South Carolina

Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2014.


South Carolina uses Kindergarten W-APT or WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten, and WIDA Screener or WIDA MODEL (Grades 1-12) to identify English language learners (ELLs). ACCESS for ELLs or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is given to all ELLs during the annual testing window, which typically lasts from mid-January through mid-March.

Testing Dates

11/15/19-12/12/19 Test materials ordering available in AMS (LEAs)
1/6/20-3/13/20 WIDA AMS test setup available for test sessions
1/17/20 Districts receive test materials
1/27/20-3/13/20 Test Window
1/20/20-3/6/20 Additional test materials ordering window in AMS
3/20/20 Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC
4/17/20-4/23/20 Pre-reporting data validation – LEAs in AMS
5/22/20 Districts receive reports – Online
5/29/20-6/4/20 Post-reporting data validation – LEAs in AMS
6/18/20 Updates from post-reporting data validation available in AMS
7/30/20 Districts receive reports - Printed

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 Identification and Placement Guidance

State Testing Requirements

  • All students who are determined to have limited English proficiency, based upon the completion of a Home Language Survey and the initial assessment of their English proficiency, must take ACCESS for ELLs (grades K-12) or Alternate ACCESS (grades 1-12) annually, until they meet the requirements for full English Proficiency.
  • For Alternate ACCESS, students must meet eligibility criteria of an ELL with a significant cognitive disability. Refer to the Guidance for IEP Teams on Determining Participation in SC-ALT for more information.
  • Kindergarten ACCESS - Administered individually and scored locally in paper-based format.
  • Grades 1-3 Writing - Administered through paper-based format.
  • Grades 4-5 Writing - The default format is online prompt and keyed online response. Districts may choose to administer using an online and paper format, where the prompt is administered online and student responses are written in a test booklet. Districts can order paper writing response booklets during the materials ordering window.
  • Students who cannot take online assessments due to a disability, as specified in their IEP or 504 Plan may take a paper-based assessment.
  • Alternate ACCESS – Administered in grades 1-12 through paper-based format.
  • A waiver from the State Board of Education may be requested to allow students to use ACCESS for ELLs Paper.

Test Preparation and Training

  • District Test Coordinators will create accounts for Test Administrators using the Account Creator tool in the WIDA Secure Portal.
  • ACCESS training courses and quizzes are located in the WIDA Secure Portal. Test Administrators must complete the applicable training course and pass the certification quiz with a score of 80% or higher to administer the assessment. District Test Coordinators can verify Test Administrator certification using the WIDA User Account Management & Training Status Lookup.

Professional Learning

The South Carolina State Department of Education offers free WIDA professional learning, available September 1, 2019. Please see the WIDA eWorkshops flyer for more details. Renewal credits are available for 15+ hours of professional learning!

For additional 2019-20 WIDA professional learning opportunities and renewal credits, please contact Susan Murphy at, (803) 734-0163.


Susan Murphy
Education Associate, ACCESS for ELLs Office of Assessment
(803) 734-0163

Jill Christmus
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Office of Assessment
(803) 734-8048

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 test training manuals and resources, as well as Online Professional Learning modules.

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

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 as a Test Administrator, contact your District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators should contact Susan Murphy to create an account.
  • For assistance accessing your account, contact DRC Customer Service at or call (855) 787-9615.