State Assessment System

Wyoming’s assessment system measures students’ progress toward the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards. It is used to enhance teaching and learning, support school improvement, and provide data for accountability ensuring the effectiveness of schools, programs, and staff. When used in conjunction with a school district’s annual assessment program, statewide assessments provide the information needed to develop and implement strategies for improvement of student performance.

Assessment System for 2017-2022

2017-2022 Summative Assessments
  • Reading and mathematics will be assessed each year in grades 3-10.
  • Science will be assessed in grades 4, 8,  and 10 (once per grade span) – because we have new science standards, a new science assessment will be operational for the 2020 assessment; we will continue with our current assessment on the new testing platform for the next two years.
  • Writing will be assessed in grades 3, 5, 7, 9.
  • Online with multiple item types (e.g., enhanced multiple choice, constructed response, technology enhanced, performance task).
  • Later spring testing window. 
  • Testing time is limited to 1% of the school year (e.g., 9 hours for elementary, 10 for middle school, and 11 for high school); this is for “actual testing time” and does not include test prep, breaks, or time reading the instructions.
  • Comparability across states – students’ scores are to be comparable to students’ scores from other states.
  • Reporting deadline of August 1st, starting year 2, to facilitate school improvement activities.
  • Readiness check and training will be conducted to ensure schools have a smooth online test administration.

2019-2020 State Assessment System Composition

WY-TOPP Assessments (grades K-10)
  • The Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress (WY-TOPP) is a system of interim, modular on-demand, and summative assessments in reading, mathematics, and science. The WY-TOPP interim assessments in reading and mathematics are administered in fall for grades 1-10, in winter for grades 3-10, and in spring for grades K-2. The WY-TOPP science assessment is administered in grades 4, 8, and 10. The WY-TOPP writing assessment is administered in grades 3, 5, 7, and 9. The WY-TOPP summative assessments are administered late-spring in grades 3-10.

ACT Assessments (grades 11 & 12)
  • ACT is the capstone of the ACT college and career readiness system. It measures students’ general learning outcomes in English, math, reading, writing, and science. This assessment is given once per year to all students in the 11th grade.
    • WorkKeys is an optional assessment for students in grades 11 and 12 and is used to assess a student’s job skills.

WY-ALT (grades 3-10)
  • The Wyoming Alternate Assessment (WY-ALT) is given once per year to students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-10 in ELA and mathematics and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in science.

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 English Proficiency Assessments
  • The ACCESS for ELLs® is required once per year with all students who are English learners. It assesses students’ progress in attaining English proficiency. An alternate ACCESS (ALT-ACCESS) is also available for English learners who also have significant cognitive disabilities.

  • In addition to the statewide assessment system, Wyoming schools and students also participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, every other year. The next administration of the NAEP is in 2021.
  • Note: Some schools may be participating in the NAEP History and/or Civics Assessments

2019-2020 State Assessment Helplines

Assessment Task Force

In the Spring of 2014, the WDE requested an opinion from the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office regarding parent opt outs from state-mandated testing (e.g. WY-TOPP, ACT, WY-ALT). The following is part of the AG’s response:

“In summary, the State Board of Education is authorized to establish the statewide accountability system pursuant to state law, including the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act. It has promulgated rules that require districts to administer the relevant assessments to all students in the appropriate grade levels. These requirements are within the authority granted to the board by the legislature. Consequently, districts may not allow students or their parents to opt them out of the assessments provided by law.”

The full opinion can be found here: