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Testing Requirements for Wisconsin Educator Licensing

In order to receive an educator license in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires applicants to demonstrate competency in the basic skills of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, as well as in the content knowledge of their specific license area. Tests and passing scores are approved by the State Superintendent.

Basic Skills Tests

Basic Skills Test requirements were removed by emergency and permanent rule changes in 2016 - 2017.

Subject Area Tests

All candidates who complete their educator preparation programs in an approved Wisconsin educator preparation program after August 31, 2004, are required to demonstrate content area knowledge.  This requirement also apply to educators returning to complete a new licensure area (e.g., subject) after August 31, 2004.

Candidates should discuss options with their preparation program advisor or ceritifying officer.

Content Knowledge Assessment

Approved preparation programs are allowed to use the following three options for candidates to demonstrate their content knowledge:

  1. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher in content-related coursework
  2. Praxis II content knowledge assessment or the appropriate ACTFL world language assessment

    A complete listing of Wisconsin-approved subject area tests and their passing scores can be found on the ETS Website ( or call 1-800-772-9476.

    For ACTFL, Wisconsin requires both the Oral Proficiency interview (OPI-OPIc) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). The qualifying score for licensure in Wisconsin on both tests are "Intermediate High. For more information, see the LTI Website ( or email
  3. A locally developed content-based portfolio

Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test

Effective January 31, 2014, applicants for initial licensure as an elementary teacher (grades K-5, EC, EC-MC, MC-EA), a special education teacher, a reading teacher, or reading specialist must receive a passing score of 240 or higher on the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test.  Any licensed teacher wanting to add one or more of these areas to their license must also pass the test. For more information, see the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test web page from Pearson (

Note: 2019 Act 44 created an alternative demonstration of knowledge and skill in the teaching of reading for special education teacher candidates only.  Contact your preparation program to see if this is an option for you.

Resouces for preparing to take the Foundations of Reading Test:

Note: Educators applying through the following License Pathways should click on the pathway name below for more specific information:


Submit questions and comments about this information to the Licensing Online Help desk.