End of Year Exams Frequently Asked Questions from Students & Parents

2015-2016 Testing Calendar

Home Education Students


Private School Students

  • Summer 2016 FSA (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2) & NGSSS (Biology, Civics, US History) EOCs


Keywords for this page:Testing, FCAT, FSA, or EOC

All testing dates are subject to change. Please contact your school for specific testing dates.

FDOE Commissioner Letter

FDOE Commissioner Pam Stewart’s letter addressing questions about statewide, standardized assessments.

FSA and Student Placement

Students and parents can best prepare for the FSA and EOC exams by ensuring students are in class each and every day. Overall, students are working and studying very hard, asking questions in class and completing assignments. Parents are encouraged to stay involved in their child’s education by working with teachers and reviewing relevant websites and resources. It is important for all of us, parents, teachers, and staff, to encourage students to try their best, but to remember not to over-emphasize the assessments and create stress, fear, or frustration. For more test taking tips for parents, visit http://www.testtakingtips.com/parents/index.htm

The school district has created student Moodle courses to support student learning on EOC exams. More information can be found in the section above, under EOC Info & Resources.

The testing window begins on February 29, 2016. Please see the 2015-16 District Assessment Calendar for the specific dates of the FSA and EOC exams, as well as the computer or paper-based assessment format on this page. The amount of time and the number of testing sessions is also available on the District Assessment Calendar. Addtional information for each test is available on the FSA Portal www.fsassessments.org. Click on “Students & Families”, and then select “Frequently Asked Questions”. Please be advised that the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) may make changes to this document.

For 2016-17 placement in academic support and intervention programs, students will be placed in grades/courses based on a review of a variety of individual student data points. The data points include, but are not limited to, student course grades, instructional program results, a review of 2016 FSA scores (if available), Progress Monitoring data, and other relevant state-approved assessment results.

Students who demonstrate a need for intervention or intensive programs based on multiple sources of data will be provided with additional support. FSA results will be reviewed upon release and verification of data.

The FSA tests do not count toward a student’s grade in a subject. There are several state-required assessments that have an academic consequence related to a student’s grade. Biology, Geometry, Civics, U.S. History, Algebra I, and Algebra II each have a state requirement that the EOC exam counts for 30% of the student’s final grade, which may impact course placement and grade level promotion.

Third-grade students must participate in the statewide standardized assessment program required by section 1008.22, F.S. and demonstrate proficiency in reading in order to be promoted to fourth grade.

For 2016-17: Students not achieving a Level 2 or higher on the statewide assessment may qualify for a good cause exemption. Polk County Public Schools uses the Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (SAT 10) as the alternate assessment. Rule 6A-1.094221 (1)(A), F.A.C., authorizes the use of the following nationally norm-referenced test in the determination of a good cause exemption for promotion to fourth grade:

Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (SAT 10) – scoring above the 45th percentile

Polk County Public Schools fully supports the option of third grade portfolios as outlined in Section 1008.25(6)(b)4 F.S., which states that a student who demonstrates through a student portfolio that the student is performing at least at Level 2 on the statewide standardized assessment is eligible for a good cause exemption.

It is a graduation requirement for students to earn a passing score on the Algebra I EOC exam and the 10th grade FSA ELA. A student who does not have a passing score on the 10th grade FSA ELA test or the Algebra I EOC may utilize the following:

  • A concordant score on the SAT or ACT to meet the 10th grade FSA ELA requirement
  • A comparative score on the PERT Math to meet the Algebra I requirement. This option can only be utilized after the student has attempted the Algebra 1 EOC exam at least once.
  • Concordant/comparative scores on the SAT, ACT or PERT will earn the student a regular diploma, not a certificate of completion.

No, there is no requirement to participate in FSA to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses, advanced courses or honors courses. However, Polk County Public Schools' guidance counselors use the state-required assessments and other performance measures to make course placement and scheduling recommendations for students.

No, there is no requirement to participate in FSA to participate in any PCPS field trip or activity.

Polk County Public Schools seeks to treat students, staff and families with the utmost respect and courtesy. There will not be any intent to embarrass or humiliate students under any circumstances. However, Section 1008.22(3), F.S., states, "Participation in the assessment program is mandatory for all school districts and all students attending public schools." In compliance with state statue, all students will be offered the appropriate assessment(s). If a student refuses to take the test and sits quietly during the testing session, the student will be allowed to remain seated. If the student causes any disruption that compromises the testing environment, the student will be escorted to another supervised area and will receive school disciplinary actions as appropriate. His/her test will be coded as an invalidation due to disruption.

Students enrolled in standard courses are required to participate in SBAs. SBAs will be accommodated/modified in accordance with the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). FAA students may be excused from participation in the SBAs if the student’s cognitive ability and participation in the course does not include the student participating in written tests. SBAs are classroom-based assessments. Accommodations for ESE, 504 and ELL students that are applicable to a classroom-based assessment apply to SB’s.

Florida Statutes Section 1008.22(3) provides that participation in the assessment program is mandatory for ALL students attending public schools, except as otherwise provided by law. Pursuant to section 1008.212, F.S., the IEP team, which must include the parent, may submit to the district school superintendent a written request for an extraordinary exemption from the administration of the assessment.

It is a FLDOE requirement to ask students to sign or acknowledge the “Testing Rules Acknowledgement” statement. If students do not sign the “Testing Rules Acknowledgement”, they can still participate in the test. For computer-based testing, if the student does not select the button to acknowledge understanding of the testing rules, the student is able to access the test questions without pause or interruption. In computer-based testing, the only way the proctor would be aware of a student’s refusal to acknowledge test rules is if the student indicates this refusal to the proctor. For paper-based testing, if the student refuses to sign the “Testing Rules Acknowledgement”, the student continues on and begins the test without pause or interruption. Proctors monitoring for the signatures will not interrupt testing for a missing signature. In the script provided to test administrators, the proctor is directed to take note of the student’s name and notify the school test coordinator if the student did not sign or acknowledge the “Testing Rules Acknowledgement”. School test coordinators are directed to let these students test, but document the student’s refusal and retain this documentation at the school. This information is not submitted to the district or the state.

If you would like to view a copy of the Testing Rules Acknowledgment, this is available in the Test Administrator's Manual.


It is important to note the following for grade 3 students who have an “NR2” score, no score (“NT”-Not Tested), or a Level 1 score. There is a requirement for grade 3 students to demonstrate 3rd grade standards mastery on the state reading assessment to be promoted to grade 4. Absent a score, the student is provided a make-up test opportunity. If the student scores Level 1 or no score is available, the district will use a portfolio with state-approved reading passages to document mastery of 3rd grade standards or a state-approved concordant nationally normed test (The Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (SAT 10) is used in Polk).

Please note the following for grade 10 students who have an “NR2” score, “NT” score or a below proficiency score on the Grade 10 FSA-ELA and the Algebra I EOC exams. A grade 10 student who does not have a passing score on the FSA-ELA test must earn a concordant score on the SAT or ACT to graduate from high school. A student who does not have a passing score on the Algebra I EOC must earn a comparative score on the PERT Math to graduate. Please note that at least one attempt at the Algebra 1 EOC must be on file before a PERT Math comparative score can be used to meet the graduation requirement.

Students who do not answer any questions on an assessment will receive an “NT” (not tested) designation.

Students who are awarded an “NT” negatively impact the percent tested requirement for school grades. These students remain in the denominator of the school grade calculation.

If several students in a teacher’s class receive “NT”, then the teacher’s Value Added Model (VAM) score would be based on only those students who receive a score. The FLDOE will calculate a teacher’s VAM score on as few as two (2) students, although they do not recommend using this score in the evaluation process.


Each situation/allegation would have to be reviewed based upon the actions or non-actions of the certified educators and how those actions impact the students, the public, and/or profession. Laws, rules, and precedents established by prior legal decisions and teacher professional contracts with Polk County School Board establish a foundation to support that certain willful opt-out behaviors may warrant disciplinary action against an educator’s certificate. The Polk County School Board has established procedures for documenting instances of opting out.

As for obligations to report, the Florida Department of Education and Polk County School Board would consider an educator’s refusal to administer statutorily-required assessments as a potential violation of established standards of conduct that should be reported to the department. Reporting acts of misconduct is a duty of the district superintendent per section 1012.796, F.S., and failure to do so could result in discipline including forfeiture of salary per section 1001.51(12), F. S.

The first point of contact is the school principal. School principals have been asked to contact their respective Regional Assistant Superintendents regarding additional questions to ensure responses are appropriately reviewed and vetted.

Adapted from: Griffin, Walt. Seminole County Public Schools. “Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) Communication: Florida Standards Assessment Question and Answers.” February 25, 2015. PDF file.

Tests to be Administered

The following statewide assessments will be administered in the 2015–2016 school year:

  • Florida Standards Assessments (FSA)
    • Grades 3–10 ELA - Reading/Listening component
    • Grades 4–10 ELA - Writing component
    • Grades 3–8 Mathematics
    • Algebra 1 End-of-Course (EOC)
    • Algebra 2 EOC
    • Geometry EOC
  • Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) Assessments
    • Grades 5 and 8 Statewide Science Assessment
    • FCAT 2.0 Reading Retake
    • Algebra 1 EOC Retake
    • Biology 1 EOC
    • Civics EOC
    • U.S. History EOC

Florida Statewide Assessment Program 2015-16 Schedule

Florida's Transition to Computer-Based Testing for Statewide Assessments 2014-18


SAT Scholastic Assessment Test


  • October 3, 2015
  • November 7, 2015
  • December 5, 2015
  • January 23, 2016
  • March 5, 2016
  • May 7, 2016
  • June 4, 2016

ACT American College Test


  • September 12, 2015
  • October 24, 2015
  • December 12, 2015
  • February 6, 2016
  • April 9, 2016
  • June 11, 2016

Student Progression

Pupil Promotion in Polk County’s public elementary schools is based upon an evaluation of each student’s achievement. The basis for making the determination should reflect consideration of the following: teacher made tests, classroom assignments, portfolio assessments, daily observations, standardized tests, state assessment, and other objective data.

Click here for more information.