ACCESS for ELLs Scores and Reports

three teachers talking at a table

Scoring ACCESS for ELLs 

ACCESS for ELLs tests are scored differently, depending on assessment type (paper, online, Kindergarten) and domain (Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing):

ACCESS for ELLs Online

  • The online test engine automatically scores Listening and Reading during administration.
  • DRC scores the Speaking and Writing domains in winter and spring.

ACCESS for ELLs Paper

  • States send test booklets to DRC, which scores the Listening, Reading and Writing domains.
  • Test Administrators score the Speaking domain in the test booklet and send to DRC, which captures the scores for reporting.

Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs

  • Test Administrators score all domains in the test booklet and send them to DRC, which captures the scores for reporting.

States have a chance to review their test data (known as data validation) to identify errors and make corrections before DRC prints the scores. DRC provides the data and ships printed score reports directly to states.

Please see Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Scores and Reports page for information on scores and scoring for that assessment.

Types of Scores and How To Use Them

Types of Scores

Raw Scores are the actual number of items or tasks the student responded correctly to. This score is the starting point, but since it doesn't take item difficulty into account, it doesn't help educators understand student performance. For this reason, raw scores are not included on ACCESS for ELLs score reports.

Scale Scores take item difficulty into account, so educators can use them to examine groups of students, or student performances over time.

Proficiency Level Scores provide an interpretation of scale scores. On ACCESS tests, they align to the six WIDA English language proficiency levels.

    Using ACCESS for ELLs Test Scores

    ACCESS for ELLs scores have many potential uses, from determining student placement to guiding the creation of new curricula. Test scores work best as a way to aid decision-making, in cases such as:

    • Establishing when multilingual learners have attained English language proficiency according to state criteria
    • Making decisions about program entry/exit
    • Informing classroom instruction and assessment
      • Which domains teachers could focus on
      • What the WIDA ELD Standards say about students’ current proficiency levels
      • How teachers can scaffold using the next level up
    • Monitoring student progress annually (using scores from two or more years). Scores from Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs (or the first year taking ACCESS for ELLs Online or Paper) can establish a baseline to track future growth.
    • Deciding on staffing levels


    Types of Score Reports

    The same types of score reports are generated for all students taking the online, paper and Kindergarten versions of the assessment.

    All of the score reports provide score information for the same eight categories: four domains and four composites. Composite scores (Oral Language, Literacy, Comprehension, Overall) are created from two or more domain scores.

    Individual Student Report (ISR)

    The ISR shows all the scores for an individual student. It provides brief descriptions of each proficiency level with a lot of visual support. Translated copies can be sent home with students and/or discussed at conferences with parents/guardians.


    • Use when your focus is on one student at a time
    • Use when talking to the student, their parents or guardians, and their other educators
    • Use Speaking and Writing Interpretive Rubrics when looking at those scores

    Sample Reports

    Additional Sample reports are available in many languages in WIDA AMS.

    Student Roster Report (SRR)

    The SRR contains information about a group of students within a single school and grade. It does not have visual supports or descriptors of each level, but it provides a concise way to look at the results of a group of students at the same time.


    • Use to look for patterns in student performance, which could inform
      • Class placement
      • Forming work groups in a class
      • Identifying students who would benefit from different or additional support

    Sample Reports

    Frequency Reports

    WIDA provides three frequency reports: School, District and State. They show the number and percentage of tested students (per grade) who scored at each proficiency level. Frequency reports do not show the performance of individual students, so they are best for providing a global overview of a larger group’s performance.


    • Use to gain a sense of the school, district, or state-wide effort towards educating ELLs
    • Use when planning, developing, or restructuring language services for ELLs
    • Be careful about generalizing about the meaning behind differing scores, especially when the number of students is small

    Sample Reports

    three teachers discussing at a table

    ACCESS for ELLs Interpretive Guide for Score Reports

    The Interpretive Guide for Score Reports is a comprehensive document explaining the types of scores reported by ACCESS for ELLs for students in Kindergarten and Grades 1-12.

    Get the Interpretive Guide for Score Reports

    All Scores and Reports Resources

    View a list of all resources related to ACCESS scores and reports.

    Scores and Reports Resources

    Resources for Families

    Webinars and other resources that explain identification of, instruction and assessment for ELLs. 

    Connect to Classroom Instruction

    Use Score Reports and WIDA ELD Standards to take your ELLs to the next level.