ACCESS for ELLs Paper

illustration of telescopeRevised ACCESS for ELLs is coming in 2025-26

Learn about the project

ACCESS for ELLs Paper (ACCESS Paper) is a paper-based, semi-adaptive test that may be administered in group or individual settings. This assessment is given annually to students in grades 1-12.

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Grades 1-12
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Proficiency Level

ACCESS Paper meets U.S. federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for monitoring and reporting ELs’ progress toward English language proficiency. It tests students' language in the four domains: Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing.

States may choose to offer only ACCESS Paper, while others offer both formats (paper and online).


  • ACCESS Paper is available for situations where a student is unable to test online.
  • This assessment is administered to groups of students in one tier and grade-level cluster.
  • The Speaking domain is administered individually and scored by the test administrator.
  • The Listening, Reading and Writing domains are scored by WIDA's test delivery partner.

Test Administration Times*

Times include convening students, material distribution, directions or embedded test practice. These are estimates provided for scheduling and planning purposes.

Up to 70 minutes


Up to 60 minutes


Up to 45 minutes


Up to 80 minutes

255 minutes total test time

*Times will vary based on tier.

Related Pages

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Preparing for ACCESS

An overview of what’s involved in preparing to administer ACCESS for ELLs, as well as suggestions to help you get your students ready for testing.


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Accessibility and Accommodations

Guidance for supporting students with disabilities taking ACCESS for ELLs. Helpful for test administrators and IEP teams.

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ACCESS Scores and Reports

An overview of how ACCESS for ELLs tests are scored and how scores can be used. Helpful for test administrators, EL educators, and school, district and state administrators.

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Building a WIDA Assessment

Discover what it takes to make a high quality assessment and learn how you can get involved.

Publications and Professional Learning

Standards for the classroom that align with ACCESS for ELLs
Can Do Descriptors that highlight what multilingual learners can do
Professional learning that helps you better understand WIDA assessments

Predict student performance on ACCESS for ELLs

WIDA MODEL is an interim assessment that can provide insight into how students will perform on ACCESS for ELLs.