Florida students gain 30 minutes on state writing test
When students take their computerized Florida Standards Assessments in writing later this month, they'll have a half hour longer to complete their work than they had a year ago.
Last year, they had 90 minutes, with an optional 30 minutes to finish (if they knew about the optional extension). Now, everyone will get 120 minutes, with retakers allowed "up to half the length of a typical school day" for the exam. (The handwritten FCAT writing test was limited to two pages and 45 minutes.)
It's part of an effort to ensure that students are tested on what they know, rather than on their speed and keyboarding skills. After watching students take a practice test, one Hillsborough County language arts teacher said 120 minutes appeared to be adequate time for children to do the work.