Third Grade FCAT Math: Test Preparation Guide

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is administered to third graders in Florida near the end of the school year. At this grade level, students are tested on math and reading. For more information about how you can help your child prepare, read on!

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Preparing for the Third Grade FCAT in Math

What Is the FCAT?

The FCAT is a standardized test that assesses Florida students' academic progress based on the state standards. During the 2010-2011 school year, the state began transitioning to the FCAT 2.0, which is aligned to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.

This new version of the third grade test only contains multiple-choice questions. The math test is given to students in two parts, with each part lasting 70 minutes. Third graders are provided with rulers for the second part of the exam.

What Math Topics Will Be Tested?

Three areas are tested on the third grade math exam: geometry, fractions and number operations. In third grade geometry, students will recognize lines of symmetry in shapes. They will also calculate the perimeter of shapes.

Third graders are expected to create fractions using visuals, like drawings. They will also be asked to compare fractions and recognize equivalent fractions, such as 1/2 and 5/10. Additionally, they will measure items using fractional units.

Finally, third grade students should be familiar with multiplication and division. They may solve multiplication problems by creating visual aids, like arrays. They should also be able to recognize the relationship between multiplication and division.

How Can My Child Prepare?

The Florida Department of Education's website provides information about the FCAT 2.0, including testing dates and topics that will appear on the test. In addition, you can find sample tests and answer keys for the third grade reading and math tests there. The test books are PDF files, so you can print them and administer them to your child at home.

Because most third graders are unfamiliar with standardized tests, it may be helpful to simulate the test-taking experience at home. Create a quiet, isolated space for your child to take the practice test, and give him or her a time limit. The sample test only has 19 multiple-choice questions, so it is significantly shorter than the real test; however, it will give your child an idea of what to expect on the actual test day.

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