Phase one of FCAT testing begins today

Students will work on essays for first portion

FCAT testing begins today in Florida public schools. Students in the fourth, eighth and 10th grades will write 45-minute essays for the first round of the 2011 FCAT. Make-up exams have been scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is a series of exams used to measure the performance of students in core areas. 

Students in fourth grade will be asked to compose a narrative essay or expository essay, while eighth and 10th graders will have an option to draft an expository or persuasive essay.

Round two of the FCAT will begin on April 11 and last two weeks.

According to the Sun Sentinel, students in the following grades will take reading, math and science exams; Reading exams for third through 10th grades, math exams for third through eighth grades; math exams for 10th grade; science for fifth, eighth and 11th grades; and makeup exams. Additional testing make-up days are available April 25-28 for students with religious conflicts.

This year there will be no ninth-grade math FCAT, due to changes linked with Forida's grade-level expectations. High school freshmen will instead take a computer-based Algebra I exam in May.

Student scores were very high in Palm Beach and Broward counties last year, with 95 percent or more meeting state standards by scoring a 3 or higher, on a scale of 1 to 6.

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