The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is making a few changes this year. Fifth grade students taking the FCAT math will now take the test on the computer.
There will be two different sessions that are 70 minutes each. Like previous years, students will still get a formula sheet and a yellow work folder to use during the test.
"This allows students to have a scratch sheet of paper with them right there at the assessment, so that they can work the problems on paper before answering the questions on the computer," says Camilla Hudson, Coordinator of Student Assessment and Accountability.
Some fifth grade teachers, like Deborah Weber from Northside Elementary School, fear taking the test online will negatively affect their grades.
"I'm just so afraid they're going to click and go because its so much easier for them. I think your top students will be ok. But I think your average and low students will see the biggest fall back because they will not take their time that they would on their written test where you can see it," says Weber.
Another fear Weber has is the possibility of technical difficulties that could affect performance as well.
"There is times when the server is down and a child has to click out and come back. At ten years old, when you click out and comeback, I don't think the attention-span may be there," says Weber.
On the other hand, Camilla Hudson with sSudent Assessment and Accountability thinks the students will handle the change well.
"I really believe that our students are used to being on computers. They use them at home. They use them at school. Students are typically more comfortable with an online format than parents are sometimes. So parents relax. They're practicing at home. They're practicing at school. These students are going to be just fine," says Hudson.
Also this year, the reading portion for 6th, 7th,9th and 10th grades will be on the computer as well.