# Suggestions for Improving Math Scores on the FCAT Exam

Like most parents, you want your children to be at their best when they have exams to take. To help your children prepare for their math FCAT and improve their scores, keep reading below.

## FCAT Math: Tips for Score Improvement

### Know the Exam Format

The first step in preparing for an exam and improving your children's scores is to be familiar with the overall structure of the test they'll be taking. In previous years, students in Florida took the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), which measured their mastery of the Sunshine State Standards (SSS). Beginning in 2012, students in grades 3-8 will take the FCAT 2.0 math test, which will assess their grasp of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS). The test for 3rd grade only has multiple-choice questions, while the tests for grades 4-8 contain both multiple-choice and open-ended questions.

Students will be tested on specific math areas at each grade level, and knowing the types of questions your children will face can help you create a game plan for score improvement.

3rd Grade: Students are tested on skills like multiplying and dividing, ordering and comparing fractions, classifying shapes and using bar graphs.

4th Grade: Students should know the algorithm for multiplying multi-digit numbers, and they should understand the relationship between fractions and decimals. In addition, they'll need to find the areas of 2-dimensional shapes and describe patterns using algebraic rules.

5th Grade: At this grade level, students are tested on dividing multi-digit numbers, adding and subtracting decimals and finding volume.

6th Grade: Students in 6th grade should know how to multiply and divide with decimals and fractions, solve problems about ratios and rates, calculate circumference and solve linear equations.

7th Grade: Skills tested at this grade level include calculating probabilities, plotting points on a coordinate plane, working with equations containing rational coefficients and calculating absolute value.

8th Grade: In 8th grade, students are expected to graph equations, calculate slope, classify angles and use the Pythagorean theorem.

### Study Effectively

In order to improve your children's FCAT 2.0 scores, you should encourage them to study and practice daily. There are no shortcuts to performing well on the FCAT 2.0, and your children must know the mathematical skills and lessons they've been taught in order to score well. You can help by creating a daily or weekly study schedule for your children to follow. You can also assist by suggesting creative ways for them to study, like using flashcards or playing math games online.

Reviewing past tests and assignments will also help your children improve their math scores on the FCAT 2.0. By looking at past work, you and your children will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify what your children need to focus on during study sessions.

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