Preparing for ACCESS Quick Start Guide


Preparing for ACCESS Quick Start Guide

1. Review ACCESS testing information specific to your state/territory/agency

Visit your member/state page (see dropdown at the top of the WIDA website) for testing dates and policies, which assessments are used, and contact information for your state and the WIDA Client Services Center.

If you are a first-time test administrator (TA) or district test coordinator (DTC), you will find instructions on how to get an account set up for the WIDA Secure Portal (required training site) and WIDA AMS (test administration platform). You can also find ACCESS Checklists (all the tasks that need to be completed before, during and after testing) on your member/state page.

2. Get to know the test

Review the features of the test(s) your students will be taking. See the following pages:

ACCESS for ELLS Online | ACCESS for ELLs Paper | Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs

3. Share information about the test with parents and families

WIDA offers a handout for parents and families that explains ACCESS and what it means for their student's academic progress.

The What Is ACCESS for ELLs handout is available in several languages.

WIDA also offers information for parents and families to help them understand language testing and EL status.

The What Is Language Testing? and Explaining ELL Status flyers are available in several languages.

4. Introduce the test to your students about two weeks ahead of testing day

ACCESS for ELLs is not a test students should study for. Instead, students should focus on doing their best to demonstrate their language abilities. Talk to your students about:

  • testing tools such as highlighters and line guides, and how best to use them
  • accommodations, if the student has an IEP or 504 plan (include the IEP team)
  • standardized test conventions including instructions and completing forms correctly

Familiarize students with the kind of content they will encounter on the test and give them a chance to practice the different question types:

Test Practice and Sample Items page

5. Don't Forget...

Some of the most important things to discuss with students about any test are:

  • Setting themselves up for success with a can do attitude!
  • Talking about the importance of a good night’s sleep
  • Eating a good meal or healthy snack before the test (and helping students get the nutrition they need if need be)
  • Advocating for themselves if they need opportunities to release energy and relax before and after the test