What is the FSA Writing Test?

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Information about the FSA with Writing Exam

The Florida Standards Assessments are a set of exams that students enrolled in elementary, middle, and high school in Florida must take each school year. There are a number of different exams students will take, depending on their age and courses; one of which is the FSA English Language Arts (ELA) exam with Writing. All Florida students in grades 4 through 10 are required to take the ELA with Writing exam each year.

Details about the Exam

Students who are enrolled in grades 4-6 take the exam in a paper format. The exam consists of a single prompt that is based on a number of texts. Students are then expected to write an essay response to the prompt and have three pages of lined paper to complete their answer.

Older students, those in grades 7-10, will take the FSA with Writing exam on a computer. Rather than recording their response to the prompt on paper, they will input their answer into a textbox.

Regardless of their grade level, all students taking this writing exam will have a total of 120 minutes to complete the test. During this time, students may want to spend a few moments using the Writing Planning Sheet that they will be provided with to organize their thoughts before beginning their essay. While the session for the exam is 120 minutes, students who do not complete their response in this allotted time frame can continue working on the exam for up to one half the length of a standard school day.

Exam Score Information

In addition to the writing test, the FSA ELA exam also has a reading portion. A student's performance on both of these exams will be evaluated and combined to determine their final ELA score. Students receive a numerical score that will fall into one of five categories. Level 1 is considered inadequate, level 2 is below satisfactory, level 3 is satisfactory, level 4 is proficient, and level 5 is mastery. Scoring into the level 3 category is considered passing.

The range for scoring changes depending on the grade level that a student is in. The table below shows the score range for the ELA exam according to grade level.

Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5
Grade 4251-296297-310311-324325-339340-372
Grade 5257-303304-320321-335336-351352-385
Grade 6259-308309-325326-338339-355356-391
Grade 7267-317318-332333-345346-359360-397
Grade 8274-321322-336337-351352-365366-403
Grade 9276-327328-342343-354355-369370-407
Grade 10284-333334-349350-361362-377378-412

Preparing for the FSA with Writing Exam

Students who are getting ready to take the FSA with Writing exam may be interested in learning how to prepare effectively for this test to ensure they achieve a passing score. The FSA organization has provided practice tests and other study resources that students can access for free on their website. Practicing responding to prompts in an essay format may prove helpful to many students.

Study.com has also created a number of courses that are designed to help prepare students for the FSA ELA exam. These ELA prep courses are available for grades 6-10. Additionally, Study.com has created a course, Master English Language Arts for Kids that may be helpful to students in grades 4 and 5 who would like to prepare for this exam.

FSA Test Tips

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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