FCAT 4th Grade Math: What to Expect

All Florida public school students are required to take the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test). If your 4th grader is gearing up to take this standardized test, continue reading below to find out what your child can expect and what you can do to help him or her prepare.

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What Is the FCAT?

The FCAT is a standardized assessment that is intended to measure how well a student understands the math benchmarks as they are identified by the state of Florida. While your 4th grader is not required to earn a specific passing score on the FCAT, you should encourage your child to perform as well as possible. The scores from this test are compiled and are then used to create effective instructional plans for a specific school. While calculators are not allowed for this test, rulers are provided and can be used as needed.

What Math Skills Are Tested on the FCAT?

Your child should be prepared to demonstrate that he or she is able to solve multi-step word problems that use the 4 math operations. It is also important that your 4th grader can fluently multiply and divide multi-digit whole numbers and can use what he or she knows about place value to round a number to any place. Your child should be able to create equivalent fractions, to write a fraction as a decimal and to add and subtract mixed numbers with like denominators. Your 4th grader will also compare two fractions that have different numerators and different denominators and correctly use symbols of greater than, less than and equal to.

Your child will also know how to measure an angle using a protractor and how to appropriately use the formulas for area and perimeter. Your 4th grader should be able to draw rays, angles, points, lines, line segments, parallel lines and perpendicular lines.

What Types of Questions Can my 4th Grader Expect?

The FCAT primarily contains multiple-choice questions. Some of these questions will present information in diagrams, tables or graphics and will require your child to perform a math operation. For example, your child may be expected to use data from a table to determine the total number of tickets a class sold.

While the FCAT will contain some word problems, your student will not be required to write his or her own answer to the problem. Instead, your child should expect to respond to these questions by selecting from one of the provided multiple-choice answers. Many of the questions on this assessment have to be answered in a grid format. This requires students to write their answer in the boxes at the top of the grid and to then fill in the corresponding bubble under the number. For example, if the answer was 406 then your child would write the numerical answer in the boxes and then fill in the 4 bubble, the 0 bubble and the 6 bubble.

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