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

November 7, 2022

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. 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 main WIDA 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 in 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. Go to My Certifications to find your recent course certifications.  

A word from WIDA: If you are in search of more information on the ACCESS for ELLs Online Speaking test, we can help. Go to the WIDA Secure Portal and Webinars. From there, look for the ACCESS for ELLs Online: The Speaking Test and How it Is Scored recorded webinar – it’s one of our most-watched webinars!  

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: New this year, you’ll find braille sample items and sample item user guides on the ACCESS Test Practice and Sample Items webpage. Learn more about these materials and other assessment updates in the What to know: WIDA assessments in 2022-23 school year news article.  

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 your multilingual students.  

A word from WIDA: The WIDA family engagement resources are available in many languages including Dari, Pashto, Korean and Ukrainian.  


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

For questions about the 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 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. Go 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.  

A bonus word from WIDA: Have questions about the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Field Test, which opens on February 14, 2023? Peruse the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Field Test webpage to learn more. As a reminder, all students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades K–12 who are eligible to take Alternate ACCESS for ELLs must participate in the field test. The field test is a one-time, paper-based test that you will give in addition to the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs test that you administer each year.


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