The WASL Test

The WASL is the standardized, educational assessment test administered by the state of Washington. Parents should learn about the elements of the test and the rationale behind it before they are administered to their children. This article provides information about the WASL and what you can do to help your child prepare for it.

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The Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) is Washington State's method for measuring the effect of the state's new reading, writing, and math academic standards. Part of a student's success in taking the WASL lies in understanding what it is designed for and how the results will be used. The best way to ensure your child will understand these points and be fully prepared to take these tests is to educate yourself about the WASL.

How Does the WASL Work?

The WASL is administered to elementary, middle school and high school students. It's designed to aid teachers in creating the most effective instructional strategies and lesson plans. Data on the performance of schools and districts is available to the public in order to keep teachers and administers accountable and challenge them to strive toward excellence and constant improvement.

The math, reading, writing, and listening WASL are required for all fourth, seventh, and tenth graders in Washington's public school system and provide valuable information about each child's skill levels. The WASL scores show how students perform compared to peers across the state. The scores also evaluates the student's strengths and weaknesses within the various subjects. Teachers have access to individual scores so they can mold their lesson plans to the strengths and weaknesses of the students in their classroom. The information is also beneficial for parents who want to develop their skills in their study program at home.

How to Interpret WASL Exam Results

These tests were not originally designed to be a grading tool or to determine promotion from grade to grade. However, some school districts do consider the WASL results in determining whether a child should be promoted to the next grade level. Information about your school's use of the WASL test results should be available for you at the school office or the district office.

Help Your Child Succeed

If your child has to make a specific score on these tests, it is even more important to take them seriously. Parents can work with their child at home to help them prepare for the WASL, by helping them develop the math and reading skills, which their teachers have focused on throughout the year. Schedule specific study times for you and your child. By being in the same room as your child when they study and complete their homework, you will be able to see their progress and catch the areas where they struggle. It also makes you more available to answer questions.


If your study sessions aren't working ,or if you have difficulties helping your child with their work, you may want to look into a tutoring program. Since the WASL tests your child's skills within the main academic disciplines, tutors should trained to help your child with these subjects. Make sure the tutor you choose is state-certified and therefore up-to-date with the standards your child will be tested on. Also, be sure they have had formal, professional training in education and know various teaching strategies that will help your child grasp the concepts they are struggling with.

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