Wyoming State Assessments

PAWS (Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students)

In 2005-2006, PAWS became the official statewide assessment used to measure individual student achievement against the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics for grades 3 – 8 and 11. In 2008, a Science assessment was implemented for grades 4, 8, and 11. Beginning in 2013, the PAWS was administered in grades 3-8 in Reading, Math, and grades 4 and 8 in Science. The writing component of the test the SAWS (Student Assessment of Writing Skills, existed in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, but was not used in 2014-2015.

Given changes to the 2014 PAWS in Reading and Mathematics, direct comparisons cannot be made between current results and results from years before 2014. Major shifts in both content tested and the performance expectations were made, making direct comparisons of performance in Reading and Math invalid. Science content standards have not yet changed, so there have been no changes to the PAWS Science Test. Direct comparisons from one year to the next on the Science portion of the test are still valid.

Students who have disabilities that prevent them from taking the PAWS have the opportunity to take the Wy-Alt beginning in 2014-2015 school year (Previously, the student would take the PAWS-ALT). The Wy-ALT is administered to students in grades 3 – 11 in ELA and Mathematics, and to students in grades 4, 8-11 in Science. The Wy-ALT is an individually administered student performance assessment which students demonstrate their mastery of grade-level-aligned extended Wyoming Academic Content Standards.


Subjects Tested

  • Reading (6 Clusters)

  • Mathematics (5 Clusters)
  • Science (3 Clusters)

Grade Levels

  • 3-8 (Reading)

  • 3-8 (Math)
  • 4, 8 (Science)


Spring once a year (16-17 assessment schedule above).

Performance Levels are called "Performance Levels" in Wyoming PAWS. The Scale Score ranges vary across subject and grade levels. It is okay to compare scores going back to 2013-2014 school year (see above) for Reading and Math and all years for Science. The overall scale scores also include a low/high scale score standard error measure (SEM).

Terminology Used for Clusters 

Clusters for PAWS are called "Domains". The domains available for each subject are above. Each domains reports a scale score along with a low/high scale score standard error measure (SEM) and a performance level that corresponds to the same scale score cuts represented above.

Illuminate Specifications

This section includes fields that would be used for reporting purposes and information about the import job built in Illuminate for this dataset. Here is theIlluminate Import Spec used to build the import. The above tables are available for PAWS.

The clusters for the PAWS follow the naming convention:

  • paws_yyyy_subject_cluster#RawScore (Raw Score for Reporting Category)
  • paws_yyyy_subject_cluster#NumberPossible (Number Possible for Reporting Category)
  • paws_yyyy_subject_cluster#PercentCorrect (Percent Correct for Reporting Category)
  • paws_yyyy_subject_cluster#Text (Reporting Category Name)
  • paws_yyyy_subject_cluster#Average (Reporting Category State Average)

How are records matched to students in Illuminate?


  • 1st: WISER ID (6) to State Student ID
  • 2nd: WIDER ID (6) to Local Student ID
  • 3rd: unique combination of WDE684 First Name (11) to First Name, WDE684 Last Name to Last Name, and WDE684 Birthdate to Birth Date

How are unique records identified?

2014-2015 (all Tables)

  • WISER ID (6) only