You are here

Assessment in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Student Assessment System

The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program designed to provide information about what students know in core academic areas and whether they can apply what they know. The WSAS includes:

The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires all states to test all students in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades 3-8 and once in high school. Student performance on these assessments is reported in proficiency categories and used for accountability determination at the school, district and state levels. Wisconsin State statute also requires students to take a science and social studies test  These tests together create the Wisconsin Student Assessment System.

A New Balance: Wisconsin's Strategic Assessment Systems

Stock IMG

In Wisconsin, more than simply balancing the types of assessments to provide a variety of data, educators recognize the need to strategically choose high quality assessment tools and practices, and then coherently and purposefully use that information to directly impact student achievement. Click here to learn more about Strategic Assessment Systems in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin State Assessment Timelines

Other Wisconsin Assessments

Assessment for ELLs

Federal and state laws require that students identified as English Learners (ELs) be assessed annually to determine their level of English language proficiency (ELP) and ensure that they are progressing in achieving full English proficiency. This includes students who receive special education services. Most ELs will take the ACCESS for ELLs assessment annually. ELs recognized under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004) as having a significant cognitive disability and who are expected to participate in the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment are eligible to take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs in place of the ACCESS for ELLs®.

Assessment for Reading Readiness

Wis. Stats. 118.016 requires each pupil enrolled in 4-year-old kindergarten to 2nd grade in a school district or in a charter school to be annually assessed for reading readiness. Each school board and the operator of each charter school shall select the appropriate, valid, and reliable assessment of literacy fundamentals to be used. The school board or operator shall ensure that the assessment evaluates whether a pupil possesses phonemic awareness and letter sound knowledge.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

NAEP is a survey assessment; each year a sample of schools are selected to participate.  It provides results at the state and national level and produces the Nation's Report Card. Districts that receive Title 1 funds agree to have schools participate, if selected, in Main/State NAEP in grades 4 and 8 reading and mathematics.


Below are the 2016-17 test administration windows.  A printable version is available under Wisconsin State Assessment Timelines above. For a calendar with details see the specific calendar under each assessment. 




December 6

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and Alternate ACCESS for ELLS Test Window Opens




January 30 – March 10

NAEP (for selected schools only)

February 10

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Test Window Closes

February 28 – March 22

February 28 - The ACT Plus Writing Grade 11

March 21 - The ACT Plus Writing Grade 11 Makeup Day

February 28 – March 14 - The ACT Plus Writing for Students Testing with Accommodations

March 1 - ACT WorkKeys Grade 11

March 22 - ACT WorkKeys Grade 11 Makeup Day

March 1-15 - ACT WorkKeys for Students Testing with Accommodations

March 20 – May 5

Forward – ELA, and Mathematics Grades 3-8, Science Grades 4 and 8, and Social Studies Grades 4, 8, and 10

March 20 – May 5

DLM – ELA and Mathematics Grades 3-11,  Science Grades 4 and 8-11, and Social Studies Grades 4, 8, and 10

April 24 – May 26

ACT Aspire Grades 9-10


Quick Contacts

Jennifer Cox Bell 

High School Assessments
The ACT, ACT Aspire Early High School, ACT WorkKeys

Tahira Chaudary

Forward Exam Program Manager

Jennifer Teasdale

Education Program Specialist
Assessment and Webpage

Kristen Burton

Special Populations

Jesse Roberts

Assessment for ELLs
W-APT, ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

Phil Cranley

Data and Student Demographics and Privacy

Duane Dorn

Test Security and Assessment for Reading Readiness

Angela Dugas

NAEP and International Assessments



For questions about this information, contact