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Certification Testing and Assessment Requirements

As a teacher, your students will not be the only ones taking tests. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, all teachers must pass a series of tests to demonstrate that they have the knowledge necessary to teach their desired grade level and subject matter. Students must pass these tests to become certified to teach. The good news is these tests can be taken multiple times and not all tests will be required by students due to their qualifications or certification.

Certification Testing Requirements for Teacher-Education Students

Gate 1: Prior to registering for Sophomore Block
  • Evidence of Basic Skills Competency: qualifying ACT/SAT scores validated or Praxis CORE tests taken
Gate 2: By completion of Sophomore Block
  • Evidence of Basic Skills Competency: qualifying ACT/SAT scores validated or Praxis CORE tests passed
Gate 3: Prior to applying to student-teach (Dec. 1)
  • Subject Area Tests passed: Praxis Subject Assessments (Praxis II) or ACTFL
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test taken or scheduled (for licensure in EC/MC and MC/EA, provide score or confirmation of registration)
Gate 4: By program completion 
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test passed (for licensure in EC/MC and MC/EA)
  • edTPA completed and passed

Basic Skills Competency

Competency in Basic Skills: Reading, Writing and Mathematics
Students who are pursuing certification to teach must prove that they possess proficient skills in reading, writing and mathematics. This can be achieved by receiving certain scores on any college entrance exam (ACT or SAT) or on the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators. Evidence of basic skills competency must be provided by the time you register for Sophomore Block.

College Entrance Exams
Students can meet the basic skills competency requirement with qualifying scores on one of the following college entrance exams: ACT or SAT. The minimum scores required for each college entrance exam are listed below. To provide evidence of the basic skills competency requirement, students must provide the teacher-education program with the score report from the college entrance exam. Students whose set of scores do not qualify must take the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators tests in reading, writing and math.

College Entrance Exam Passing Scores
ACT Plus Writing A composite score of 22 and combined English/writing score of 20
ACT A composite score of 23 and minimum subscores:
  • English: 20
  • Mathematics: 20
  • Reading:20
SAT Minimum subscores:
  • Mathematics: 520
  • Critical reading: 510
  • Writing: 480
Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators
The Praxis® Core is a test required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for all students whose ACT or SAT scores do not satisfy the requirement. This test is taken during the student’s first year and must be passed to continue in the program beyond Sophomore Block. There are three tests: reading, writing and mathematics. The tests can be taken separately or at the same time. Taking all three at the same time costs less than taking and the three tests at separate times. To register for the Praxis® Core, please visit Educational Testing Service (ETS) website. See the table below for the test codes. If a student does not pass one or more sections of the test, they may retake those sections until the requirements are met. If a student is unsuccessful in demonstrating competency in a particular skill area after two attempts, he or she may appeal for an exception. For more information see the policy in the Teacher-Education Student Handbook.

ETS Praxis® Core Test Registration Codes and Passing Scores 
TestCodesPassing Score
Reading Exam 5712 156
Writing Exam 5722 162
Mathematics Exam 5732 150
Combined Test 5751 N/A

Subject Area Tests

Subject Area Tests
To skillfully teach a subject or grade level, one must demonstrate that he or she is competent in that area. Hence, the Wisconsin DPI requires students to take certain tests specific to the subject or grade level they will be teaching such as the Praxis® Subject Assessments, Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) and ACTFL’s Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). No exceptions will be granted for the subject area tests: Praxis® Subject Assessments, ACTFL or FORT.

Praxis® Subject Assessments
No matter the qualifications or certification, all students, with the exception of those seeking a world language certification, must take the Praxis® Subject Assessments, referred to as the Praxis® II by the DPI. Prior to taking the exam a student should have:
  1. Satisfied the Basic Skills Competency requirement
  2. Be in good standing with the St. Norbert College teacher-education program
  3. Have a declared major/minor and certification
Students must pass the Praxis® Subject Assessments before they are approved to begin student-teaching. Students who apply to student-teach in the fall must pass Praxis® Subject Assessments by the previous Jan. 15. Students who student-teach in the spring must pass Praxis® Subject Assessments by the previous Aug. 15. Unlike the Praxis® Core, which tests students in reading, writing and mathematics, the Praxis® Subject Assessments only assess students in the content they will be teaching. To register for the Praxis® Subject Assessments exam, please visit the Educational Testing Service website. See the subject area test by certification table below to determine the required Praxis® Subject Assessments exam based on major and certification.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language Exams (ACTFL)
Students seeking certification to teach a world language (French, German or Spanish) will demonstrate their subject area knowledge by taking the ACTFL World Language Tests. Wisconsin requires both the Oral Proficiency interview (OPI-OPIc) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). Prior to taking the exams a student should have:
  1. Satisfied the basic skills competency requirement
  2. Be in good standing with the St. Norbert College teacher-education program
  3. Have a declared a world language major/minor and certification
Students must pass the ACTFL tests before they are approved to begin student-teaching. Students who apply to student-teach in the fall must pass by the previous Jan. 15. Students who student-teach in the spring must pass by the previous Aug. 15. The exception to this is the OPI-OPIc test. It is recommended that the oral proficiency interview be completed after the required study-abroad experience. Thus, the deadline for passing the OPI-OPIc is August 31 of the academic year in which student-teaching will occur. To register for an ACTFL test, go to Language Testing International website

Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) 
The Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) is required for students with an elementary education major seeking certification in early childhood/middle childhood or middle childhood/early adolescent. The FORT assesses content knowledge in the areas of reading development, comprehension, assessment and instruction. Students must take this exam prior to applying to student-teach. It is strongly recommended that students take this test immediately after EDUC 350: Developmental Reading and Language Arts. To get more information about the FORT test, to register and/or to access test support materials, visit the the FORT website.

Subject Area Tests and Scores With Associated Certification

TestDevelopmental LevelMajor/CertificationETS Test CodeQualifying Score
Art: Content Knowledge EC/A Art 5134 158
Elementary Education: Content Knowledge EC/MC Elementary Education 5018 157
English Language Arts: Content Knowledge EA/A English Literature and Composition
Speech Communication
5038 167
English to Speakers of Other Languages
Dev. Level associated with major English as a Second Language (minor) 5362 149
General Science: Content Knowledge EA/A Biology
Broad Field Science
Chemistry
Earth and Space Science
Physics 
5435 154
Mathematics: Content Knowledge
EA/A Mathematics 5161 160
Middle School: Content Knowledge MC/EA Elementary Education (all minors) 5146 146
Music: Content Knowledge EC/A Music 5113 150
Social Studies: Content Knowledge
EA/A
Broad Field Social Studies
Economics 
History 
Political Science and Citizenship 
Psychology 
Sociology
5081
153
ACTFL - Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI-OPIc) and Written Proficiency Test (WPT) EC/A World Language (French, German and Spanish) N/A Intermediate High
Foundations of Reading EC/MC and MC/EA Elementary Education (all) N/A 240

edTPA

edTPA: Capstone Professional Performance Assessment
The edTPA is a pre-service teacher performance assessment. To complete the edTPA candidates choose a learning segment during student-teaching of three-to-five lessons in one class; collect artifacts (lesson plans, instructional materials, teaching videos, assessments and sample student work); write commentaries in response to prompts in a subject-specific edTPA handbook; and submit their artifacts and commentaries for professional scoring. External scorers rate candidate performance in planning, instruction and assessment using 15 edTPA rubrics.

All candidates for licensure in Wisconsin must complete the edTPA, submit it to Pearson for official scoring and achieve a passing score for initial licensure.

The edTPA passing scores for Wisconsin have been set at:
  • 38 for the edTPA handbooks with 15 rubrics
  • 32 for the edTPA handbooks with 13 rubrics
  • 45 for the edTPA handbooks with 18 rubrics.

More information can be found on our edTPA web page or the Wisconsin DPI edTPA website.

Overview

Testing and Assessment Requirements Overview

Type of TestTest NameWho takes it?What content is covered?When must it be taken?When must it be passed?What is the passing score?Where do I register or learn more?How much does it cost?
Basic Skills Test ACT Students submit qualifying scores to teacher-education. Basic skills competency Before registering for Sophomore Block By completion of Sophomore Block Composite score of 23 with minimum sub-scores of 20 on English, math and reading N/A N/A
Basic Skills Test SAT Students submit qualifying scores to teacher-education. Basic skills competency Before registering for Sophomore Block By completion of Sophomore Block Minimum sub-scores of 520 on mathematics, 510 on critical reading and 480 on writing N/A N/A
Basic Skills Test Praxis® Core
Students whose college entrance exams do not meet the minimum score Basic skills competency Before registering for Sophomore Block By completion of Sophomore Block Reading - 156
Writing - 162
Math - 150
LINK $150 for all three tests at once or $90 per test when taken separately.¹
Subject Area Tests Praxis® Subject Assessments
Everyone except World Language certification Subject matter knowledge Before applying to student-teach Fall student-teachers by previous Jan. 15

Spring student-teachers by previous Aug. 15
Passing score varies by subject test. Visit the ETS website for scores. LINK $120¹
Subject Area Tests FORT EC-MC and MC-EA certification Reading development, comprehension and assessment Before applying to student-teach Before becoming licensed.* A student can graduate but will not be a program completer without passing. 240 LINK $155¹
Subject Area Tests ACTFL World Language certification Oral and written language proficiency Before applying to student-teach Fall student-teachers by previous Jan. 15

Spring student-teachers by previous Aug. 15
Intermediate high LINK $70 for WPT
$139 for OPI-OPIc
Performance Assessment edTPA Everyone Teaching performance assessment: planning, instruction and assessing During student-teaching Before becoming licensed.* A student can graduate but will not be a program completer without passing. 38 for handbooks with 15 rubrics (at SNC this is all handbooks except World Language)

32 for handbooks with 13 rubrics (World Language)
LINK $300¹

(¹) Fee waivers are available from both ETS and Pearson for college students who meet all eligibility criteria. Contact them directly to inquire about how to apply for a fee waiver.

Basic Skills Competency

Competency in Basic Skills: Reading, Writing and Mathematics
Students who are pursuing certification to teach must prove that they possess proficient skills in reading, writing and mathematics. This can be achieved by receiving certain scores on any college entrance exam (ACT or SAT) or on the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators. Evidence of basic skills competency must be provided by the time you register for Sophomore Block.

College Entrance Exams
Students can meet the basic skills competency requirement with qualifying scores on one of the following college entrance exams: ACT or SAT. The minimum scores required for each college entrance exam are listed below. To provide evidence of the basic skills competency requirement, students must provide the teacher-education program with the score report from the college entrance exam. Students whose set of scores do not qualify must take the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators tests in reading, writing and math.

College Entrance Exam Passing Scores
ACT Plus Writing A composite score of 22 and combined English/writing score of 20
ACT A composite score of 23 and minimum subscores:
  • English: 20
  • Mathematics: 20
  • Reading:20
SAT Minimum subscores:
  • Mathematics: 520
  • Critical reading: 510
  • Writing: 480
Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators
The Praxis® Core is a test required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for all students whose ACT or SAT scores do not satisfy the requirement. This test is taken during the student’s first year and must be passed to continue in the program beyond Sophomore Block. There are three tests: reading, writing and mathematics. The tests can be taken separately or at the same time. Taking all three at the same time costs less than taking and the three tests at separate times. To register for the Praxis® Core, please visit Educational Testing Service (ETS) website. See the table below for the test codes. If a student does not pass one or more sections of the test, they may retake those sections until the requirements are met. If a student is unsuccessful in demonstrating competency in a particular skill area after two attempts, he or she may appeal for an exception. For more information see the policy in the Teacher-Education Student Handbook.

ETS Praxis® Core Test Registration Codes and Passing Scores 
TestCodesPassing Score
Reading Exam 5712 156
Writing Exam 5722 162
Mathematics Exam 5732 150
Combined Test 5751 N/A

Subject Area Tests

Subject Area Tests
To skillfully teach a subject or grade level, one must demonstrate that he or she is competent in that area. Hence, the Wisconsin DPI requires students to take certain tests specific to the subject or grade level they will be teaching such as the Praxis® Subject Assessments, Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) and ACTFL’s Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). No exceptions will be granted for the subject area tests: Praxis® Subject Assessments, ACTFL or FORT.

Praxis® Subject Assessments
No matter the qualifications or certification, all students, with the exception of those seeking a world language certification, must take the Praxis® Subject Assessments, referred to as the Praxis® II by the DPI. Prior to taking the exam a student should have:
  1. Satisfied the Basic Skills Competency requirement
  2. Be in good standing with the St. Norbert College teacher-education program
  3. Have a declared major/minor and certification
Students must pass the Praxis® Subject Assessments before they are approved to begin student-teaching. Students who apply to student-teach in the fall must pass Praxis® Subject Assessments by the previous Jan. 15. Students who student-teach in the spring must pass Praxis® Subject Assessments by the previous Aug. 15. Unlike the Praxis® Core, which tests students in reading, writing and mathematics, the Praxis® Subject Assessments only assess students in the content they will be teaching. To register for the Praxis® Subject Assessments exam, please visit the Educational Testing Service website. See the subject area test by certification table below to determine the required Praxis® Subject Assessments exam based on major and certification.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language Exams (ACTFL)
Students seeking certification to teach a world language (French, German or Spanish) will demonstrate their subject area knowledge by taking the ACTFL World Language Tests. Wisconsin requires both the Oral Proficiency interview (OPI-OPIc) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). Prior to taking the exams a student should have:
  1. Satisfied the basic skills competency requirement
  2. Be in good standing with the St. Norbert College teacher-education program
  3. Have a declared a world language major/minor and certification
Students must pass the ACTFL tests before they are approved to begin student-teaching. Students who apply to student-teach in the fall must pass by the previous Jan. 15. Students who student-teach in the spring must pass by the previous Aug. 15. The exception to this is the OPI-OPIc test. It is recommended that the oral proficiency interview be completed after the required study-abroad experience. Thus, the deadline for passing the OPI-OPIc is August 31 of the academic year in which student-teaching will occur. To register for an ACTFL test, go to Language Testing International website

Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) 
The Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) is required for students with an elementary education major seeking certification in early childhood/middle childhood or middle childhood/early adolescent. The FORT assesses content knowledge in the areas of reading development, comprehension, assessment and instruction. Students must take this exam prior to applying to student-teach. It is strongly recommended that students take this test immediately after EDUC 350: Developmental Reading and Language Arts. To get more information about the FORT test, to register and/or to access test support materials, visit the the FORT website.

Subject Area Tests and Scores With Associated Certification

TestDevelopmental LevelMajor/CertificationETS Test CodeQualifying Score
Art: Content Knowledge EC/A Art 5134 158
Elementary Education: Content Knowledge EC/MC Elementary Education 5018 157
English Language Arts: Content Knowledge EA/A English Literature and Composition
Speech Communication
5038 167
English to Speakers of Other Languages
Dev. Level associated with major English as a Second Language (minor) 5362 149
General Science: Content Knowledge EA/A Biology
Broad Field Science
Chemistry
Earth and Space Science
Physics 
5435 154
Mathematics: Content Knowledge
EA/A Mathematics 5161 160
Middle School: Content Knowledge MC/EA Elementary Education (all minors) 5146 146
Music: Content Knowledge EC/A Music 5113 150
Social Studies: Content Knowledge
EA/A
Broad Field Social Studies
Economics 
History 
Political Science and Citizenship 
Psychology 
Sociology
5081
153
ACTFL - Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI-OPIc) and Written Proficiency Test (WPT) EC/A World Language (French, German and Spanish) N/A Intermediate High
Foundations of Reading EC/MC and MC/EA Elementary Education (all) N/A 240

edTPA

edTPA: Capstone Professional Performance Assessment
The edTPA is a pre-service teacher performance assessment. To complete the edTPA candidates choose a learning segment during student-teaching of three-to-five lessons in one class; collect artifacts (lesson plans, instructional materials, teaching videos, assessments and sample student work); write commentaries in response to prompts in a subject-specific edTPA handbook; and submit their artifacts and commentaries for professional scoring. External scorers rate candidate performance in planning, instruction and assessment using 15 edTPA rubrics.

All candidates for licensure in Wisconsin must complete the edTPA, submit it to Pearson for official scoring and achieve a passing score for initial licensure.

The edTPA passing scores for Wisconsin have been set at:
  • 38 for the edTPA handbooks with 15 rubrics
  • 32 for the edTPA handbooks with 13 rubrics
  • 45 for the edTPA handbooks with 18 rubrics.

More information can be found on our edTPA web page or the Wisconsin DPI edTPA website.

Overview

Testing and Assessment Requirements Overview

Type of TestTest NameWho takes it?What content is covered?When must it be taken?When must it be passed?What is the passing score?Where do I register or learn more?How much does it cost?
Basic Skills Test ACT Students submit qualifying scores to teacher-education. Basic skills competency Before registering for Sophomore Block By completion of Sophomore Block Composite score of 23 with minimum sub-scores of 20 on English, math and reading N/A N/A
Basic Skills Test SAT Students submit qualifying scores to teacher-education. Basic skills competency Before registering for Sophomore Block By completion of Sophomore Block Minimum sub-scores of 520 on mathematics, 510 on critical reading and 480 on writing N/A N/A
Basic Skills Test Praxis® Core
Students whose college entrance exams do not meet the minimum score Basic skills competency Before registering for Sophomore Block By completion of Sophomore Block Reading - 156
Writing - 162
Math - 150
LINK $150 for all three tests at once or $90 per test when taken separately.¹
Subject Area Tests Praxis® Subject Assessments
Everyone except World Language certification Subject matter knowledge Before applying to student-teach Fall student-teachers by previous Jan. 15

Spring student-teachers by previous Aug. 15
Passing score varies by subject test. Visit the ETS website for scores. LINK $120¹
Subject Area Tests FORT EC-MC and MC-EA certification Reading development, comprehension and assessment Before applying to student-teach Before becoming licensed.* A student can graduate but will not be a program completer without passing. 240 LINK $155¹
Subject Area Tests ACTFL World Language certification Oral and written language proficiency Before applying to student-teach Fall student-teachers by previous Jan. 15

Spring student-teachers by previous Aug. 15
Intermediate high LINK $70 for WPT
$139 for OPI-OPIc
Performance Assessment edTPA Everyone Teaching performance assessment: planning, instruction and assessing During student-teaching Before becoming licensed.* A student can graduate but will not be a program completer without passing. 38 for handbooks with 15 rubrics (at SNC this is all handbooks except World Language)

32 for handbooks with 13 rubrics (World Language)
LINK $300¹

(¹) Fee waivers are available from both ETS and Pearson for college students who meet all eligibility criteria. Contact them directly to inquire about how to apply for a fee waiver.

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