Admirable Achievers

Claire Chen, Staff Writer

Every year, thousands of Florida high school students take the FCAT, or the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test, and the End-of-Course exam for Biology and Geometry, and every year, a select number of students rise to the top. From Robinson, fifteen students achieved that standard, some in two categories. When their names were called over the intercom, reactions ranged from “pretty good” to “honestly surprised,” but they all shared one common theme: Not one of them expected it.

“I was excited that I’d been able to score as well as I felt like I had on my paper,” said Arianna Krinos, who got a perfect score on the FCAT Writing. “I was really attached to my chosen topic this time because it was something that really inspired me.”

Marissa Rogers, who also achieved a perfect score on the FCAT Writing, was shocked.

“I felt confused at first, honestly,” Rogers said. “My friend and I went up to my English teacher to ask the day the scores came in because we both worried about passing-and when my teacher said I was one of the few to get a 6.”

Rogers response? “Oh.”

For some of these students, their teachers for their respective subjects played a big part in their preparation. But for others, it was a combination of good test-taking skills and life-long habits.

Stella Henderson had a perfect FCAT Reading score.

“I didn’t do anything prior to the test to prepare but all my life, my parents have encouraged reading. Rather than go to the movies on Friday nights, we would go to the bookstore,” Henderson said.

These high achievers also have some helpful tips for next year’s test takers. Corey Buel was the only student to get a perfect score on the Geometry EOC.

“Make sure you know your material beforehand,” Buel said.

Nhien Tran-Nguyen, a perfect scorer on the FCAT Reading, believes being able to read well is the first step to being prepared.

“There is no way to study for the FCAT like you would for a history test,” Tran-Nguyen said. “But the best advice would be to go into the test feeling confident and relaxed as well as getting a good night’s sleep and a nutritional breakfast beforehand.”

Trey Harris also had a perfect FCAT Reading score. Harris went the extra step and included a link for future test takers.

“You can view previously released FCAT Reading Comprehension tests [ online ],” Harris said. “Just by looking over a couple of questions and trying out one of the Articles you can grasp a much better understanding of what’s expected on the FCAT reading comprehension test.”

Other high achievers include Chaya Bhat and Alexis Weston for FCAT Writing, Kyle Bechakas for Biology EOC, and Abram Scharf and Joseph Navarro for FCAT Reading.