How to Interpret FCAT Scores


Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) scores are important to interpret and understand. With a little decoding, the Sunshine State Standards Reading and Mathematics Student and Parent Report will provide you with all the information you need to fully understand them. Knowing the components of the report, where information is located, what the scores mean and what content categories were evaluated will help you fully interpret and understand how your FCAT scores were arrived at. FCAT scores help appropriately place students in high school classes, qualify for scholarships and get into colleges.

  • Review the table on the left-hand column of the FCAT report. This is where you’ll find your numbered score and achievement level. If you're in Grade 10, a graph beneath will indicate whether you passed or failed. Students cannot graduate if they do not pass the Grade 10 FCAT in reading and mathematics.

  • Achievement levels range from 1 through 5, with 5 the highest. Failing is usually somewhere between 1 and the lower end of 3. A statement beneath the graph will tell you what your number score was, which could be anywhere from 86 to 3008.

  • Go to the right of the table where your score is to read the section that describes the content within categories of the reading, mathematics or science tests. Each category contains a description of the content and skills that were evaluated. While category titles are the same at each grade level, content descriptions will differ.

  • Look at the “Points Possible” column in the table to the right of the score. This will tell you the total maximum number of points that were possible to be scored in each category. “Points Earned” will tell you the actual number of points scored within each content category. If you’re looking at the writing test, this section will tell you what areas on what rubrics, such as focus, organization, support in details or English conventions, were used to evaluate it.

  • The term, “State Mean,” found in the same area as the points, is the comparison of your score to students across the state in the same grade on the same subject (reading, math, science). The “mean” is what the average is across the state, so this will tell you whether you were within the average, above or below.

  • The shaded bar graph at the bottom of the report left will tell you your score history for reading or mathematics for that year, depending on which report you’re looking at. The dark gray shaded bar will tell you your score in Level 3 and above; the light gray shading will tell you anything 3 and below. To the left you’ll find details about this achievement, and what it means.

  • A year-to-year progress score is used to report your annual progress on the reading and mathematics tests. It uses the range from 86 to 3008 to compare one year to another and simply tells you how you compare in meeting state standards for either subject area.

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