WIDA Screener Paper

WIDA Alternate Screener 
is coming in summer 2025!

Learn about the new test

WIDA Screener Paper is an English language proficiency assessment given to new students in grades 1–12 to help educators identify whether they are English learners (ELs). It is available to WIDA Consortium members and independent/international schools for purchase in the WIDA Store.

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Grades 1-12
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Proficiency Level

Preparing for and Administering WIDA Screener Paper

See the Quick Start Guide below.


All domains of WIDA Screener Paper are scored locally. The Speaking domain is scored by the test administrator during the test. To become a trained administrator and rater, you must complete the WIDA Screener Paper: Administration Training Course and the Speaking Scoring Training Course(s) for the relevant grade clusters. To score the Writing domain, you must complete the Writing Scoring Training Course(s) for the relevant grade clusters. All courses end with a course quiz.

WIDA Screener Paper Score Calculator

Using Screener Scores

Score reports provide proficiency level scores in seven categories: the four domains (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing) and three composite areas (Oral Language, Literacy, Overall). Composite scores are created from two or more domain scores.

Proficiency level scores are interpretive scores. The scores describe student performance in terms of the six WIDA English language proficiency levels:

Entering > Emerging > Developing > Expanding > Bridging > Reaching

If a student is identified as an EL, proficiency level scores from WIDA Screener can be used by educators to plan differentiated levels of support for each child.

For further explanation of proficiency levels, scores and how they connect, refer to the WIDA Screener Interpretive Guide.

WIDA Screener Interpretive Guide for Score Reports

Test Administration Times*

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

Up to 5 minutes


Up to 15 minutes


Up to 25 minutes

Listening and Reading

Up to 40 minutes

85 minutes total test time

*Times will vary based a student's proficiency level.

Quick Start Guide for Administering WIDA Screener Paper

1. Complete assessment training and review manuals.

Educators must complete the WIDA Screener Paper: Administration training course and review the Test Administration Manual before giving the test. If you will be scoring student responses, you will need to complete the Speaking and Writing scoring courses.

Purchase additional materials, including the Speaking and Listening Test Audio, from the WIDA Store.

2. Get additional training from WIDA as needed.

WIDA offers a webinar to help educators understand how to administer WIDA Screener Paper.

WIDA Screener Paper webinar (WIDA Secure Portal account required)

3. Order your test materials.

Some test materials are provided on the WIDA Screener Paper: Administration Course Resources page in the WIDA Secure Portal. Other materials must be purchased via the WIDA Store.

Additional materials available from the WIDA Store:

  • Test Booklets
  • Audio files available in USB format
  • Professionally printed Test Administrator's Scripts
  • Professionally printed Student Response Booklets
  • Recording scripts, used in some accommodations (email request to WIDA Store)

4. Schedule test sessions.

Consider whether you will be testing students individually or in groups. Testing time for WIDA Screener Paper can take up to 85 minutes from start to finish, depending on the grade-level cluster and path administered.

See the Test Administration Manual.

5. Administer the assessment.

Gather your pencils, audio playing device/speakers and materials, and you’re ready to test. With thorough training and careful preparation, test administrators will be ready to deliver a reliable and positive testing experience.

6. Score the assessment.

Follow the instructions in the Test Administration Manual to score the assessment. After students complete the test, the test administrator scores Listening and Reading responses, and a trained writing rater (who may also be the test administrator) scores Writing responses.

7. Generate score reports.

Use the WIDA Screener Paper Score Calculator to covert raw scores to Proficiency Levels and generate Individual Score Reports.

Related Publications

Standards for the classroom that align with WIDA Screener
Can Do Descriptors that highlight what multilingual learners can do
Examining the Relationship Between the WIDA Screener and ACCESS for ELLs Assessments