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.

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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 ELLs’ progress toward English language proficiency.

    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 centrally at DRC by trained raters.
    • Scores from ACCESS Paper can be used to inform instruction and monitor progress of ELLs in a school or district.

    Test Administration Times*

    Times do not include convening students, material distribution, directions or embedded test practice.

    Up to 45 minutes


    Up to 35 minutes


    Up to 35 minutes


    Up to 65 minutes

    180 minutes total test time

    *Times will vary based on tier.
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    Preparing to Administer ACCESS

    An overview of what’s involved in preparing for and administering ACCESS for ELLs. Helpful for Test Administrators and District Test Coordinators.

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    Preparing Students for ACCESS

    Suggestions to help you get your Grades 1-12 students ready for ACCESS for ELLs testing. Helpful for Test Administrators and ELL educators.

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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, ELL educators, and school, district and state administrators.

    Resources for Educators

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    Standards for the classroom that align with ACCESS for ELLs
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    Can Do Descriptors that highlight what multilingual learners can do
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    Professional learning that helps you better understand ACCESS for ELLs
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    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 in-person training?

    We offer an ACCESS for ELLs Paper Test Administrator workshop.

    Ready to get started?

    Log in to the WIDA Secure Portal to learn how to administer this assessment.

    Predict student performance on ACCESS for ELLs

    WIDA MODEL is an interim assessment that can provide insight.