Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2010.


Minnesota uses the Kindergarten W-APT, WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten and WIDA Screener (for grades 1-12) to identify English learners (ELs).

ACCESS for ELLs or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs must be administered to all ELs in grades K-12 during the annual testing window, which typically takes place from late January to late March.

Testing Dates

11/25/19-12/13/19 Indicate the number of online testers for grades 1-12 and order test materials in WIDA AMS
12/19/19 MDE sends student data in precode to load students into WIDA AMS and to print student labels
1/6/20-3/20/20 Complete administration tasks in WIDA AMS
1/17/20 Test materials arrive in districts
1/17/20-3/13/20 Order additional paper test materials in WIDA AMS
1/27/20-3/20/20 Test Window
3/27/20 All paper materials received at DRC
5/18/20-6/22/20 Retrieve early student-level results in Test WES
5/18/20-6/5/20 Post-test editing in Test WES
8/20/20 Online reports available in WIDA AMS
8/20/20 Paper reports arrive in districts

Resources and Requirements

See below for state specific information and resource documents, 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 Checklist State-Specific Directions

Identification and Placement Guidance

State Testing Requirements

English Language Proficiency Screener Testing Information

  • Screening for English Language Proficiency
  • Use an ELP screener when the Minnesota Language Survey (MNLS) indicates that the student speaks or understands a language other than English.
  • If the student is transferring from a Minnesota district or a WIDA state, then only use a screener if the student does not have an ACCESS score from the previous year.
  • ACCESS test results for students that were tested in Minnesota are available in MDE Secure Reports using the Student Assessment History Report.

Kindergarten W-APT and Kindergarten MODEL

  • Use listening and speaking domains in 1st semester of Kindergarten and if using with 4 year olds.
  • Use all four domains in 2nd semester of Kindergarten and in 1st semester of Grade 1.
  • Accommodations are available as required by a student’s IEP or 504 plan.

WIDA Online and Paper Screener

  • Use second semester of Grades 1-12.
  • Accommodations are available as required by a student’s IEP or 504 plan.

ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS Writing Domain Information

While the ACCESS for grades 1–12 is administered primarily online, there are provisions for the writing domain as follows:

  • The grades 1–3 writing test is entirely a paper administration. This means students will read prompts and write their responses in a paper test booklet. 
  • The grades 4–5 writing prompts are presented to students online and students respond in a writing response booklet. If students in grades 4–5 are competent at keyboarding and wish to respond online, districts can move these students into to a keyboarding test session.
  • The grades 6–12 writing test is entirely online. Writing prompts are presented online and students will keyboard their responses.
    • Students in grades 6–12 who are inexperienced, unfamiliar, or uncomfortable with keyboarding may hand-write their responses in a writing response booklet. This decision must be made on an individual student basis and in conjunction with the student. 

Test Preparation and Training

WIDA-required training courses for ACCESS for ELLs Grades 1-12, Kindergarten ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS are available in the WIDA Secure Portal. Additional required trainings for Test Security and Active Monitoring are posted in the Training Management System.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) also offers optional in-person trainings on test administration for District Assessment Coordinators as well as in-person trainings for Test Administrators who administer Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs. Information on ACCESS test administration training for 2019-20 will be posted in the fall.

Requirements for Selecting ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Test Administrators

Note: even when a licensed teacher is required, the Test Administrator does not have to have EL licensure or be the EL teacher unless otherwise specified (i.e., for Kindergarten ACCESS, grades 1–12 ACCESS Speaking on paper, and all Alternate ACCESS).

  • For the Kindergarten ACCESS, Test Administrators must be licensed teachers. It is strongly recommended that raters of the Speaking domain are trained in second language acquisition. 
  • For grades 1–12 of the ACCESS:
    • For the online administration of the grades 1–12 ACCESS, the Test Administrator may be selected using the ranked criteria provided for MCA. 
    • For the paper-based administrations:
      • Speaking domain: The Test Administrator must be a licensed teacher. It is strongly recommended that raters of the Speaking domain are trained in second language acquisition. 
      • All other domains: The Test Administrator may be selected using the ranked criteria provided for MCA. 
  • For the Alternate ACCESS, MDE strongly recommends that the Test Administrator is someone who is familiar with the student’s response mode, who works with the student during instruction, and with whom the student feels comfortable. If possible when selecting Test Administrators for Alternate ACCESS, priority should be to select licensed teachers, and for the Speaking domain, staff who are trained in second language acquisition.

Requirements for Training ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Test Administrators

Manuals, Guides and Test Materials

Minnesota English Learner Screener Guidance

  • Contains state-specific guidance on identification and placement of ELLs in Minnesota, including information about the use of Kindergarten W-APT, WIDA MODEL (for Kindergarten), and WIDA Screener.

Using English Language Proficiency Screeners in Minnesota

  • ​Contains state-specific guidance on Screener assessment administration, including Q&A and links to resources.

Procedures Manual for Minnesota Assessments

  • Contains information about responsible test administration practices that help staff make informed decisions about properly administering statewide assessments in your district or charter school. Information specific to administering the ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs can be found in each chapter.

WIDA AMS Supplement - Submit Incomplete Domain

  • This supplement describes the Submit Incomplete Domain process and functionality.

Rater Reliability - ACCESS Paper Speaking

  • A guidance document that explains what rater reliability is, why it is important and how it can be achieved.

Rater Reliability Calculator - ACCESS Paper Speaking

  • A tool to report rater reliability statistics for raters who administer and score the ACCESS for ELLs Paper Speaking Test.

Using the Rater Reliability Calculator - ACCESS Paper Speaking

  • A how-to-guide that explains the use of the rater reliability calculator.

Standards and Instructional Support

Minnesota Standards Alignment Report (PDF)

  • Presents the results of an alignment study conducted in 2011 to examine the relationship between the Model Performance Indicators (MPIs) contained in the WIDA English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards 2007 Edition, and the Minnesota Academic Standards in Math and Science.

English Language Development Standards Implementation (PDF)

  • Provides guidance and support to educators as they implement the WIDA ELD Standards.

Professional Learning

How MN District Staff Can Access WIDA eLearning Courses 19-20

  • This document explains how teachers and other staff can request WIDA eLearning permissions from their District Coordinator for WIDA eLearning. Instructions are also provided to help districts and charter schools identify and set up district-wide accounts for new eLearning coordinators so they can generate account permissions for any staff member with a district or charter school e-mail address.

District Learning Coordinator Account Creation Guide

  • District Learning Coordinators can follow the directions in this document to create accounts in the WIDA Secure Portal.

WIDA eLearning Courses

  • An overview of the eLearning workshops that will be available in 2019-20.


Early Years Membership

WIDA Early Years Member State since 2019.

For state-specific information about WIDA Early Years professional learning, resources, and other member benefits, visit Minnesota Department of Education, Early Learning or contact Eileen Nelson at or (651) 582-8464.


ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration
Sequoia Block
District Contact Specialist
(651) 582-8674

English Learner Program, WIDA Screener and WIDA eLearning
English Learner and Multilingual Learner Education
(651) 582-8579

WIDA Client Services Center
Contact us for questions about training materials or 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 training modules and administration manuals and other testing resources, as well as Online Professional Learning modules.

  • To obtain an account as a Test Administrator, contact your District Assessment Coordinator.
  • New District Assessment Coordinators should contact Sequoia Block at to be approved for 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 and Alternate ACCESS materials, manage your student and test information, and find technology resources and testing software.

  • To obtain an account, contact your District Assessment Coordinator.
  • New District Assessment Coordinators should contact contact Sequoia Block at to be approved for an account.
  • For assistance accessing your account, contact DRC Customer Service at or call (855) 787-9615.