ACCESS Tests

WIDA provides a flexible suite of tests because we know that no single test is suitable for all students

ACCESS for ELLs (ACCESS) is the collective name for WIDA's suite of summative English language proficiency assessments. ACCESS is taken annually by English language learners in Kindergarten through 12th grade in WIDA Consortium member states.

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          Features

          ACCESS is available in both paper-based and online formats for Grades 1-12, while Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs are paper-based tests. States and districts* can select a testing format to meet their unique needs and requirements.

          *See your member/state page for any statewide testing requirements.

          Each ACCESS assessment includes:

          • On-demand Test Administrator training
          • Downloadable manuals and resources
          • Online material management and test coordination
          • Online delivery of individual student score reports

          Purpose and Use

          The assessments measure students' academic English language in four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing.

          The content of the assessments align with the five WIDA ELD Standards:

          • Social & Instructional Language
          • Language of Language Arts
          • Language of Mathematics
          • Language of Science
          • Language of Social Studies

              Scores

              Students' ACCESS scores reflect proficiency levels ranging from Level 1 (Entering) to Level 6 (Reaching). Alternate ACCESS for ELLs scores differ from the Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs, and the ACCESS for ELLs Online and Paper assessments. Please see the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Scores and Reports page for details.

              Educators use ACCESS results, along with other WIDA resources, to make decisions about students' English academic language and to facilitate their language development. WIDA offers many resources to aid in educators' decision-making, including:

              Assessments in the ACCESS for ELLs Suite

              Test Comparison

              Product Attributes ACCESS for ELLs Online ACCESS for ELLs Paper Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
              Purpose
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              Summative
              line drawing of checklist
              Summative
              line drawing of checklist
              Summative
              line drawing of checklist
              Summative
              Audience
              Audience
              U.S.
              Grades 1-12
              Audience
              U.S.
              Grades 1-12
              Audience
              U.S.
              Kindergarten
              Audience
              U.S.
              Grades 1-12
              Test Administration
              Individual
              Small Group
              Individual
              Small Group
              Speaking Domain - Individual
              Individual
              Individual
              Total Test Time 170 minutes 185 minutes 60 minutes 80 minutes
              Scoring
              Centrally
              Locally
              Centrally
              Locally
              Centrally
              Locally
              Centrally
              Score Type
              Chart
              Scale
              line drawing of bar graph
              Proficiency Level
              Chart
              Scale
              line drawing of bar graph
              Proficiency Level
              Chart
              Scale
              line drawing of bar graph
              Proficiency Level
              Chart
              Scale
              line drawing of bar graph
              Proficiency Level
              Score Reports
              Individual
              Roster
              School
              District
              State
              Individual
              Roster
              School
              District
              State
              Individual
              Roster
              School
              District
              State
              Individual
              Roster
              School
              District
              State
              laptop line drawing with text lines on screen
              Online

              ACCESS for ELLs Online

              ACCESS for ELLs Online (ACCESS Online) is a computer-based, adaptive test that responds to student performance and may be administered in group or individual settings. This assessment is given annually to students in Grades 1-12. It tests students' language in four domains: Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing.

                line drawing of blank paper with pencil
                Paper

                ACCESS for ELLs Paper

                ACCESS for ELLs Paper (ACCESS Paper) is a paper-based test that allows teachers to place students into tiers based on their language proficiency level and may be administered in group or individual settings. This assessment is given annually to students in Grades 1-12. It tests students' language in four domains: Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing.

                  line drawing of blank paper with pencil
                  Paper

                  Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs

                  Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs (Kindergarten ACCESS) is a paper-based test individually administered to Kindergarten students in a game-like interactive format. This assessment is given annually to English language learners (ELLs) to measure their English language proficiency in four domains: Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing.

                    line drawing of blank paper with pencil
                    Paper

                    Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

                    Alternate ACCESS for ELLs (Alternate ACCESS) is a large-print, paper-based test individually administered to students in Grades 1-12 who are identified as English language learners (ELLs) with significant cognitive disabilities. It is designed for ELLs who have disabilities that prevent them from meaningfully participating in ACCESS for ELLs Online or Paper.

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                      Get resources specific to your state

                      State-specific contact information and additional testing resources for WIDA Consortium members.

                      Submit State Selection

                      Can Do Descriptors

                      Understand what language learners can do at various stages of language development.

                      Teaching with Standards

                      Tips on using WIDA Standards for planning and lesson delivery.