- WINSS ACT and AP Exam results may not exactly match data published by external sources.
- WINSS includes data for students enrolled in Wisconsin public schools only. Occasionally ACT and AP Exam results from other sources combine results for public and private schools.
- When counting district students for AP exam and ACT purposes, WINSS counts unique Wisconsin Student Numbers, if available, for each district, rather than keys provided by the College Board or records provided by ACT. This typically results in slightly lower participation counts on WINSS than might be provided by the College Board or ACT and slightly lower or slightly higher average ACT scores. Wisconsin Student Numbers became available for this purpose prior to publishing the 2007-08 AP exam reports and the 2008-09 ACT results.
- WINSS reports ACT and AP Exam participation as a percent of official WI fall enrollment whereas outside sources often report participation as a percent of graduates. Using the number of graduates as the denominator rather than enrollment would be expected to produce a higher participation rate.
- If 2004-05 test/exam participation rates for your school or district are much higher or lower than expected, then the likely cause is 2004-05 student enrollment counts that don't reflect reality. If reported 2004-05 enrollment counts are higher or lower than actual counts, then ACT "% Tested" and Advanced Placement Program ® (AP) "% Taking Exams" will be lower or higher than actual percents. Major changes in WI student data collection systems were implemented in 2004-05. 2004-05 student counts were included in this transition year collection and are not comprehensive. For more information, see cautions about the 2004-05 ISES enrollment data.
- If 2010-11 or 2011-12 AP exam participation rates by race are higher than expected for your district, then the likely cause is relatively large numbers of district high school students included in the "Two or More Races" category for enrollment reporting purposes. The college board reported 2010-11 AP exam data for students in the "Two or More Races" category in one of the single race categories instead. Doing this tends to make the participation rate numerators by race higher than expected on WINSS. Only 1% of high school students were reported as enrolled in the "Two or More Races" category statewide so the impact on statewide participation rates by race is very small. For more information, see "How and why have race/ethnicity reporting categories changed?"
- In 2012 DPI discovered duplicate reporting of test results by ACT. This resulted in the same test being reported for more than one school year for some students. For school years starting with 2008-09, these duplicate results have been identified and removed from the data. Only the earliest report of a test result by ACT to DPI is reported on WINSS. Subsequent reporting of tests by the same student with identical results are discarded. Note that this is not the same as tests being taken multiple times by the same student, in which case only the latest test result is included.
ACT (formerly an abbreviation for American College Test) is a test designed by the American College Testing Corporation of Iowa City, Iowa, to measure knowledge, understanding, and skills acquired in English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning during the K-12 educational experience. Many colleges and universities use the ACT as an admissions test for high school graduates. Only students who completed the entire test are represented in these reports.
ACT Average Score - Composite
The sum of the composite student scores divided by the number of students tested. Note that the composite student score is the average of the scores received in each of the following subjects: reading, English, mathematics, and science. The composite student score does not include results of the optional writing test.
ACT Average Score - Reading, English, Mathematics, or Science
The sum of student scores received on the ACT reading, English, mathematics, or science test divided by the number of students tested.
Which ACT score is used if a student takes the ACT multiple times?
Only the most recent score is used.
In which year is a student's score reported if the student took the ACT as a 10th or 11th grader?
The score is reported for the school year in which the student expects to graduate regardless of when the ACT was last taken.
What about the ACT Writing Test?
The ACT also includes an optional Writing Test. Students who take the optional ACT Writing Test receive two additional scores: a Combined English/Writing Test score that reflects their performance on the Writing Test and the English Test combined, and a Writing Test subscore that reflects performance on the Writing Test only. The results of the Writing Test are not included on WINSS at this time.
The Advanced Placement Program ® (AP) Exams allow 9th through 12th graders to earn college credit or advanced standing at many colleges while still in high school. Students taking AP ® Exams often prepare by taking a year-long AP course in which the students and teachers focus on AP-level work. Other students taking AP ® Exams take strong courses and/or have studied in depth on their own. The Advanced Placement Program ® (AP) Exam data are provided by the College Board. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. AP and Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Board.
How are Advanced Placement Program ® (AP) Exam scores reported?
AP Exams scores are reported on a 5-point scale as follows:
5 Extremely well qualified
4 Well qualified
2 Possibly qualified
1 No recommendation
According to the College Board, students earning a 3 or above are generally considered qualified to receive college credit and/or placement into advanced courses. However, each college or university determines whether or not credit or advanced placement will be awarded.
How are Advanced Placement Program ® (AP) Exam results reported on WINSS?
WINSS reports data about participation in AP exams by the overall student population and about exam performance by students who participate. These data are disaggregated by gender and other student groups. Participation and performance are both important indicators of AP success.
The College Board recommends measures of inclusivity and the extent to which the overall school population (not just the tested student group) is receiving preparation for, and then access to, an AP experience. More information about measures of AP success is provided by the College Board at http://www.collegeboard.com/press/releases/152694.html.
Percent (of Students) Tested (on ACT)
The number of 12th graders who took the ACT (either as 10th, 11th, or 12th graders) divided by the number of 12th graders enrolled on the third Friday in September, expressed as a percentage.
Percent (of Students) Taking (AP) Exams
The number of students in grades 9 - 12 who took one or more AP exam divided by the number of 9th through 12th graders enrolled on the third Friday in September, expressed as a percentage. Any student who took multiple exams in any reporting year is counted only once.
ACT data are provided by the American College Testing Corporation of Iowa City, Iowa. ACT data are provided by the American College Testing Corporation of Iowa City, Iowa.
The Advanced Placement Program ® (AP) Exam data are provided by the College Board. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. AP and Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Board.
Enrollment counts are used to calculate test/exam participation rates. Beginning with 2004-05 student enrollment counts are based on data collected as part of the Individual Student Enrollment System (ISES). See cautions about the 2004-05 ISES enrollment data. Prior to 2004-05, enrollment counts came from the Fall Enrollment Collection (PI-1290).
For more information about the WINSS Data Analysis Section, see Data Analysis Section - Frequently Asked Questions and/or Tips for First-time Users of the Data Analysis Section
You can download all data on WINSS for any specific WINSS data question. When data are updated on WINSS the download files are also updated. Links are provided near the bottom of WINSS graph pages. See WINSS Download Options for more information.
ACT and Advanced Placement Program ® (AP) Exam data are publicly reported annually as part of the School Performance Report (SPR). WINSS is one way local and state ACT and AP Exam results are disseminated.
See the Data Errata page for corrections submitted by school districts after final publication of WINSS and other reports.
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