How to Score High in Florida Statewide Assessment (FSA) Test?
The FSA test is mandatory in the State of Florida. It ensures that all students from a particular grade level have obtained the minimum knowledge they need to proceed to the next grade.
The FSA test reports give scores that fall into one of the five performance levels. This article aims to tell you the basics of the Florida Statewide Assessment, the testing process, and its scoring. We will provide you with tables for each FSA assessment and its score ranges and will also direct you to all the best practice materials you need to complete the FSA tests successfully.
Table of Contents
What Is the Florida Statewide Assessment?
Student-age children in the State of Florida pass the Florida Statewide Assessment to finish a grade. The Florida Statewide Assessment ensures that students obtain the minimum knowledge they need in their current grade to be able to follow the curriculum of the next grade.
With that, the Florida Statewide Assessment program aims to unify the minimum knowledge bar for all students across the state.
Before 2014, the standards students needed to attain were identified through the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards or the NGSSS. Since 2014, the Florida StatewideAssessments replaced the standards for some tested subjects.
The Florida Statewide Assessment K-12 program has four parts:
- FSA – Florida Standard Assessments
- SSA – Statewide Science Assessment
- EOC – End-of-Course Assessments
- National and International Assessments
The FSAs (Florida Standard Assessments) portray standards for English Writing, English Reading and Mathematics.
The SSA (Statewide Science Assessment) portrays standards for Science.
The EOCs (End-of-Course Assessments) portray standards for U.S. History, Biology I, and Civics.
The National and International Assessments illustrate standards for different periodical testing processes in which all U.S. states participate.
What Is a Passing Score on the FSA in Florida?
The FSA tests come with a thorough FSA Individual Score Report with information about how the student performed. The two essential aspects of the FSA Score Reports you should be familiarized with are the Performance levels and the Score ranges.
The scores of the FSA examinations will come as a score that belongs to one of the Performance Levels. The performance levels are gradual numerical scales that “rank” the student’s Individual score compared to the predetermined Statewide Standards.
The 5 Performance levels are as follows:
- Level 1 – Inadequate – the student has obtained only a fragment of the Standards;
- Level 2 – Below Satisfactory – the student obtained a small part of the Standards, which is below expected for the grade level they’re in.
- Level 3 – Satisfactory – the student obtained at least the minimum knowledge set by the Standards. The passing score on each FSA assessment is the lowest score on the Level 3 scale.
- Level 4 – Proficient – the student obtained more than the minimum knowledge they should have, as stated by the Standards.
- Level 5 – Mastery – the student obtained all or almost all of the knowledge that the Standards measure.
The Performance Levels are scales with appropriate score ranges. Our next section will tell you the basics of the Score Ranges. Then, later in this article, we will name all the ranges for each grade for a particular subject assessment of the Florida Statewide Assessments.
The Score ranges are the ranges by which each Performance Level is defined. The Score range varies based on the school grade and the standards needed for each level. Furthermore, the minimum required score for passing increases with the school grade.
For example, the Score Range for grade 3 on the FSA English Language exam is 240 to 360 points, while the Score Range for grade 4 on the FSA English exam increases and is 251 to 372 points.
This would mean that a 3rd grader would need a minimum of 300 points to pass their FSA English Language, but a 4th grader would need a minimum of 311 points.
To better understand the Score Ranges and find the minimum required score for each grade of each FSA assessment, look under the respective FSA assessment name subheading of our article.
You can access the FSA test FAQs post on TestPrep-Online for more information. Their guide can address all your queries regarding FSA scoring and contains detailed information about the FSA assignment.
Is the FSA Test Hard?
The Florida Statewide Assessments and tests are done by following essential criteria that students must meet in each school grade level. Even though the FSA exams are not the sole measurement of students’ abilities and next-grade enrolment, they play a role in academic progress.
For example, students in 10th grade have to pass their Florida Standard Assessments in English Language and Mathematics to graduate.
The Florida FSAs can be administered in paper form or with the help of computer software. Nonetheless, students must be familiarized and used to answering the questions in both formats.
The FSA test can be challenging for students, especially since it is quite demanding and assesses all the knowledge students obtained during their current grade level.
The best way to ensure that you (or your child) pass the FSA tests is to have regular and extensive practice and preparation before the testing itself. TestPrep-Online is the most comprehensive and most thorough library for all kinds of practice materials, the FSA assessments included.
With their help, students can get used to the structure of the FSA questions while learning new things with each practice. TestPrep-Onlines’ interactive software also allows you to track progress continuously and identify academic strengths and weaknesses.
What Does the Florida FSA Test Measure?
As we previously mentioned, the FSA tests are divided into four categories:
- FSA ELA (English Language Arts – English Reading and Writing)
- FSA Math (Geometry and Algebra)
- FSA EOC (End-of-Course in Biology I, U.S. History and Civics)
- National and International Assessments
In the following sections of our article, we will get into more details about the three most used Florida assessments (ELA, Math, and EOC). We will also explain their score ranges.
FSA ELA Assessments and Their Scores
The FSA ELA Assessments, also called LAFS (Language Arts Florida Standards), will examine two aspects of English Language knowledge:
- Reading abilities through the ELA Reading Assessment
- Writing abilities through the ELA Writing Assessment.
The ELA assessments in Reading and Writing are given from 3rd-grade up to 11th-grade students.
The Writing Assessment will test students’ abilities to structure their thoughts and communicate ideas in writing. It will do so by giving students a variety of passages to read and asking them to answer with a writing prompt. As such, the FSA ELA Writing Assessment will measure the following standards:
- Text format and purpose – Ability to use words, sentence structures, narratives, arguments, logic, and analysis.
- Range of writing – Ability to adapt writing to various objectives, audiences, time frames, editing strategies, logic, purposes, etc.
- Research for building and presenting knowledge – Ability to use accurate materials and credible sources, logical and critical thinking during writing.
- Writing creation and distribution – Clear and cohesive writing aligned with the text’s purpose.
The ELA Writing test will contain planning sheets where students can organize themselves and take notes of thoughts or arguments.
The ELA Reading test will examine the students’ abilities to read and understand the written text through 55 to 66 questions.
The Standards these questions will measure are:
- Reading range and text complexity – Ability to understand different texts with different ideas, complexity levels, and purposes.
- Craft and structure – Ability to analyze, understand and evaluate words and their meaning, sentences, paragraphs, and styles.
- Key concepts and details – Ability to grasp the main idea, identify supporting ideas, draw conclusions, summarize passages and critically evaluate texts.
- Ideas and knowledge integration – Ability to evaluate given information, logically identify claims, and compare two or more sources.
Use the TestPrep-Online FSA ELA Practice Tests article if you want to familiarize yourself with more in-depth info about the FSA ELA testing material, sample questions, and helpful tips for practice.
FSA ELA Assessment Test Scores
The scores on the FSA ELA Assessment (also called LAFS scores) are joined scores from the two sub-tests, English Reading and English Writing.
The minimum score on the Level 3 of this assessment is considered a passing score for the FSA ELA test.
The scores marked with asterisks on the Level 3 scales are the minimum scores needed to pass the FSA ELA assessments in the respective grade.
FSA Math Assessments and Their Scores
The FSA Math Assessment, called the Mathematics Florida Standards (MAFS), is a test that measures the so-called “Mathematical Practices” or Standards. Students from 3rd up to 8th grade are tested for these Standards.
Grades 3 to 5, take the test in two 80-minutes sessions on two different days. From Grade 6 to 8, they take it on three different days, with an hour-long session each day. Session 1 doesn’t allow calculators, while sessions 2 and 3 do.
The following standards are used for the FSA Math Assessments in different grades and the End-Of-Course assessments in Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry.
- Quantitative and abstract thinking
- Understanding Math problems and coming up with ways to solve them
- Constructing valuable arguments to make a point
- Mathematical models
- Strategic use of different mathematical tools and operations
- Using structure
- Repetitive usage of principles when reasoning
If you want to get into more details about the abilities your child should have and demonstrate on the FSA Math test in different grades, use the thorough guide at TestPrep-Online and their FSA Math Practice article.
FSA Math Assessment Test Scores
The minimum FSA Math scores, as with all FSA score levels, increase through grades. These are the score ranges for the Florida Standards Math Assessment in grades 3 through 8.
The scores marked with asterisks on the Level 3 scales are the minimum scores needed to pass the FSA Math assessments in the respective grade.
FSA Statewide Science Assessment and Its Scores
Students in grades 5 and 8 are taking the Statewide Science Assessment (SSA). 5th and 8th graders are tested on questions that share the same themes but differ in material difficulty.
These are the Science Standards:
- Nature of Science (Research, Experiments, Analyses, Interpretation of data)
- Earth and Space Science (Astronomy, Solar Systems, Planets, Climate)
- Physical Science (Physics and its laws)
- Life Science (Biology and Organisms)
Exams are given to students on paper and consist of 60–66 multiple-choice questions. Students get 160 minutes to finish the test, which is given in two sessions for both the 5th and 8th-grade exams.
To understand more about the Statewide Science Assessment, you can head to the FSA Science Assessment Practice Sample Questions article.
FSA Science Assessment Test Scores
The scores marked with asterisks on the Level 3 scales are the minimum scores needed to pass the FSA Science assessments in the respective grade.
FSA End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments and Their Scores
Florida’s End-of-Course (EOC) exams provide an additional evaluation method to compare students to the Florida Standards and the NGSSS.
In 2011, the NGSSS Algebra I exam was switched to an EOC evaluation structure. Florida’s other subjects were subsequently realigned to EOC assessment styles, including Biology I, Geometry, U.S. History, and Civics.
- Algebra I, Algebra II, and geometry FSA EOC tests are given for two days in two 90-minute sessions.
- The 160-minute NGSSS EOC assessments (Biology 1, U.S. History, and Civics) are given all at once.
Passing Algebra I EOC Assessment is required from 10 graders before they can graduate with a high school standard diploma.
FSA EOC Assessment Test Scores
The scores marked with asterisks on the Level 3 scales are the minimum scores needed to pass the FSA EOC assessments for the respective subject.
If students don’t pass the FSA assessments, they can retake them. For Algebra I, the retake has different scoring scales, with a passing score being 399 instead of 497.
How Do I Prepare for the FSA Test?
The extensive library at TestPrep-Online can be helpful if your child needs to take the FSA or NGSSS exams.
TestPrep-Online offers various packages, including practice packs with tests, in-depth explanations, study guides, and improvement reports, that are appropriate for preparing for academic exams.
Currently, you can get the following FSA bundles:
Other grade and subject-specific FSA practice bundles are currently constructed and will soon be available at TestPrep-Online. In the meantime, they offer MAT test Practice Bundles, which are adequate for FSA test practice and contain the same questions structure and complexity for each grade level.
The FSA test is used in the State of Florida to ensure unified minimum knowledge that each student finishing a particular grade has obtained. For that purpose, The Florida Statewide Assessment uses Standards for each tested subject.
The FSA test scores come in Individual Score Reports that contain a score and a placement in one of the 5 Performance Levels. This article explained the standards and provided tables for Score ranges and Performance levels for all of the FSA English Language Arts, FSA Math, and FSA End-of-Course assessments.
Ultimately, we also suggested TestPrep-Online as the most accurate and extensive online library for practice materials for the FSA test.
Written by Victoria Todorovska
Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.