Foundation Skills Assessment - FSA

The Foundation Skills Assessment is an annual, province-wide assessment of British Columbia students’ academic skills, and provides a snapshot of how well BC students are learning foundation skills in Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Numeracy. These are standardized tests held for students in Grades 4 and 7. 

These tests are not optional unless students meet a very narrow set of requirements for exemption.

HCOS will be administering the tests. Here is some information to help you and your child prepare for the tests.

There are four categories of testing; the testing in total takes about four hours. Here are the categories which are tested:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Numeracy
  • Reading / Writing Connections

The reading comprehension and numeracy components consist of multiple choice and written-response questions. The writing component consists of two writing tasks – one extended (longer) piece, one focused (shorter) piece, and a set of math problems, where the child needs to show their work. The multiple choice questions are done online. You will be mailed a booklet with the writing component.

The written tests will be marked by teachers from HCOS and the results sent to the support teacher.

The results will look something like this:

  • 4 Exceeds expectations – The level of performance at which a student exceeds the normal expectations for their grade. The student is working or has academic knowledge beyond the present grade level of the test.
  • 3 Meets expectations – The level of performance at which a student meets the widely held expectations for the grade on this test. This is where most students should fall.
  • 2 Approaching expectations - The level of performance at which the student shows inconsistencies in demonstrating the skills needed to meet the expectations (some may be at, some below, some not present).
  • 1 Not Yet Within expectations –The level of performance at which a student did not demonstrate sufficient skill to meet expectations. A teacher would want to know more about the reasons for a student’s low performance and would work with the parent to see where the problem might lie. 

FSA Questions and Answers

What does FSA stand for? FSA stands for Foundation Skills Assessment and this test is given to all students in BC enrolled in grades 4 and 7.
What subjects are tested? The student is tested in Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Math Numeracy.

What is an invigilator?


An invigilator is a person responsible for supervising a test. The invigilator for the FSAs is either a teacher (in our case, with HCOS) or any person the administration deems as unbiased. This can be the parent of the child. 

What time is involved for each test?

The time varies from test to test 


  • Reading Comprehension 
    • Part one: Collaboration 10-15 minutes
    • Part two: 30 minutes 
  • Writing   
    • 30 minutes  
  • Numeracy                                           
    • 30 minutes 
  • Online Reading: 60 minutes
  • Online Numeracy: 60 minutes

Total time less than four hours.


Student Learning Plan (SLP)





The Student Learning Plan (SLP) is a very important document. It is the first document that the Ministry looks at when they are checking to see if we are following the government guidelines. Collaborating to write the SLP is usually your first contact with the Support Teacher.

The SLP is made up of the following categories for each subject:

  • Goals - What do you want your child to accomplish or understand? 
  • Big Ideas - The overarching concepts of each subject.
  • Instructional Format and Resources -What activities and resources are you planning to use?
  • Evaluation/Assessment - How will we check to see if your student has grown in their abilities?

Information your Support Teacher will collaborate with you to build:

  • A list of the resources you plan to use during the current school year.
  • A list of the additional activities in which you hope to enrol your child, such as music lessons, swimming, 4-H, etc. (These can be paid with your curriculum budget if they are in your SLP.)
  • A list of topics you plan on covering for Science and Social Studies. For a list of all of the topics that are covered in these two subjects from K-9 please check our SOPHIE page Topics of Study. Often families with more than one child do these subjects together. If you are not planning on covering the topics for your child’s current year, let the teacher know if you have already covered the topic or at what future date you plan to cover it.

Your Teacher:

  • Will work with you to build the SLP, sharing ideas and incorporating your input.
  • Will post the SLP on Encom where you can review it. Be sure to tell your Support Teacher of any changes you would like to make. Or ask them any questions that you might have. 
  • Will make suggestions regarding learning standards, resources, pacing, strategies and assessment

Note: The SLP is a living document. This means that it should be reviewed by both the teacher and the parent throughout the year to ensure that it is current, and still reflects the education that is happening in your home. 

Once the SLP is completed, parents are expected to sign off on it in Encom. This indicates that the parent has participated in planning of the SLP. LINK: How to sign off on SLPs

Parent Sign-off for Student Learning Plans (SLPs)

SLP Parent Sign off

Directions for Student Learning Plan Sign Off

Log into Encom at (If you forgot your Encom password, choose the “Forgot Password” option). First view your child (or children’s) SLP to ensure it reflects your child’s learning plan for the year. The SLP is a fluid document and can be updated through the school year.

Next click on SLP Parent/Guardian Sign Off:

#1 - To view the SLP click on green highlighted “Student Learning Plan”

#2 – Type parent/guardian name

#3 – Type full legal name

#4 – Save SLP Sign Off

Repeat for each child