Understanding FCAT instructions
To understand the FCAT instructions, students need to master a certain vocabulary. For instance, the FCAT may ask students to “Summarize the author’s thesis and identify the facts that she cites to justify her opinion.
Support your response evidence from the passage.” There is specific vocabulary that students should be master related to the instructions on the FCAT including words such as: assumption, characterize, asssume, assert, context, main idea, infer, theme, imply, and viewpoint.
FCAT Reading Comprehension
The FCAT reading comprehension sections are a significant portion of the language arts. A strong vocabulary really helps with reading comprehension. If you during the FCAT, the student cannot understand words or must rely too much on context clues or word roots to guess at meetings, they are unlikely to succeed.
FCAT Writing Sections
The FCAT writing assessment is for fourth, eighth, and tenth graders. A strong vocabulary is one of the criteria by itself and having a strong vocabulary improves writing fluency helping the students to focus on essay structure and coherence.
Building FCAT Vocabulary Skills
Here are a few suggestions for FCAT practice to improve your foundation skills. The free vocabulary games for FCAT preparation on this website include a number of great games for building vocabulary skills. For FCAT elementary skills, students will benefit from the Letter Blocks, Quiz, HangMouse, Unscramble and CrossWord. To build FCAT vocabulary for middle school, students should also consider the Vocabulary Builder MatchIt Game. FCAT High School Vocabulary skills should use the middle school games plus the SAT Vocabulary Game. Some of these vocabulary games such as WordSearch, CrossWorld, UnScramble, and HangMouse allow students to pick their own vocabulary lists. Note that if you look under the word grade, there are FCAT vocabulary word lists organized by grade level.
Learning vocabulary through vocabulary software is another way to practice for the FCAT. Ultimate Vocabulary provides a focused method for building vocabulary skills for test preparation.
Preparing for the FCAT Writing Assessment
Building Foundation Skills for the FCAT
Many students improve their language arts and math skills with afterschool study by using Time4Learning.com’s online automated learning service. Time4Learning also provides more specific information on building skills online for test preparation online.
Some Background on the FCAT – The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test® (FCAT) is part of Florida’s overall plan to increase student achievement by implementing higher standards. The FCAT, administered to students in Grades 3-11, assesses mathematics, reading, science, and writing skills as defined by the Sunshine State Standards (SSS). The FCAT is part of the Florida implementation of the NCLB mandate to improve performance including measurement of student performance.
Most of the language arts FCAT questions are multiple-choice; others ask for a short, written answer, and a few ask for a more detailed or extended answer. In some parts of the test, students write answers in response to an article or story, to assess how well they understand what they have read.
Florida provides an official Guide to the FCAT which is well worth reading.