Preparing for the FCAT: 6th Grade Math

Is your 6th grader getting ready to take the FCAT? If so, it's important to help him or her prepare. Keep reading to find out how you can make your home practice sessions as beneficial as possible.

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What Do I Need to Know About the FCAT?

In the spring of each school year, students who attend a Florida public school will be required to take the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test). This standardized test gives students the opportunity to demonstrate what they've learned throughout the school year. The FCAT primarily consists of multiple-choice questions, and some of these are based on information that is presented in diagrams or charts.

Some questions will require your child to submit his or her answers in a grid format. In this situation, students will write their answers in the boxes at the top of the grid, and then they'll fill in the corresponding bubble for each digit. For example, if your child gets an answer of 1,452, then he or she will start by writing this number in the boxes at the top of the grid. Then, he or she will fill in the 1 bubble, the 4 bubble, the 5 bubble and the 2 bubble under the corresponding digit.

Although 6th graders will not be allowed to use calculators or rulers on the test, they will be provided with reference sheets that can be used throughout the exam. These will list formulas for circumference, surface area, volume and area, and they'll also contain measurement and temperature conversion info, as well as the Pythagorean theorem.

What 6th Grade Math Skills Are Tested on the FCAT?

Your child's 6th grade math curriculum will consist of 6 focus areas: 3 broad ideas and 3 supporting ideas. Your child should expect to have questions related to the content of each of these focus areas on the FCAT. For 6th grade, the broad ideas include solving rate and ratio problems and multiplying and dividing decimals and fractions.

Your child will also work with percentages at this grade level, and he or she will learn to write, use and interpret expressions and equations. You will want to ensure that your child is comfortable working with expressions and equations that contain variables.

In geometry, your 6th grader will solve problems involving circumference, perimeter, area and volume, and he or she will also develop an understanding of statistical thinking. Your child should be able to calculate the main measures of central tendency (mean, median and mode) and select the measure that's most appropriate for a given situation.

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