Beginning in spring 2016, the Wisconsin Forward Exam was administered in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3 through 8, in science in grades 4 and 8, and in social studies in grades 4, 8, and 10 and is designed to evaluate how well students are mastering the Wisconsin Academic Standards. The Forward Exam is a computer administered assessment and includes multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and a writing prompt in the ELA section. Accommodations and supports for students with disabilities and/or English learners are built into the system so that the progress of students can be accurately measured.
The Forward Exam results provide information about student performance which allows:
- students to reflect on their achievement.
- teachers to target instruction to student needs and reflect upon their own instructional practices.
- administrators to more fully understand what students know and can do in order to guide curriculum and professional development decisions.
- parents/guardians to understand what their child knows and is able to do in ELA, mathematics, science, and social studies.
- all stakeholders to check how ready ALL students are for college and career, especially those groups that have historically been left behind.
2019-20 Forward Exam:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures, the Forward exam was not administered for the 2019-20 school year. Please see COVID-19 Related Assessment Updates webpage for more information regarding the waiver for statewide assessment, accountability, and reporting requirements. As a result, there will be no Forward Exam testing data available for 2019-20.
State testing data for previous years is available in WISEdash.
The Forward Exam is a summative assessment which provides information about what students know and can do in relation to the Wisconsin State Standards. Students receive a score based on their performance in each content area. Each score will fall in one of four levels:
- Advanced – Student demonstrates thorough understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.
- Proficient – Student demonstrates adequate understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.
- Basic – Student demonstrates partial understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.
- Below Basic – Student demonstrates minimal understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.
- Forward Exam results are reported on a 3-digit score scale for English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
- The tables below provide performance categories and cut score ranges for each performance level for each content area.
Forward Exam Scale Score Percentile Table
The percentile tables shows the direct correlation between the percentile and the scale score from the Forward Exam for 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19. The state percentile shows how well a child scored on the Forward Exam compared with students across the state.
Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs)
Note that no single test can tell us whether students have learned everything that is important for students to learn. Additional local evidence should be reviewed for a more complete picture of student learning.