How to Pass the FCAT in Math & Reading


The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is an achievement test that is given to public school students in grades 3 through 10. An FCAT score is extremely important because it can determine whether a student is promoted or retained for a specific academic school year. Two of the main portions of the FCAT are the reading section and the math section. You can pass these sections by employing various study techniques.

Reading Strategies

  • Scan reading passages before reading the test questions for each passage, but don't get bogged down on its details. Try to pick up the general information involved, and go back for details, if necessary, once you've read the questions.

  • Read the beginning and ending sentences of the passages carefully, as these sentences often contain key information. Reading passage questions often echo exact key words and phrases for important parts of the text.

  • Ask yourself what the author of a passage was trying to communicate. Try to assume his perspective.

  • Determine the meaning of an unknown word by using context clues. To consider a context clue, analyze how the word is used in a sentence or within a paragraph.

  • Stay focused even if a passage is boring or about an unfamiliar subject. The information required to answer the questions will still be located within the passage.

Math Strategies

  • Familiarize yourself with common math terms, such as odd numbers, even numbers, prime numbers, integers, consecutive integers, fractions, averages, positive and negative numbers, probability and factoring.

  • Review common mathematical formulas (such as area and volume formulas), as well as geometry and algebra information pertaining to angles, lines and shapes.

  • Read word problems carefully so that you know exactly what is being asked. Look for key words such as sum (addition), difference (subtraction), quotient (division) and product (multiplication).

  • Write neatly while calculating so that you can refer to it if necessary.

General Tips

  • Avoid spending too much time on one problem. Read it carefully, make an educated guess, if necessary, and move on.

  • Take a practice test to familiarize yourself with the way the test is written.

  • Get a good night's sleep the night before the test, and eat an adequate breakfast the morning of the test.

  • Remain as calm as possible during the test. Stress and anxiety can hurt your performance.


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