Things to Remember When Practicing and Testing in MathFacts in a Flash Software

What Students See on the Screen

The screen shows the student's name, whether the student is taking a practice or a test, and a count showing what problem the student is on relative to the total number of problems in the practice or test. Also shown is Stop Practice or Stop Test.

Stopping a Practice or Test

Once a practice or test starts, you can stop it at any time. See Stopping a Practice or Test. In MathFacts in a Flash, stopped practices and tests cannot be resumed.

Student Practice

Students should practice once or twice between tests.

Baseline Tests

A baseline test is the first test taken at a level. It establishes accuracy and time scores for the student to improve on. It also creates a list of problems the student missed. Those problems will be included in practice sessions.

How Students Answer Questions

See How Students Answer Questions. Note that students cannot skip problems.

Going Back a Problem

During tests, the student can go back to the previous problem and choose a different answer. The student can only go back one problem. The additional time it takes the student to answer the problem the second time will be added to the total time for the test. The student can still master the level if the total time is equal to or less than the mastery-time goal for that level. During practices, students cannot go back one problem. To return to the previous problem, students select < Back (in MathFacts in a Flash) or Back (in Renaissance Home Connect).

Practices and Tests Are Timed

There is a time limit for each problem and the practice or test. If the student does not select an answer before time runs out, the next problem will appear.

If the student times out on a problem, it will be counted as:

  • Incorrect if the student has selected or entered the wrong answer or if the student has not selected any answer when the program times out.
  • Correct if the student selects or enters the correct answer when the program times out.

If the student "times out" on a practice or test, the program stops it. Stopped practices and tests may or may not be saved in the practice/test history (tracked in reports and the student details information); for more information, see Stopping a Practice or Test.

Teachers can set time limits via the Time Goals Preference, the Time-Out Preference, and/or the Mastery Time for a Level:

  • Time Goals Preference: The default is Enable Time Targets. Target 1, two minutes, zero seconds. Subsequent targets decrease 15 seconds per target.
  • Time-Out Preference: The defaults are (1) Time-Out per Practice or Test: 10 minutes and (2) Time-Out per Problem: 30 seconds.
  • Mastery Time for a Level: The default is two minutes and zero seconds.

Practice and Test Length

Practices are always at least 20 problems long. Practices consist of problems that are considered difficult for the level and problems that the student missed on the last test at that level. The program lists the problem number the student is on and the total number of problems in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Tests are always 40 problems long. The program lists the problem number the student is on and the total number of problems in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Incorrect Answers in Practices

Incorrect answers on practice problems are marked as the problem is answered. The same problem is then presented to the student again. This gives the student a chance to answer the problem correctly and commit the answer to memory. How the wrong answer is marked depends on the setting of the Question Type Preference:

  • If the preference is set to Multiple Choice or Multiple Choice Shortcut Keys, the program draws an X over the wrong answer and a rounded box around the correct answer. The student chooses the correct answer and moves on to the next problem.
  • If the preference is set to Free Response, an X appears in the blank field. The correct answer then displays. The student enters the correct answer and moves on to the next problem.

Reported Time Score versus Completion Time

If you measure the total time it takes a student to complete a practice or test session (completion time), you may notice a difference between your time measurement and the reported time score.

The reported time score is the sum of the problem response times, not the overall elapsed time. The program measures only the time it takes a student to respond to a problem. The time required to display the problem and the answer is not included in the reported time score the student receives.

Example: A session that takes the student 3 minutes to complete could have a reported time score of 2 minutes 20 seconds.

TOPS Reports

Teachers can print TOPS reports from the Assignment Book.

When a practice or test is completed using MathFacts in a Flash, students select TOPS to see a TOPS Report about their work. To print the TOPS Report, students select Print. Note: TOPS reports do not automatically print when a practice or test is completed; students must select the Print button.

TOPS Reports do not print after practices or tests for offline work in Renaissance Home Connect.

Renaissance Home Connect Updates

To receive Renaissance Home Connect progress updates by email, approve or add this email address to the home email account's list of contacts.

The Options That Students See Are Determined by Preferences

The Mandatory Practice preference determines whether students must practice after failing the first test at a level.

The Problem Format preference determines the format (horizontal, vertical, or combination) of test problems.

The Time Goals preference determines if students must meet additional time goals after a level is mastered. (If the preference is disabled, the student will not see a Try Again option.