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ACCESS for ELLs® stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners and is designed to measure English language proficiency. It is a large-scale test that addresses the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium’s English Language Proficiency Standards that form the core of Wisconsin’s approach to instructing and testing English language learners.

ACCESS for ELLs® Testing Procedures

ACCESS for ELLs® Data Flow – The data flow chart depicts the process for classifying and testing English language learners (ELLs).

Important Dates – Provides the ACCESS for ELLs® Test Administration calendar for the current school year.

Test Administration – To access the WIDA Test Administration website, you must be an authorized user with a valid username and password. Contact your District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) for login and training instructions.

Ordering the ACCESS for ELLs® – Districts may order the ACCESS for ELLs® test materials online at this MetriTech website during the test order window in October.

District Online Demographic Data Validation – Districts will have an opportunity to review and update student demographic data during the data validation window, scheduled for mid-March.

ACCESS for ELLs® Score Reports – The ACCESS for ELLs® Interpretive Guide for Score Reports describes the types of scores generated from ACCESS for ELLs® and provides cut score tables for each grade. Part 2 describes each score report for ACCESS for ELLs® and offers information on the meaning and the use of the data in the reports. Part 3 presents an analysis and discussion of some example score reports.

WIDA Consortium's English Language Proficiency Standards and English Language Proficiency Levels

The WIDA Consortium's English Language Proficiency Standards for ELLs in Kindergarten through Grade 12 encompass five English language proficiency (ELP) standards and accompanying model performance indicators (PIs).

The grade level clusters include K, 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. There are five content areas of the standards. The first is social and instructional language (SI), which incorporates proficiencies needed to deal with the general language of the classroom and the school. The others are English language arts (LA), mathematics (MA), science (SC), and social studies (SS).

For each grade cluster, the standards specify one or more performance indicators for each content area within each of the four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. The language development proficiency levels are:

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Entering Emerging Developing Expanding Bridging

These levels describe the spectrum of a learner’s progression from knowing little to no English to acquiring the English skills necessary to be successful in an English-only classroom without extra support. Level 6 is designated Reaching and is for ELLs who are fully English proficient. Level 7 is used for students who are native English speakers or who have never been designated as ELL. Within each combination of grade level, content area, and language domain there is a PI at each of the five points on the proficiency scale, and the sequence of these five PIs together describe a logical progression and accumulation of skills on the path to full proficiency.

English Language Proficiency Levels – This document provides a comparison between WIDA’s language proficiency levels and those defined by Wisconsin’s Administrative Rule PI 13.08(3)(1)-(6). PDF Format

ACCESS for ELLs® Trainings

ACCESS for ELLs® Training – This presentation is designed for individuals who will be test administrators for the ACCESS for ELLs® assessment for grades 1-12.

ACCESS for ELLs® Kindergarten Training – This presentation is designed for individuals who will be test administrators on the ACCESS for ELLs® assessment for Kindergarten students.

English Language Proficiency Standards Training – This presentation is designed for any individual who works with English language learners. It includes information on Wisconsin’s English language proficiency standards and how to incorporate them into the classroom.

Additional Information

Criteria for Reclassification – This bulletin describes the process to reclassify a student's English language proficiency as fully English proficient.

District Request & Certification of Change – This request form is for removal of an ACCESS for ELLs® Composite Score from the Individual Student Enrollment System (ISES) when it is generally open from August to mid-October. In the event that schools or districts determine that an English speaking student received an ACCESS for ELLs® score in error, the district ISES coordinator should complete this form for DPI’s approval.

Accountability for English Language Learners – The No Child Left Behind Act requires districts to meet Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) for English Language Proficiency (ELP) under Title III Part A accountability requirements.

Contact Information

For additional ELL assessment related questions contact the Department of Public Instruction, Office of Educational Accountability:

By phone at: 608.267.1072, or email:

For WIDA specific questions which may include:

  • How to use the WIDA Training Site
  • Questions about Test Constructs
  • Interpreting Test Results
  • Professional Development

Contact the WIDA helpline by phone: 866.276.7735 or email:, or on the website:

For MetriTech, Inc. specific questions which may include:

  • Ordering Test Materials
  • Label Information
  • Student Data Correction

Contact MetriTech by phone: 800.747.4868 (ask for WIDA Support), or email:, or on the website:



For questions about this information, contact