ACCESS Tests

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

ACCESS for ELLs

  • Is available to WIDA Consortium member states as a primary benefit of membership
  • Is administered to Kindergarten through Grade 12 students who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs)
  • Is given annually to monitor students' progress in learning academic English
  • Meets U.S. federal requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for monitoring and reporting ELLs’ progress toward English language proficiency
  • Is anchored in the WIDA English Language Development Standards
  • Assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
          girl writing at desk in classroom with teacher in background

          Features

          ACCESS is available in both paper and online formats for Grades 1-12. States and districts select a testing format to meet their unique needs and requirements (see your member/state page for state-specific testing requirements). Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs are both paper format tests.

          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

          Educators use ACCESS results, along with other WIDA resources, to make decisions about students' English academic language and to facilitate their language development.

          Students' scores reflect proficiency levels ranging from Level 1 (Entering) to Level 6 (Reaching).

          Test scores can be used:

          • For accountability purposes

          • As benchmarks against which educators can measure future performance
          • As a measure to make reclassification decisions about whether a student can exit English language support services
          • To support decisions about placing students into appropriate classes or groups for instruction, instructional planning
          • To show the progress students have made

          WIDA offers many resources to aid in educators' placement decisions and instructional planning, including:

              Scores

              Each test is 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.
              • Our test delivery partner scores the Speaking and Writing domains in winter and spring.
              ACCESS for ELLs Paper
              • States send test booklets to our test delivery partner, which scores the Listening, Reading and Writing domains.
              • Test Administrators score the Speaking domain in the test booklet and send to our test delivery partner, which captures the scores for reporting.
              Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs

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

              Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

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


              States have a chance to review their data before scores are printed, allowing them to identify errors and make corrections. The test delivery partner then ships printed score reports directly to states.

              Assessments in the ACCESS for ELLs Suite

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              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.

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                Paper

                ACCESS for ELLs Paper

                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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                  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.

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                    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 the most significant cognitive disabilities. Alternate ACCESS is intended for ELLs who participate, or who would be likely to participate, in their state's alternate content assessment(s).

                      students reaching across large drawing of a globe

                      Get resources specific to your state

                      State-specific contact information and additional testing resources, including the ACCESS for ELLs Checklist, for WIDA Consortium members.

                      Submit State Selection

                      Looking for ACCESS training?

                      WIDA offers professional learning options that help you better understand and administer ACCESS for ELLs.

                      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.