Everything you’ve ever wanted to know: ACCESS for ELLs

November 29, 2021

Are you new to ACCESS for ELLs? Have you administered an ACCESS for ELLs test before but can’t remember where to find things like training, test prep and test materials? Look no further than this brief reference to all things ACCESS for ELLs (and, seriously, we will try to keep it brief because we know you don’t have time to look at one more thing). Pay special attention to the "A word from WIDA” sections for WIDA advice.

ACCESS member/state guidelines

Head over to your member/state page (which is in the dropdown menu at the top of the website) for testing dates and policies, instructions for setting up a WIDA Secure Portal account and contact information for your state education agency.

A word from WIDA: Your education agency determines which WIDA assessments you use and sets specific policies on how to use those assessments. Your member/state page is the go-to place for this information.

ACCESS training

Find ACCESS for ELLs training courses by logging in to the WIDA Secure Portal. Once you’re in the portal, go to Assessment Training and Filter By to narrow your search. Then, find your training course and select Course Details. From there, you can enroll in the course and view and download related resources.

A word from WIDA: WIDA recently redesigned the portal. If this is your first time logging into the portal since September 1, skim the Redesigned WIDA Secure Portal is live! news article to learn about the changes. Or, once you’re in the portal, stop by the Get Help page for tips on using the portal.

ACCESS test prep

Find test prep resources for ACCESS for ELLs Online and ACCESS for ELLs Paper on the ACCESS Test Practice and Sample Items webpage.

A word from WIDA: Students do not need to study for the test, but rather focus on demonstrating their language abilities. ACCESS for ELLs measures what students know and can do in English in the domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

ACCESS family engagement info

Find resources that help explain things like ELL status and language testing on the Family Engagement webpage. Download and print these family-friendly documents and share them with the people who support the multilingual students in your life.

A word from WIDA: New in 2021, many of the WIDA family engagement resources are available in Dari and Pashto (two languages spoken in Afghanistan), and Korean.


For general ACCESS for ELLs questions, you’ll want to contact the WIDA Client Services Center. Our fabulous team of experts (many of whom are former teachers) are available to take your call or email about ACCESS for ELLs.

For questions about WIDA Assessment Management System (the web-based interface used to manage ACCESS for ELLs student and test session information) or things like materials ordering and ACCESS for ELLs Online technical issues, you’ll want to contact Data Recognition Corporation (DRC).

Head over to the Contact Us webpage to get in touch with either a WIDA expert or DRC.

A word from WIDA: Want to tackle your question on your own? You can! There is most likely a Q&A webinar on a topic that answers your question. Head over to the Webinars page in the WIDA Secure Portal for a list of upcoming and recorded webinars. We’ve got webinars on everything from managing students in WIDA AMS to interpreting score reports. Plus, we can't forget to mention the Interpreting ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports for Instruction WIDA Workshop. 


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