Testing Requirements for Wisconsin Educator Licensing

In order to receive an educator license in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires applicants to demonstrate competency in the basic skills of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, as well as in the content knowledge of their specific license area. Tests and passing scores are approved by the State Superintendent.

Basic Skills Tests

Wis. Admin. Code PI 34 requires that all students applying for admission to an educator preparation program in a Wisconsin college/university or alternative program must pass competency tests in communication skills prior to admission.

Praxis CORE Tests

Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics are the state's approved basic skills tests.  Qualifying scores are:

Test Passing Score
Reading (5712) 156
Writing (5722) 162
Mathematics (5732) 150

For information including questions and registration, go to ETS Website (http://www.ets.org/praxis/wi) or call 1-800-772-9476.

College Entrance Tests

Beginning September 1, 2013, Wisconsin Educator Preparation Programs may use one of the following three college entrance tests as the standardized test of communication skills required for program admission. Only test scores that are the result of exams taken in the past ten years are allowable. 

College Entrance Test

Wisconsin Passing Score

The ACT® Plus Writing Test
Composite Score of 22 and combined English/Writing score of 20
The ACT® Test
Score of 23 with minimum sub-scores of 20 on English, 20 on Math, and 20 on Reading
The SAT® Test
(effective 9/1/2015)
Minimum sub-scores:
  • 520 on Mathematics
  • 510 on Critical Reading
  • 480 on Writing
The revised GRE® General Test (after 8/1/2011)
Minimum sub-scores:
  • 145 on Quantitative Reasoning
  • 150 on Verbal Reasoning
  • 3 on Analytical Writing
The GRE® Test
(prior to 8/1/2011)
Minimum sub-scores:
  • 540 on Quantitative Reasoning
  • 450 on Verbal Reasoning
  • 3 on Analytical Writing


Subject Area Tests

All candidates who complete their educator preparation programs in a Wisconsin college/university or alternative program after August 31, 2004, are required to complete and pass subject area tests for their licensure area to qualify for a Wisconsin educator license. There is no waiver for the subject area test requirement for each candidate’s licensure area. The subject area test requirements also apply to educators returning to complete a new licensure area (e.g., subject) after August 31, 2004.

Candidates enrolled in a Wisconsin educator preparation program should contact their respective program for all testing requirements pertinent to the licensure endorsement they are seeking and the timing to take the tests within the program sequence.

Praxis II

Praxis II content knowledge tests are required for all teaching and pupil services candidates (except School Social Worker) enrolled in Wisconsin educator preparation programs in any subject other than world languages.  A complete listing of Wisconsin-approved subject area tests can be found on the ETS Website (http://www.ets.org/praxis/wi/requirements) or call 1-800-772-9476.

Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test

Effective January 31, 2014, applicants for initial licensure as an elementary teacher (grades K-5, EC, EC-MC, MC-EA), a special education teacher, a reading teacher, or reading specialist must receive a passing score of 240 or higher on the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test.  Any licensed teacher wanting to add one or more of these areas to their license must also pass the test. For more information, see the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test web page from Pearson (http://www.wi.nesinc.com/Home.aspx).

ACTFL World Language Tests

ACTFL World Language Tests are required for all world language teacher candidates.  Wisconsin requires both the Oral Proficiency interview (OPI-OPIc) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). The qualifying score for licensure in Wisconsin on both tests are "Intermediate High.  To learn more about Wisconsin-approved world language assessments, go to the LTI Website (http://www.languagetesting.com) or email admin@languagetesting.com.

Note: Educators applying through the following License Pathways should click on the pathway name below for more specific information: