Wisconsin Forward Exam

The Wisconsin Forward Exam is designed to gauge how well students are doing in relation to the Wisconsin Academic Standards. These standards outline what students should know and be able to do in order to be college and career-ready.  The Forward Exam is untimed, yet the suggested typical duration is linked here

The Forward Exam is administered online in the spring of each school year for students in: 

  • grades 3-8 in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, 
  • grades 4 and 8 in science 
  • grades 4, 8, and 10 in social studies

Accommodations and supports for students with disabilities and English learners are built into the system so that the progress of students can be accurately measured. Additionally, the DLM™ assessment measures the academic progress of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in the subject areas of ELA and Mathematics at grades 3-11, Science at grades 4 and 8-11, and in Social Studies at grades 4, 8, and 10.  This is an online assessment delivered via the computer; however, some students may need their teacher to present the items to them.  The teacher will then enter the student’s response into the online platform.

The DLM system is designed to map a student’s learning throughout the year. The system will also use items and tasks that are embedded in day-to-day instruction. Instruction for these students is based upon the Wisconsin Essential Elements and aligns with the Wisconsin Academic Standards. This gives teachers the opportunity to see what students know during the year when teachers still have time to change instruction to better support student learning.

Purpose of the Forward Exam

The Forward Exam results provide information about student performance, which allows:

  • Students to reflect on their achievement
  • Teachers to target instruction to student needs and reflect upon their own instructional practices,
  • Administrators to more fully understand what students know and can do in order to guide curriculum and professional development decisions,
  • Parents to understand what their child knows and is able to do in ELA, mathematics, science, and social studies. and
  • All stakeholders to check how ready ALL students are for college and career, especially those groups that have historically been left behind

Parental Opt Out of Assessments (Students)

  • Parents may request, and the Stoughton Area School District will provide (in a timely manner) information regarding any State of or local educational agency policy regarding student participation in any assessment mandated by ESSA, the State or LEA which shall include a policy, procedure, or parental right to opt the child out of such assessments, where applicable, under Wis. Stats. 118.30(2)(b)3.
  • Please see Stoughton Area School District Policy
  • DPI has provided the following guidance on parent/guardian opt-out requests.  
    • Please see the section entitled “Why should I let my student take the standardized test? How does it benefit them?”, which families may find helpful. 
  • Frequently Asked Questions Include:
    • When is parent/guardian opt-out allowed?
      • When a parent or guardian requests that the student be excused from participating in the WSAS, this request must be honored at grades 4, 8, 9-11, per Wis. Stats. 118.30(2)(b)3. This request may come at any time during the testing window. All students excused by parent opt-out are marked as “not tested” students in school and district reporting determinations. 
    • How does a parent/guardian request an opt-out for their student?
      • A parent must submit a written request for student opt-out to the principal.  Per Wis. Stats. 118.30(2)(b)3., if the student is in grades 4, 8, and 9-11 the request must be granted.  However, if the student is not in the above-mentioned grade levels, the decision to grant the request is at the discretion of the school board.

Information about Your Student’s Scores

  • Find information about your student’s Individual Student Report (ISR) here
  • Obtaining Your Students Individual Student Report
    • Your student’s scores are available in Infinite Campus in July. 
    • Hard copies will be mailed via USPS in July.
  • More Information about Forward Exam Scores and Score Ranges is linked here


Kate Ahlgren

Director of Curriculum & Instruction
(608) 877-5031

Jose Guerrero

Data & Assessment Specialist
(608) 877-5032

Amanda O'Brien

Infinite Campus Specialist
(608) 877-5045
Enroll in SASD

Kyle Freund


Teacher Mentor
(608) 877-5046

Ashley Steffel

Administrative Assistant - Teaching and Learning
(608) 877-5042