WKCE Scale Score Ranges

The Department of Public Instruction has established performance standards (cut scores) for the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE) Reading and Mathematics content areas to more closely align with national and international expectations of what is required to be college and career ready. The higher cut scores are comparable to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) cut scores. The performance level descriptors that accompany the college and career ready cut scores have been revised to reflect the higher expectations required with these higher performance benchmarks.

WKCE Reading Scale Score by Grade

Performance Level Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 10
Advanced 507-640 536-650 546-690 573-730 590-780 613-790 644-820
Proficient 475-506 498-535 503-545 525-572 535-589 548-612 566-643
Basic 445-474 462-497 464-502 479-524 486-534 493-547 496-565
Minimal Performance 270-444 280-461 290-463 300-478 310-485 330-492 350-495

 

WKCE Mathematics Scale Score by Grade

Performance Level Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 10
Advanced 492-630 526-650 553-680 573-700 591-710 605-730 618-750
Proficient 438-491 474-525 501-552 524-572 544-590 558-604 574-617
Basic 388-437 425-473 449-500 475-523 500-543 510-557 528-573
Minimal Performance 220-387 240-424 270-448 310-474 330-499 350-509 410-527

These new WKCE cut scores and performance level descriptors will serve as a bridge to the more rigorous Smarter Balanced assessments, which will be introduced in the 2014-15 school year. Smarter Balanced is developing assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics—academic standards that are designed to help prepare all students to graduate from high school college and career ready.

WKCE Performance Levels:

  • Advanced - Students at this level demonstrate a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of rigorous subject matter and provide sophisticated solutions to complex problems.
  • Proficient - Students at this level demonstrate a solid understanding of challenging subject matter and solve a wide variety of problems.
  • Basic – Students at this level demonstrate partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work.
  • Minimal Performance – Students at this level demonstrate limited knowledge and skills in the subject matter and limited ability to apply knowledge and skills effectively.

Several steps were taken to arrive at the new college and career ready cut scores for the WKCE. Percentile ranks of Wisconsin students’ performance on the 4th and 8th grade Spring 2011 NAEP administration and on the WKCE for the past five administrations were used. Statistical processes were used to establish WKCE cut scores for grades 3, 5, 6, 7, and 10. These steps were reviewed by DPI’s Technical Advisory Committee, as well as a number of other assessment experts, and were approved by the US Department of Education as part of Wisconsin’s ESEA Waiver application.

 


 

WKCE Scale Score Ranges for Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies Effective 2005-06 through Present

Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies performance standards were not revised so comparisons across time are still appropriate for these subject areas.

Language Arts Minimal Performance Basic Proficient Advanced
Fourth Grade 140-251 252-276 277-307 308-420
Eighth Grade 250-357 358-384 385-417 418-520
Tenth Grade 290-392 393-427 428-483 484-630

 

Science Minimal Performance Basic Proficient Advanced
Fourth Grade 170-248 249-278 279-319 320-440
Eighth Grade 230-348 349-374 375-418 419-560
Tenth Grade 240-410 411-428 429-465 466-610

 

Social Studies Minimal Performance Basic Proficient Advanced
Fourth Grade 170-241 242-262 263-287 288-400
Eighth Grade 230-333 334-363 364-402 403-530
Tenth Grade 240-407 408-419 420-454 455-620

 

WKCE Science, Language Arts, Writing, and Social Studies Performance Levels:

 

  • Advanced - Demonstrates in-depth understanding of academic knowledge and skills tested on WKCE for that grade level.
  • Proficient - Demonstrates competency in the academic knowledge and skills tested on WKCE for that grade level.
  • Basic - Demonstrates some academic knowledge and skills tested on WKCE for that grade level.
  • Minimal Performance - Demonstrates very limited academic knowledge and skills tested on WKCE for that grade level.

 

For questions about this information, contact osamail@dpi.wi.gov