Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCE)

At Grades 3-8, and 10

The Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) is customized to measure the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards (WMAS) and is developed and designed by the Department of Public Instruction and Wisconsin educators in conjunction with CTB/McGraw-Hill. This standardized test is composed of items specifically designed for Wisconsin and a few commercially developed questions used in schools across the country. Students in grades 3, 5, 6, and 7 take tests in Reading and Mathematics. Students in grades 4, 8, and 10 take tests in Reading, Mathematics, Science, Language Arts, Writing, and Social Studies. WKCE is administered to all the students enrolled in Wisconsin public schools during the fall of each school year.

The purpose of the WKCE is to provide information about student attainment of subject-area proficiency to students, parents, and teachers, information to support curriculum and instructional planning; and a measure of accountability for schools and districts. The results of the WKCE are used by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as an accountability measure for school improvement to meet its statutory requirement of identifying low-performing schools as stipulated by Wisconsin s. 115.38(4), meet the federal Title I (NCLB) requirement to determine how well children are learning, and determine the extent to which schools and districts across the state are meeting the Wisconsin proficiency standards.

Beginning September 1, 2002, WKCE scores are used as one of several criteria for advancing students from fourth to fifth grade and from eighth to ninth grade. The other criteria are academic performance, teacher recommendations based on academic performance, and any other academic criteria specified by the local school board.

WKCE for Reading, Mathematics, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies


  • Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Reading - Includes general guidelines to which the WKCE is algined.View or print on-line version | Order printed standards publication
  • Assessment Frameworks for Reading - Provides an indication of the range of coverage on the reading portion of the WCKE administered statewide in Wisconsin. PDF Format
  • Blueprint for Reading - Outlines the number and types of items on the WKCE. It also specifies the difficulty of the questions, the percentage of multiple-choice or written-response items, and outlines how the emphasis on various skills differs from grade to grade.
  • Performance Level Descriptors and Scale Score Ranges for Reading - Intended to help parents, educators, and others understand what children who score at a given performance level on the WKCE are expected to know and be able to do at the time of testing.
  • Practice Tests, Released Items, and Sample Items for Reading - Released items in reading provide educators, students, and the public examples of how students are assessed in these subjects on the WKCE. Released items come from the test administered in fall 2005 and will not be used again on future tests. These items may be used as practice tests or for teacher professional development.
  • 2006 Alignment Analysis of Reading Standards and Assessment by Norman L. Webb



Language Arts

Social Studies

More Information



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