If you’re on your way to graduating from high school, then you might be feeling overwhelmed with the requirements facing you. Some criteria you must fit graduate, which apply to every high school across all states. However, the minimum requirements will vary according to the specific district you’re living in.
One of those requirements includes the minimum amount of credits you should achieve. You can earn these through the courses and subjects you take. You are required to fulfill the bare minimum for graduation.
This article, however, focuses solely on the number of credits required for graduating from high school in Wisconsin. Find out the minimum amount needed and the classes you must take.
What is High School Credits?
Generally speaking, schools use these credits to evaluate whether a student has met the basic academic requirements. In other words, it’s a documentation of how many subjects and courses they’ve completed. Hence, you must successfully sit through a class and complete it to earn your credits.
More often than not, across the states, credits to graduate high school are evaluated using the Carnegie unit. 1 Carnegie unit is often equated to 120 hours of instruction time, equivalent to the number of hours you sit in class for that subject. You can achieve 120 hours over a year by sitting for that class an hour a day, five days a week, over 24 weeks.
Remember that the minimum amount of credits for high school graduation varies greatly depending on your state. However, each outlines a specific amount needed to earn your high school diploma.
Moreover, most will require you to complete those credit hours in specific subjects. These subjects often involve health, technology, physical education, social sciences, science, mathematics, English, and world languages.
How Many Credits Should High School Students Earn in Wisconsin?
Now that we have established what credit is, you should know how many credits to graduate high school in Wisconsin. You already know that the minimum to earn your high school diploma varies according to the state. But did you know that it also differs according to the institute?
Despite that, each state has its minimum requirements, regardless of the school. According to Wisconsin’s state graduation requirements, one must earn 15 credits, as mentioned under Wis. Stats. 118.33. You should complete these 15 credits according to specific subjects, which we will discuss in the section below.
However, even if you’re fulfilled the 15-credit requirement for the state, you must also undergo the Civics Graduation Exam. This exam presents 100 questions, similar to those people answer when applying for U.S. citizenship.
For a small introduction to what the exam entails, you must have to answer 100 multiple-choice questions. Moreover, you should score a minimum of 65% on the examination to be certified to pass.
As the requirements vary according to the school, below is a list of some institutes and their minimum requirements:
- Wisconsin Connections Academy: 23 credits (in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Fine Arts, Health, Physical Education, Personal Finance, and Electives)
- Wisconsin Virtual Learning: 22 credits (in English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Physical Education, and Electives)
- Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools: 24 credits (English, Math, Social Science, Health, Science, Physical Education, IT Fundamentals, Electives, and Financial Literacy)
- Madison Metropolitan School District: 22 credits (English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, Health, and Humanities)
As you can see, the answer to how many credits you need to graduate high school in Wisconsin varies depending on the district. Hence, if you’re unsure of the number of courses you must complete, reach out to your counselor.
What Classes are Required to Graduate High School in Wisconsin?
The following classes are required by the state of Wisconsin, regardless of your district. As we have mentioned earlier, you must complete 15 credit hours and successfully pass the Civics Exam. Let’s first discuss where those 15 credits must originate from:
- English/Language Arts – 4 credits
- Mathematics – 3 credits
- Science – 3 credits
- Social Studies – 3 credits
- Physical Education –5 credits
- Health – 5 credits (can be completed through 7th-12th grade)
You might now be wondering why institutes increase those minimum requirements. That’s due to a specification mentioned in S. 118.33, where the state encourages other school boards to increase their credits using additional 8.5 credits. Hence, you’ll see some credits required in different subjects. These include foreign languages, fine arts, vocational education, humanities, and other courses.
What Exams Do Wisconsin High School Students Need to Graduate?
As stated before, Wisconsin high school credit requirements aren’t the only thing you should worry about to graduate. There is another critical piece; the Civics Exam. The exam, as mentioned earlier, is identical to the one administered to those who want to become U.S. citizens.
You’re presented with 100 questions and must answer 65% correctly to pass. You can sign up for the examination through the GED website. Still, you must take the exam itself at an official testing center.
Here are the fundamentals that you must be aware of before signing up for the examination:
- You will have to complete the exam through the computer.
- You have a total of 102 minutes to complete the questions.
- You can skip questions by marking them as “flag for review.” The exam will automatically revisit the unanswered questions once you complete the questions.
- The cost of the Civics Exam is $10.
- Previously, students had the opportunity of taking three credits of social studies or civics courses to meet the requirements for the exam. However, this option is not valid anymore.
- When applying for the exam through the GED website, you could apply for accommodation as a student with a disability.
- The test score is often available through your GED account two business days after you sit for the exam.
- You can retake the test after 30 days, but you must also pay the $10 fee.
- If you have completed the exam at your high school, you must provide documentation to prove you’ve passed the exam.
- The examination is available in both English and Spanish.
Wisconsin High School Graduation Requirements
Aside from the 15-credit minimum requirement and the exam, there are additional Wisconsin high school graduation requirements. First of all, note that the state of Wisconsin itself only asks for the examination and the 15 credits. Any other requirements will vary according to the school you’re in.
So, what additional graduation requirements might you need to present in Wisconsin? That includes community service, different courses to complete more hours, and health credits fulfilled in grades 7-8.
Keep in mind that it will vary according to the institute. However, here are some statistics for 2019. These percentages represent the ratio of schools that have exceeded the minimum requirements:
- Computer Science Credits: 5%
- Arts: 5%
- World Languages: 3%
- Vocational Education: 2%
- Personal Finance:8%
- Other Electives:6%
- Civics Exam Required:7%
- Community Service: 19%
- Health Credits (7th-8th grade): 27%
Keep in mind that some schools also increase the minimum credits required for graduation in the basic subjects. These include English, Math, Social Studies, Physical Education, Health Education, and Science. For a complete analysis, check the WISEdash Data Files.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many Credits to Graduate High School in Wisconsin?
The bottom line is that the requirements will vary vastly depending on the state. However, when it comes to Wisconsin, the minimum is quite simple. You must fulfill 15 credits around the subjects mentioned above and successfully pass the Civics Exam. It’s pretty simple. However, what complicates the issue is the additional requirements from specific schools.
The district encourages schools to increase their minimum credit requirement by utilizing various subjects by 8.5 credits. The rule allows you to explore more topics further aside from the basics. While sitting through additional hours might be annoying, remember that every school has its own set of courses its students must study.
Want to see how many credits it takes to graduate from high school in other states?