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The Foundations oReading Test (FoRT)  is a requirement by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Beginning on January 31, 2014, candidates in Wisconsin applying for an initial teaching license in Kindergarten through Grade Five or Special Education, or for licensure as a Reading Teacher or Reading Specialist are required to take and pass a test of reading instruction knowledge and skills. This test is administered by the Evaluation Systems group of the Pearson Company.

The University of Wisconsin - La Crosse requires that the FoRT must be taken and passed by teacher candidates prior to entering the student teaching semester.

Who has to take the FoRT? expanding section

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 licensure must also pass the test.  See https://www.wi.nesinc.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_FOR.html for more information.

  • Early Childhood - Middle Childhood (71-1777) 
  • Middle Childhood - Early Adolescence (72-1777) 
  • Middle Childhood - Early Adolescence Cross Categorical Special Education (72-1801) 
  • Early Adolescence - Adolescence Cross Categorical Special Education (73-1801) 
  • Reading Teacher (1316) 
  • Reading Specialist (5017) 
The Foundations of Reading Test is in addition to the current content testing requirements for each license as outlined on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website.
What should I know about the FoRT? expanding section

Format of the test: The FoRT is a computer-based test with 100 multiple-choice questions and two (2) written essay scenario analysis answers. 

Time: 4 hours 

Testing Dates: The FoRT is available year round by appointment. Test appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Testing Sites: Computer-based testing sites are located nationwide. 

Test Fee: The cost for taking the Foundations of Reading Test is $155.00 which includes a $125.00 test fee + a $30.00 registration fee. 

Testing Policy: When you register for the FoRT, you must agree to abide by all the rules. All policies are available on the http://www.wi.nesinc.com website. 

Passing Score: Teacher candidates who apply for Wisconsin licensure on or after September 1, 2014 need a passing score of 240 on the FoRT. This score was set as of July 11. 2013. 

Score Reports: Teacher candidates receive a receipt of completion upon finishing the test. Score reports are released within five (5) weeks of testing. 

Getting score reports: Your FoRT score report will be emailed to you if you requested this service when you registered for the test. Score reports are also posted to your account as PDF documents for 45 days. You may view, print, and/or save your PDF document for your records. Your account contains your complete history of testing and includes each test you took and the date each was taken. 

Score Reporting: After completing the FoRT, your test scores are reported to you, to the state through which you registered for the test, and to any other institution(s) or state(s) you indicate as a score recipient when you registered.

Where can I find resources to prepare for the FoRT? expanding section

The website: http://www.wi.nesinc.com has resources available for preparing to take the FoRT.

Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Study Guide 

This study guide was created and compiled by Jennifer Arenson Yaeger in October 2013. 

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the MTEL Study Guide she developed for use with universities and individuals contact her directly at jenayaeger@gmail.com for more information. 

This Department of Educational Studies website has links to resources available for teacher candidates. 

  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Practice Test
    This practice test includes multiple choice items and written essay scenarios. 
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Practice Test explanation
    This practice test includes multiple choice items with the explanations for why choices are correct or incorrect, as well as both strong and weak examples of the essay scenario answers to compare with what you wrote. 
  • UW-La Crosse School of Education Wisconsin Reading Test Practice D2L site. 
    This D2L site includes the following Content modules: 

Test Information 

  • FoRT Test Objectives 
  • FoRT Practice Test 
  • Fort Practice Test Explanation of Correct Responses 
  • UW-Oshkosh Wisconsin Reading Test Study Guide with Practice Questions 
  • UW-Madison Wisconsin Reading Test Powerpoint Overview with Practice Questions 
  • Test Information Checklist 

UWL Foundations of Reading Test Seminar videos and PowerPoint presentations 

  • Seminar #1 Word Structure & Vocabulary video 
  • Seminar #1 Word Structure & Vocabulary PowerPoint presentation slides 
  • Seminar#2 Phonemic & Phonological Awareness video 
  • Seminar#2 Phonemic & Phonological Awareness PowerPoint presentation slides 
  • Seminar #3 Phonics video 
  • Seminar #3 Phonics PowerPoint presentation slides 
  • Seminar #4 Literacy Assessment video
  • Seminar #4 Literacy Assessment PowerPoint presentation slides
  • Seminar #5 Literacy Comprehension video 
  • Seminar #5 Literacy Comprehension PowerPoint presentation slides 
  • UWL FoRT Seminar Checklist 

Foundations of Reading Development 

  • UW Madison Structural Analysis practice
  • UW Madison Phonics practice 
  • UW Madison Phonemic Awareness practice 
  • UW Madison Early Reading practice 
  • UW Madison Terminology questions 
  • UW Madison Terminology answers 
  • UW Madison Word Parts questions 
  • UW Madison Word Parts answers 
  • UW Madison Scenario questions 
  • UW Madison Scenario answers 
  • UW Madison Phonemic Awareness, etc. questions 
  • UW Madison Phonemic Awareness, etc. answers 
  • Foundations of Reading Development checklist 

Development of Reading Comprehension 

  • UW Madison Comprehension practice 
  • UW Madison Vocabulary practice 
  • Development of Reading Comprehension checklist 

Reading Assessment and Instruction 

  • UW Madison Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses questions 
  • UW Madison Assessment of strengths 
  • Reading Assessment and Instruction checklist 

Contact Dr. Ann Epstein (aepstein@uwlax.edu) or Dr. Yuko Iwai (yiwai@uwlax.edu) with any questions or concerns about the D2L site. 

When should I take the FoRT? expanding section

It is recommended that teacher candidates take the FoRT after completing the literacy course(s) required in their teacher education program.

Early Childhood - Middle Childhood (EC-MC) majors are required to take:

  • EDS 308: Foundations of Literacy 
  • EDS 412: Teaching Reading and Literacy 

Middle Childhood - Early Adolescence (MC-EA) majors are required to take: 

  • EDS 308: Foundations of Literacy 
  • EDS 412: Teaching Reading and Literacy 

 Special Education minors are required to take: 

  • EDS 308: Foundations of Literacy
Why is the FoRT a requirement? expanding section

As a result of the Wisconsin Read to Lead Task Force recommendations, ACT 166, a new statutory provision was created in 2011. 

The specific statute 118.19 (14) puts into place a required content test in Foundations of Reading for all Grade K-5 teachers, special education teachers, reading teachers, and reading specialists seeking initial licensure as of January 2014. 

The ACT 166 SECTION 21. 118.19 (14) statute reads: 

(a) The department may not issue an initial teaching license that authorizes the holder to teach in grades kindergarten to 5 or in special education, an initial license as a reading teacher, or an initial license as a reading specialist, unless the applicant has passed an examination identical to the Foundations of Reading test administered in 2012 as part of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. The department shall set the passing cut score on the examination at a level no lower than the level recommended by the developer of the test, based on this state's standards. 

(c) Any teacher who passes the examination under par. (a) shall notify the department, which shall add a notation to the teacher's license indicating that he or she passed the examination. 

ACT 166 SECTION 28. Initial applicability. 

(1) TEACHING LICENSE. The treatment of section 118.19 (14) (a) of the statutes first applies to an application for a teaching license received by the department of public instruction on January 1, 2014. 

During the Biennial Budget Session, a free-standing motion was made on 5/21/2013 during the Joint Finance Committee to delay the initial applicability date. As a result of the motion, the budget bill as modified by the Joint Finance Committee is as follows: 

SECTION 2365r. 2011 Wisconsin Act 166, section 28 (1) is amended to read: 

[2011 Wisconsin Act 166] Section 28 (1) TEACHING LICENSE. The treatment of section 118.19 (14) (a) of the statutes first applies to an application for a teaching license received by the department of public instruction on January 31, 2014.

How do I register for the FoRT? expanding section

Registration Information: You can contact the Counseling and Testing Center on the UWL campus for information: 

  • 2106 Centennial Hall 
  • Phone: 608.785.8073 

Or, you can go to the following website: http://www.wi.nesinc.com

Retake Policy: Teacher candidates who do not meet the benchmark score of 240 may retake the test. To retake the test, you must complete the registration process again after a waiting period of 30 days