More than a million students will hunker down for the FCAT on Monday. Third- through 10th-graders will be tested in math and reading over the next two weeks, and fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders will be tested in science. High scores can mean money for schools, while low scores can tarnish a reputation. The stakes also are high for students, who can be held back in third grade or later denied a high school diploma. Here's your chance to try some questions from past FCATs.
1. This is one of six questions fourth-graders were asked to answer after reading a 517-word story called The Sticky-Sticky Pine. The story was one of several on the fourth-grade reading test.
Read this sentence from the story.
Everyone knows that the pine tree is the sign of prosperity in Japan and, sure enough, the grateful pine had made him very rich.
What does prosperity mean?
2. This was one of 40 questions on the fourth-grade math test.
Jamie's family is planning to build a concrete basketball court in the back yard. How many square yards will be left in the back yard for grass?
A. 60 square yards
B. 35 square yards
C. 31 square yards
D. 24 square yards
3. This was one of 50 questions on the eighth-grade math test:
A plane is flying at an altitude of 27,000 feet. The pilot of the plane is trying to avoid a storm and increases the plane's altitude by ascending 3,500 feet. When the pilot sees he has not ascended far enough to avoid the storm, he ascends another 5,000 feet and finally another 2,500 feet. What is the plane's new altitude?
A. 11,000 feet
B. 16,000 feet
C. 23,000 feet
D. 38,000 feet
4. This was one of 12 questions eighth-graders were asked to answer after reading a 40-line poem called Copper Kettle Sweetheart. The poem was one of several reading samples on the eighth-grade reading test.
Read these lines from the poem.
When ladies met for quilting they would tease
Ma and ask didn't Ma mind that Papa
called her that name instead of pretty words?
But Ma always answered she was suited.
Based on these lines and on the rest of the poem, what does the author mean by the phrase "she was suited"?
A. Ma was not interested in her nickname.
B. Ma thought her nickname was puzzling.
C. Ma found her nickname to be satisfactory.
D. Ma did not like being asked about her nickname.
5. This was one of 11 questions 10th-graders were asked to answer after reading an 808-word essay called Women Who Shaped the Constitution. The essay was one of several reading samples on the 10th-grade reading test.
What is the main idea of the first paragraph (excerpted below)?
When the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft the Constitution, they did not have women's rights on their minds. They did not grant women the right to vote or a voice in the government that was being formed. There was a simple reason for this neglect: both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were based on an 18th century concept of justice and equality that was an exclusively white, male system of law and order. The Founding Fathers were simply the patriarchal products of their time.
A. The Constitution contained provisions for women's right to vote.
B. Women's rights were not considered when the Constitution was drafted.
C. The Founding Fathers came from similar economic and racial backgrounds.
D. In 1787, women had no right to vote, but they did have a voice in government.
6. The question was among 50 on the 10th-grade math test:
Jackie wants to determine the number of gallons of paint needed to paint the entire deck of a cargo ship. A sketch of the deck is shown at right. How many square feet will be painted?
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON THIS PAGE: 1, C; 2, C; 3, D; 4, C; 5 B; 6, 7,000 square feet
ANSWER TO MATH QUESTION POSED ON 1A: 5,338 cubic feet. An explanation is on 6B.
MORE EXAMPLES FROM PAST TESTS: www.myflorida education.com/sas/ fcatrelease.html.
Teachers hold an FCAT pep rally for fifth- through eighth-grade students at Clearwater Intermediate. The school, for children who struggle academically, was among those where students made the most progress last year as demonstrated by the test. Seventy-nine percent of the children showed improvement in reading, and 89 percent improved in math.
Ferrell Middle Magnet School teacher Debbie Holiday, right, performs as Tina Turner during Friday's FCAT Jamz at the Tampa school. The pep rally was designed to help students remember their Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test preparation and to help alleviate any test anxiety. Helping Holiday was art teacher Terrell Swagger, far left, dressed as Ike Turner.
SHOWING OUR WORK
The front of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test booklet offers various formulas, so the student needn't memorize the ones for volume. Treat the right cylinder and the right cone as separate entities and add their volumes at the end.
The volume of a right cylinder is pi x radius squared x height.
Pi approximately equals 3.14.
So 3.14 x 10 squared x 12 = 3,768 cubic feet.
The volume of a right circular cone is 1/3 x pi x radius squared x height.
So 1/3 x 3.14 x 10 squared x 15 = 1,570 cubic feet.
Now add the two volumes to get the final result of 5,338 cubic feet.