Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2004.


Illinois uses WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten and WIDA Screener (for Grades 1-12) to identify English language learners (ELLs). ACCESS for ELLs is given to all ELLs during the annual testing window, which typically takes place from mid-January through mid-February.

Testing Dates

10/17/18-11/13/18 Test materials ordering available in AMS (LEAs)
12/4/18-3/5/18 WIDA AMS test setup available for test sessions
12/4/18-3/5/19 Waiver 1 – WIDA AMS test setup available
12/4/18-3/5/19 Waiver 2 – WIDA AMS test setup available
1/7/19 Districts receive test materials
1/16/19-2/19/19 Test Window
1/23/19-2/26/19 Waiver 1 – Extended test window
1/30/19-3/5/19 Waiver 2 – Extended test window
1/7/19-2/27/19 Additional test materials ordering window in AMS
2/26/19 Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC
3/12/19 Deadline for shipping all completed test materials to DRC, including all waiver periods.
7/29/19 Districts receive reports – Printed and online

Requirements and Resources

See below for state-specific information and resources related to ELL assessment, including your state’s ACCESS for ELLs Checklist, where you can find each step in the ACCESS testing process from beginning to end.

ACCESS for ELLs Online Checklist ACCESS for ELLs Paper Checklist State-Specific Directions

State Testing Requirements

For 2017-18, Illinois school districts may use either the online or paper format for ACCESS for ELLs testing. Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS are only available in the paper format.

For all other ACCESS for ELLs testing, the default format is online, but a paper-based assessment is available. Note: Students taking ACCESS for ELLs Online in Grades 1-3 will continue to take the Writing domain on paper – this is still considered the online assessment. Paper materials are ordered through WIDA AMS.

Testing sites and user accounts created on WIDA AMS for 2016-17 will carry over to 2017-18. District Coordinators in WIDA AMS can create new user accounts for others in their district and schools. They may also assign/re-assign permissions for user accounts or make them inactive. To add a district or school to WIDA AMS, contact Barry Pedersen, 866-317-6034, or

Illinois has adopted WIDA Screener for 2017–18 for second semester of 1st grade through Grade 12. Illinois no longer uses W-APT for screening at any grade level. WIDA MODEL should be used for Kindergarten and first semester of 1st Grade only. See below.

Placement Criteria
Assessment When Administered Domains Assessed Min. Proficiency Score
WIDA MODEL 1st Semester Kindergarten Listening,
5.0 Overall Composite
WIDA MODEL 2nd Semester Kindergarten;
1st Semester First Grade
Listening, Speaking,
5.0 Overall Composite and 4.2 Literacy Composite
WIDA Screener 2nd Semester First Grade through 12th Grade Listening,
5.0 Overall Composite


ACCESS Data Corrections

Illinois will use the state Student Information System for corrections to the 2017-18 ACCESS results, as in the past.

Eligibility for ELL Services

To determine eligibility for ELL program services based on WIDA MODEL or WIDA Screener assessments, please refer to the Screener for English Language Proficiency (ELP) page on the ISBE site.

Please contact ISBE ELL staff with any questions about ELP assessments and EL program eligibility.

Test Preparation and Training

Please see the ISBE’s ACCESS for ELLs page for information about Test Administrator requirements and how to get certified for ACCESS administration.

Professional Learning

For information regarding current professional development offerings, please visit the ISBE’s English Learners Professional Development page.

For information regarding WIDA workshops sponsored by ISBE, please refer to the 2018-19 ISBE Professional Development Opportunities.


Barry Pedersen
EL Assessment Coordinator
(866) 317-6034

Samuel Aguirre
Director, Division of English Learners
(312) 814-3850

WIDA Client Services Center
Contact us for questions about training materials, test administration procedures, classroom resources, or for problems with your WIDA Secure Portal account.
(866) 276-7735

Logging In

WIDA Secure Portal
Use the WIDA Secure Portal to access test training manuals and resources, as well as online professional learning modules.

  • To obtain a new login, contact, call (866) 276-7735, or contact your District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators should contact Barry Pedersen at to create an account.
  • For assistance with your account, contact the WIDA Client Services Center at or call (866) 276-7735.

WIDA Assessment Management System (WIDA AMS)
WIDA AMS is managed by our partner company Data Recognition Corporation (DRC). You can order ACCESS materials, manage your student and test information, and find technology resources and testing software via WIDA AMS.

  • To obtain a new login, contact your District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators should contact Barry Pedersen at to create an account.
  • For assistance accessing your account, contact DRC Customer Service at or call (855) 787-9615.

Account Creation Flyer