Student Assessments

In every classroom, assessments are used to evaluate what students know and what they can do. In Wyoming, school and district assessments are developed locally. From grades three through 11, Wyoming students take a variety of state standardized tests. Together these tests are used to measure student achievement and growth.

  • Classroom quizzes and tests given by teachers to assess general daily learning;
  • Schools may also create school-wide/grade-level assessment system.
  • Wyoming districts use computerized tests to gauge how well students are learning reading, writing, math, and science;
  • Districts may also create district-wide/grade-level assessment system.
  • PAWS;
  • ACT Suite:
    (ACT Aspire®, ACT®, COMPASS®, WorkKeys®);
  • ACCESS (for ELLs)
  • Wy-ALT (for students with significant cognitive disabilities).


Students in grades 3 through 8 take the statewide Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students (PAWS) in reading and math. Students in grades 4 and 8 also take the science portion of the PAWS test.

PAWS results are used to evaluate school performance. Schools rated by performance levels gain an understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses according to these tests. Districts use their own methods to directly evaluate individual students.

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) works with a major testing company, Educational Testing Services (ETS), to craft the PAWS. The WDE and Wyoming teachers are intimately involved in item development to ensure questions accurately measure the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards and are grade and population appropriate.

ACT Suite

Students in grades 9 and 10 take ACT Aspire; students in grade 11 take the ACT Plus Writing. These standardized tests are indicators of college readiness and student achievement.

ACT Inc., creates various assessments including the ACT Plus Writing and ACT Aspire which Wyoming uses in accountability determinations. These are off-the-shelf assessments which are created and maintained by the ACT. Neither Wyoming teachers nor the WDE have involvement in the development or content of these assessments.

Assessment Task Force

The Wyoming Assessment Task Force was formed in the spring of 2015 to study options for future statewide assessments and to make recommendations to the Wyoming State Board of Education and legislative committees. Their work will be presented to the State Board on September 23, 2015 and to the Joint Education Committee on October 30, 2015.

Task force members were chosen by a committee of State Board members from those who expressed interest through an online survey. All Wyoming Assessment Task Force meetings are open to the public.