Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print

  • The Florida Standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics were approved by the Florida State Board of Education (SBOE) in February 2014 and were fully implemented in grades K–12 in the 2014–2015 school year.

    All Florida schools teach the Florida Standards. The Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) provide parents and families, teachers, policy makers, and the general public with information regarding how well students are learning the Florida Standards.

  • The Florida Standards, adopted by the State Board of Education in February 2014 after unprecedented public input and review, prepare Florida students for success in college, career, and life by emphasizing analytical thinking. The Florida Standards Assessments provide a more authentic assessment of the Florida Standards, because they include more than multiple-choice questions. Students are asked to create graphs, interact with test content, and write and respond in different ways than required on traditional tests. Question types assess students’ higher-order thinking skills in keeping with the higher expectations of the Florida Standards. Students, educators, and parents and families are able to preview samples of question types by accessing practice tests that are available in the FSA Portal.

  • Your district or school will provide you with the dates your child will test. The testing windows for this year’s FSA Assessment program are located here: Florida Statewide Assessment Program 2015-2016 Schedule

  • Grade Assessments
    3 ELA – Reading, Mathematics
    4 ELA – Writing/Reading, Mathematics
    5 ELA – Writing/Reading, Mathematics
    6 ELA – Writing/Reading, Mathematics
    7 ELA – Writing/Reading, Mathematics
    8 ELA – Writing/Reading, Mathematics
    9 ELA – Writing/Reading
    10 ELA – Writing/Reading

    In addition, the following FSA End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments are administered to students enrolled in and completing an applicable course:

    • Algebra 1 End-of-Course Assessment
    • Geometry End-of-Course Assessment
    • Algebra 2 End-of-Course Assessment
  • All FSA ELA Writing assessments are administered in one 120-minute test session.

    Grade Session Length Number of Sessions
    4 120 minutes 1
    5 120 minutes 1
    6 120 minutes 1
    7 120 minutes 1
    8 120 minutes 1
    9 120 minutes 1
    10 120 minutes 1

    All FSA ELA Reading assessments are administered over two days.

    Grade Session Length Number of Sessions
    3 80 minutes 2
    4 80 minutes 2
    5 80 minutes 2
    6 85 minutes 2
    7 85 minutes 2
    8 85 minutes 2
    9 90 minutes 2
    10 90 minutes 2

    All FSA Mathematics assessments are administered over two days, including those consisting of three sessions.

    Grade Session Length Number of Sessions
    3 80 minutes 2
    4 80 minutes 2
    5 80 minutes 2
    6 60 minutes 3
    7 60 minutes 3
    8 60 minutes 3

    All FSA EOC assessments are administered over two days. Any student who has not completed a session by the end of the allotted time may continue working; however, each session may last no longer than half the length of a typical school day.

    Subject Session Length Number of Sessions
    Algebra 1 90 minutes 2
    Geometry 90 minutes 2
    Algebra 2 90 minutes 2


  • Prior to administering each computer-based assessment, test administrators conduct a practice test that contains sample test items to prepare students for the item types, tools, and online interface they will encounter during testing. Practice tests are available in the FSA Portal for students to practice on their own.

  • For the 2015–2016 school year, students in grade 3 will take the ELA and Mathematics assessments on paper; students in grade 4 will take the Mathematics assessment on paper; and students in grades 4–7 will take the ELA Writing assessment on paper. Also, students whose individual education plans (IEPs) or Section 504 plans indicate a need for paper-based format will be provided a paper test. All other assessments are computer-based.

  • Paper-based tests for computer-based test (CBT) administrations are only provided for students who cannot access assessments on the computer and whose individual education plans (IEPs) or Section 504 plans indicate a need for paper-based format.

  • Parents and families can promote student success by staying involved in their child’s education, offering positive support and feedback, and encouraging their child to relax and do his or her very best. By staying connected with their child’s school and teachers and taking advantage of online resources, such as school websites and portals, parents and families can stay informed and be equipped to meet the needs of their child at home.

  • We encourage parents and families to ask how their child’s day went and continue to promote student success by offering positive support and feedback. Because the content of statewide assessments is secure, students are asked not to talk about the test questions, passages, or their responses. Students are asked to sign a Testing Rules Acknowledgement, which states: “Because the content in all statewide assessments is secure, you may not reveal details about the writing prompt or passages to anyone. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as texting, emailing, or posting online, for example, on websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.” While students may not share information about secure test content after testing, this policy is not intended to prevent students from discussing their testing experiences with their parents and families.

  • Grades 7 and 8 FSA Mathematics and Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 EOC assessments include a scientific calculator in the test delivery system. The scientific calculator is available for Sessions 2 and 3 of the grades 7 and 8 Mathematics assessments and for Session 2 of the Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 EOC assessments.

    Approved handheld scientific calculators MAY be provided to ALL students during the appropriate test sessions. Check with your school or district for local policies regarding handheld calculators.

    Please note that if calculators are provided for a non-calculator test (grades 3-6 Mathematics) or a non-calculator test session (session 1 of grades 7 and 8 Mathematics and EOCs), the tests will be invalidated.

  • Students who leave campus before completing a test session (for lunch, an appointment, illness, etc.) will NOT be allowed to complete that test session. If your child does not feel well on the day of testing, it may be best for him or her to wait and be tested on a makeup day.

  • Scores for the 2015–2016 assessments will be released in June 2016. Parents/families will receive a paper score report after scores are distributed to the districts. Districts will report scores to schools and students and will notify parents/families. Paper score reports will include an overall score for each subject of the test, an achievement level, a percentile rank for comparison to other similar students in Florida, and more specific content-area scores on the material assessed within each subject.

  • All English Language Learners (ELLs) participate in statewide assessments. ELLs who have been enrolled in school in the United States for less than one year may be exempt from the FSA ELA assessments (Reading and Writing). Exempt ELLs must participate in the annual English language proficiency assessment. Additionally, all ELLs enrolled in tested grade levels and subjects are expected to participate in Mathematics, Science, and EOC assessments no matter how long these students have been enrolled in a U.S. school.

  • Students are not permitted to have any electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones and smartphones, at any time during testing. Best practice is for students to leave devices at home or in their lockers on the day of testing.

  • The Statewide Science Assessment measures student success with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) and includes assessments in grades 5 and 8.

  • The FSA End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments are computer-based tests designed to measure student achievement of the specified standards for mathematics courses (Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2).

    Learn more about the NGSSS EOC Assessments.

  • Florida participates in several national (NAEP) and international (PIRLS, PISA, TIMSS) criterion-referenced surveys. National and state assessments enable us to know how well students are doing in a variety of subjects at different ages and grade levels. International assessments allow us the unique opportunity to benchmark our students’ performance to the performance of students in other countries.

  • FDOE is dedicated to reporting test scores that are valid and reliable representations of student mastery of the Florida Standards. If a situation or error occurs during test administration and it is determined that it threatens the validity of test results, the test(s) is (are) invalidated.  Some common reasons for test invalidation include, but are not limited to, cheating, possession of an electronic device (e.g., cell phone), or access to an unauthorized aid during testing.

  • All public school students are required to take state assessments, including virtual public school students per section 1008.22, F.S. For more information about virtual public school students’ participation in statewide assessments, visit the Virtual Education FAQs.

  • CPALMS stands for “Collaborate, Plan, Align, Learn, Motivate and Share.” CPALMS is a one-stop online educational portal with nearly 9,000 reviewed and approved resources and interactive tools that help Florida’s educators effectively implement the Florida Standards. It is Florida’s official source for information about the Florida Standards and course descriptions.

    The standards are used as a guide for instruction and were designed to enable students to excel in an increasingly complex, interconnected world.

    CPALMS provides videos, professional development modules, and multimedia tools for educators to assist them in preparing for their classes and determining classroom progress against the standards.

    Parents and families can rely on CPALMS to do the following:

    • Locate information on the Florida Standards.
    • Access the standards and related instructional resources by subject and grade level
    • Access and review course descriptions in order to develop an understanding of the standards their child’s classes should be meeting.