The Complete Guide to Florida Standard Assessments

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Key Takeaways:

  • FSAs are given to all public school students in 3rd – 10th grades
  • FSAs determine if your child will progress to 4th grade
  • FSAs may determine if your child will get into middle/high school magnet programs
  • FSAs may determine if your child graduates from high school

It’s that time of year when students (and parents) sweat over the impact of the Florida Standards Assessments (FSAs)

The FSAs are designed to measure what a student has learned in reading, writing, and mathematics. They can also impact other important milestones in your child’s school career, including admittance into a Magnet Program. Being prepared for the FSAs is extremely important. We’re breaking down what the FSAs are, including what the tests include and why they matter so much for your child’s academic success.

Explaining the FSAs

The Florida Standards Assessments (FSAs) are a series of exams designed to measure whether students in the state are meeting certain standards. Florida uses the results to determine lesson plans and goals for schools throughout the state. On an individual level, FSAs determine eligibility for several different things.

Purpose of FSAs for students:

  • Determine readiness for graduating from high school
  • Determine eligibility for magnet schools (middle and high school)
  • Determine if a student is ready to enter the 4th grade

The assessments include tests in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and end-of-course (EOC) subjects like algebra and geometry. 

Which students take FSAs?

The FSAs are given to all public school students in grades 3-10. Here is the breakdown of who takes which subjects:

  • 3rd-grade students take assessments in ELA (reading)
  • 4th–10th-grade students are tested in ELA (reading and writing)
  • 3rd–8th-grade students are tested in Math
  • Students enrolled in algebra and geometry courses take EOC exams

Students with documented learning differences may take an alternate test, Florida Standards Alternate Assessment (FSSA), which allows any testing accommodations needed.

Breakdown of subjects and length for each assessment

The FSAs can be taken online via the Test Delivery System or through the traditional paper and pencil method, depending on the grade level.

FSA breakdown

Writing:

  • 1 constructed response
  • 120 minutes 
  • Paper-based for 4th–6th grades 
  • Computer-based for 7th–10th grades

Reading:

  • 56-66 questions
  • 3rd–5th grades are allowed two 80-minute sessions
  • 6th–8th grades are allowed two 85-minute sessions
  • 9th–10th grades are allowed two 90-minute sessions
  • Paper-based for 3rd–6th grades
  • Computer-based for 7th–10th grades

Mathematics:

  • 56-66 questions
  • 3rd–5th grades are allowed two 80-minute sessions
  • 6th–8th grades are allowed two 60-minute sessions
  • Paper-based for 3rd–6th grades
  • Computer-based for 7th–10th grades

End-of-Course:

  • Two 90-minute sessions
  • Computer-based

FSA results are reported to individual students, as well as at the school, district, and state levels.

Getting into a Magnet Program in Broward County

Acceptance into a Magnet Program for middle or high school depends on a student’s academic performance, FSAs scores, and/or an audition. There are minimum requirements for all secondary programs, including:

  • 2.5 unweighted GPA
  • 3.0 or higher FSA score (English, language arts & math)

Individual Magnet Programs in Broward County may have their own requirements. Here, you can find a list of Middle School Magnet Programs and High School Magnet Programs.

There are magnet programs in subjects, including:

  • Pre-University programs
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Communications & Languages
  • STEM
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Business & Technical
  • Leadership/Military
  • Communications & Language
  • Government & International Affairs
  • Performing & Visual Arts
  • Integrated Career & Academic Networks
  • Montessori schools

FSA test prep in Fort Lauderdale

Ensuring that your child performs well on the FSAs requires preparation, organization, and study. If your child needs extra support and you are worried about possible retention or want them to get into a Magnet Program, The Learning Lab in Fort Lauderdale can help.

We focus on academic interventions, especially for children with learning differences in our I3 Lab. We also provide support to complete assignments in our Homework Lab. We help students finish incomplete assignments or additional homework and projects, as well as: 

  • reteach challenging material
  • help your child prepare for tests, including FSAs
  • provide structure, accountability, organization, and focus
  • support executive functioning skills coaching

Contact us today to prepare your child for the FSAs.

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