general may have severe test anxiety. Tell your parents, a
teacher, a counselor, the school nurse, or a school psychologist
well in advance of the test if this applies to you. They may be
able to give you some useful strategies that will help you feel
more relaxed and then be able to do your best on the test.
What to Do During the Test
Read all of the possible answers. Even if you think you have
found the correct response, do not automatically assume that it
is the best answer. Read through each answer choice to be sure
that you are not making a mistake by jumping to conclusions.
Use the process of elimination. Go through each answer to a
question and eliminate as many of the answer choices as possible.
By eliminating two answer choices, you have given yourself
a better chance of getting the item correct, because there will
only be two choices left from which to make your selection.
Sometimes a question will have one or two answer choices that
are a little odd. These answers will be obviously wrong for one
of several reasons: they may be impossible given the conditions
of the problem, they may violate mathematical rules or principles,
or they may be illogical.
Work on the easier questions first. If you find yourself working
too long on one question, make a mark next to it on your test
booklet and continue. After you have answered all of the questions
that you know, go back to the ones you have skipped.
Be sure that the answer oval you are marking corresponds
to the number of the question in the test booklet. The multiple-
choice sections are graded by machine, so marking one
wrong answer can throw off your answer key and your score. Be
Work from answer choices. You can use a multiple-choice format
to your advantage by working backward from the answer
choices to solve a problem. This strategy can be helpful if you
can just plug the answers into a given formula or equation. You
may be able to make a better choice on a difficult problem if you
eliminate choices that you know do not fit into the problem.
If you can not determine what the correct answer is, answer
the question anyway. The FCAT does not subtract points for
wrong answers, so be sure to fill in an answer for every question.
It works to your advantage because you could guess correctly
and increase your score.