FCAT Tips & Information

The FCAT is a timed test that measures your child's performance in math and reading for the 3rd grade. Students can earn up to a level 5 on each test. However, if a student does not earn at least a level 2 on the reading test, they may not move on to the 4th grade. 
Although the test is given in March, your child needs to start preparing now. I always tell my children that there is nothing to worry about as long as they are prepared. If your child determines that they will do well on the FCAT now, chances are they will. 

What can your child do to prepare?

Starting now:
- Studies show that children who watch fewer than 3 hours of television a day score higher in standardized reading tests.
- Read! It doesn't matter what it is, as long as they are reading. Remember, not all of the passages on the test will be fiction. Make sure your child is reading a variety of texts. Newspapers, magazines, instruction manuals, recipes, and biographies are all great reading materials.
- Have your child discuss what they are reading. Have them talk about details, the main idea and the author's purpose for writing the story.
- Use FCAT Explorer, it's a free resource! www.fcatexplorer.com
- Review basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. The less time your child spends trying to figure those problems out, the more time they will have fir the more difficult problems.

One week prior to the test:

- Get a normal night's rest for the 5 days leading up to the test. Sleep loss is cumulative and your child needs to be well rested and alert to do well.
- Have your child read for at least 45 minutes each night. This will help build their stamina so they can sit and read during the long test.

The day of the test:

- Feed your child a good breakfast. No one can work well on an empty stomach!
- Give your child some encouraging words. Let them know that you believe in them and that they will do fine. It is a stressful time and it always helps to have cheerleaders!
- Make sure your child gets to school on time. If they are late, they may not be able to take it that day.