The ACT® assesses students' academic readiness for college and is the capstone of several assessment products offered by ACT, Inc. The ACT tests five subject areas – English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Writing. The Composite score is the whole number average of the subject area scores not including Writing. The Combined score (English/Writing) combines a student's performance on the English and the Writing test. Beginning in 2015-16, the Combined score is no longer reported by ACT, Inc., and an English Language Arts (ELA) score based on the English, Reading and Writing scores and a STEM score based on Mathematics and Science was added. DPI calculated an ELA score for 2014-15.
The highest possible score on the exam is 36 for the Composite, Combined, ELA, and STEM scores and each of the subject scores. Prior to 2015-16 the lowest possible score for Writing was 2 and the highest possible score was 12. The scores of each subject area are categorized as College Ready or Below College Ready based on benchmark values provided by the ACT. No ACT benchmarks are provided for the Composite, Combined, ELA, STEM, and Writing scores.
- 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.
- Test participation for 2020-21 may be lower than in other years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When making comparisons to the state or across years, use caution when participation rates are lower than 95%, especially when the group of tested students is not representative of the overall population of students.
ACT exam results in WISEdash are organized into two types of reporting:
Results for students that are expected to graduate from high school that year. For example, if a student took the ACT in 11th grade in 2013-14 and was expected to graduate in 2014-15 then their results will appear in the 2014-15 ACT graduating class results. These graduating class results are available from the 2007-08 school year on.
- Results for students that took the exam as part of the Wisconsin statewide 11th grade ACT administration. These statewide results are available from the 2014-15 school year on. More information about the statewide ACT administration is available at https://dpi.wi.gov/assessment/act.
Beginning with the 2015-16 graduating class results these two sets of ACT results will overlap. For example, a student’s 2014-15 Wisconsin statewide 11th grade ACT administration results will also be included in the 2015-16 ACT graduating class results.
Student ACT college entrance exam results are available in WISEdash beginning with the 2007-08 school year. The results are submitted directly to the DPI by ACT, Inc. at the beginning of each school year for students that are expected to graduate from high school that year. For students that have taken the exam multiple times, DPI receives the result of the most recent attempt regardless of when that exam was actually taken.
When a student takes the ACT as an elective and not as part of the Wisconsin statewide 11th grade administration, the Writing section of the ACT is optional. This means that many students in the ACT graduating class results will not have Writing scores. If a student does not have a Writing score they will also not have a Combined/ELA score.
ACT graduating class results include results for the Composite, Combined, English, Math, Reading, Science and Writing (when available). An English Language Arts score is not available (see the ACT Statewide 11th Grade Administration Results section below for information about the English Language Arts score).
ACT graduating class results are reported as scores for all sections and College Ready / Below College Ready for English, Mathematics, Reading and Science.
|ACT College Readiness Benchmark Scores|
|Before 2012-13||Beginning with 2012-13||Beginning with 2015-16|
Exam results are included for students that cannot be positively identified from the record as well as for students that have requested to not be identified. With some exceptions, these records are included in aggregate charts with Unknown student demographics.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school year all 11th grade students in Wisconsin (except for approximately 1% of students with cognitive disabilities who are assessed with an alternate assessment) are required to take the ACT.
All students taking the ACT as part of the statewide 11th grade administration are required to take the Writing section.
ACT statewide 11th grade administration results include results for the Composite, Combined (2014-15 only), English Language Arts (ELA), English, Math, Reading, Science, STEM (2015-16 and later) and Writing. The English Language Arts score for 2014-15 was calculated by DPI by multiplying the Writing score by three, combining that score with the English and Reading scores, and then dividing that result by three. Students who do not receive scores for all three subject areas (English, Reading, Writing) will not receive an ELA score. These students will be identified as “not tested” for reporting and accountability purposes. The English Language Arts score for 2014-15 is Wisconsin specific and is not available in other states or nationally. For the 2015-16 administration, ACT reported an ELA score which included the English, Reading and Writing scores.
ACT statewide 11th grade administration results are reported as scores for all sections and College Ready / Not College Ready for English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, ELA and STEM. ACT statewide 11th grade administration results are also reported as the performance levels Below Basic, Basic, Proficient and Advanced for ELA, Mathematics and Science. These performance levels are Wisconsin specific and are not available in other states or nationally. See https://dpi.wi.gov/assessment/act/data/act-proficiency for more information about performance levels.
The ACT Statewide – DPI Performance Levels dashboards are defaulted to show both ACT and Dynamic Learning Maps data. Users can filter by “Test Type” to view performance dashboard results for either assessment by itself. The scale score dashboards only provide data for the ACT. A “No ACT” category representing non tested students is included with the ACT Statewide – DPI Performance Levels dashboards. Students may not have been tested because they were opted out of testing by a parent, were absent on the test administration date, or for another reason.