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Wisconsin Forward Exam


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During the 2015-16 school year, Wisconsin rolled out a new assessment called the Wisconsin Forward Exam. The Exam is designed to gauge how well students are doing in relation to the Wisconsin Academic Standards.  These standards outline what students should know and be able to do in order to be college and career ready. The Forward Exam is administered online in the spring of each school year at:

  • grades 3-8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics,
  • grades 4 and 8 in Science and,
  • grades 4, 8, and 10 in Social Studies.

Accommodations and supports for students with disabilities and/or English language learners are built into the system so that the progress of students can be accurately measured.

The Forward Exam is a high quality, research-based, and affordable online assessment that meets Wisconsin’s expectations. It is a customized assessment with innovative item types that includes test questions reviewed and approved by Wisconsin educators.

What's New

ELA Test Design Updates and New Short Write Task
An informational handout is now available on the Forward Exam Resources webpage
Alignment with new ELA and Mathematics Standards
The spring 2024 Forward Exam for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics at grades 3-8 will be aligned to the new Wisconsin Standards for ELA (adopted in 2020) and Mathematics (adopted in 2021). Updated Forward Exam Practice Tests will be available in late fall to help students prepare. More information about the newly aligned assessments will be communicated over the next several months.

2023-24 Accessibility Guide 

The 2023-24 Accessibility Guide is now available on the Forward Exam Accommodations and Supports webpage. There have been some significant updates to the Accessibility Guide for 2023-24. Please ensure ALL staff are made aware of and review the updated Accessibility Guide for the 2024 test administration.


Quick Contacts

DRC Help Desk

Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(800) 459-6530 

Forward Exam Program Manager
(608) 266-5182

Jennifer Teasdale

Education Program Specialist

Forward Exam
(608) 266-5193

Phil Cranley

Data, Student Demographics, and Privacy Issues
(608) 266-9798

Duane Dorn

Test Security
(608) 267-1069