Statewide testing is important because it helps ensure all public school students, no matter where they go to school, receive a quality education. Washington students are tested regularly by the state to assess their progress as they move through school. In High School, they must pass specific exams, or state-approved alternatives, to be eligible to earn a certificate of achievement/high school diploma. Assessment is one of the graduation requirements.

OSPI develops or selects and administers all state assessments. OSPI reports achievement data for students, schools, districts, and the state. This data helps districts and schools decide which teaching practices and curricula best support student understanding of the Washington State Learning Standards. They also give families valuable information about how well their child is doing and where additional help might be needed.

One requirement of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is that states have their assessment programs approved for technical quality by the U.S. Department of Education. Washington's assessment program has received a "Fully Approved" rating through this process.

To learn more about state testing, visit or email [email protected]

The state legislature passes laws that determine graduation requirements. One of the requirements is that students pass tests, or state-approved alternatives. Required tests vary by expected year of graduation. A student' s expected year of graduation is four years after he or she enters the 9th grade. (For example, if a student enters 9th grade in the 2018-19 school year, he or she is in the Class of 2022.)

State tests may be taken with or without tools, supports, or accommodations. Students take the WA-AIM only if it's documented in their IEP.

For additional information on tests required for graduation and federal accountability, as well as a schedule of grade level assessments, please click here.