What is the FSA Test?

What are the Florida Standards Assessments and What are They Used For?

The Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) are exams that measure whether students in the state of Florida are making progress in terms of curriculum standards set by the state, and examine students' higher-order thinking skills.

Results from the FSA exams are used to drive instruction and make goals for the state's schools. They are also used to measure individual student achievement in terms of readiness for graduation as well as for school-based goals, such as what students should be knowledgeable of at particular grade levels. Specifically, results of the 10th grade examination are utilized as a component to a student's high school graduation. Students are required to earn a passing grade in the English and Language Arts component of the examination to earn a standard diploma.

Who Takes the FSA?

All public school students in grades 3-10 must take the FSA exams. Students in grade 3 are tested in English language arts (reading). Those in grades 4-10 are tested in English language arts (reading and writing), and those in grades 3-8 are tested in mathematics. In addition, End-of-Course (FSA EOC) exams are given in algebra and geometry to students enrolled in those particular courses. Learners with documented cognitive disabilities may instead take part in the Florida Standards Alternate Assessment, or FSSA. English Language Learners must also take the assessment with any allowed accommodations, regardless of the length of time that they have been enrolled in a school in the U.S.

Although not required, students who are being educated through a homeschool program may take the FSA as a measure of yearly progress in their course of study. Students attending a private school on a scholarship may also take part in these assessments.

How is the FSA Administered?

The Florida Standards Assessments may be administered online through a system called the Test Delivery System, or through pencil-and-paper administration, depending on the grade and content of the examination. Students with learning disabilities may have appropriate, documented accommodations on the FSA. See the chart below for more information on each examination.

FSA TestNumber of QuestionsLength of TimeFormat
Writing1 constructed Response120 minutes Paper-based for grades 4-6
Computer-based for grades 7-10
Reading56-66 questionsGrades 3-5 will have 2 80-minute sessions
Grades 6-8 will have 2 85-minute sessions
Grades 9-10 will have 2 90-minute sessions
Paper-based for grades 3-6
Computer-based for grades 7-10
Mathematics56-66 questions Grades 3-5 will have 2 80-minute sessions
Grades 6-8 will have 2 60-minute sessions
Paper-based for grades 3-6
Computer-based for grades 7-8
End-of-Course Up to 68 questions per exam 2 90-minute sessionsComputer-based

These tests are typically administered in April, May, and July of each school year.

How Can Students Prepare for the FSA?

The Florida Department of Education has released item types in order to allow students, teachers, and parents to better understand the questions that will be on the FSA. These can be found on the FSA Portal Practice Test Page. In addition, students who will take the test in a computerized format are required to take a practice test at their school. Those who would like additional practice can utilize Study.com's FSA Practice Materials, including FSA Courses and numerous FSA Practice Tests. Study.com also offers algebra and geometry courses for those who would like to brush up on their skills for the FSA End-of-Course exams.

Continue reading: FSA Test Score Information

Knowing what to expect on test day is the first step toward success on an FSA exam. Keep reading to find out where you can get tips on test formatting and content, essay scoring, training tests, and more.

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