ACCESS for ELLs Preparation and Training

Q: What training is provided for people who are administering ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 for grades 1–12?

Educators participating in ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 administration should begin by consulting their state’s ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 checklist, which includes all tasks that need to be completed before, during, and after testing and state-specific information regarding these tasks.

Test Coordinators and Test Administrators complete the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Training Course (behind login), which includes new web-based training modules for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 online and paper-based assessments. The course also includes guidance on accommodations and testing logistics. Designated staff can select the test(s) they will administer to complete the applicable training for their role.

It is important to note that all individuals administering any assessment in the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 suite of assessments must complete the applicable administration quizzes upon the completion of the training modules. Please note that for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Paper, Test Administrators must complete the general Paper Administration Quiz for Listening, Reading, and Writing administration, the Speaking Quiz for Speaking administration, or both for certification to administer all four domains of ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Paper.

For online administration, Technology Coordinators must complete the applicable steps on the Technology Readiness Checklist for WIDA Online Assessments.

Q: What training is provided for people who are administering Kindergarten or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs?

Educators participating in Kindergarten or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs administration who have not been previously certified to administer these assessments in previous years should complete the online Training Course on the WIDA Secure portal, including watching videos related to test administration and completing a certification quiz with a score of 80% or higher.

Please also refer to your state’s policies regarding certification and recertification for each testing year.

Q: Do Test Administrators and other designated staff need to retake the ACCESS for ELLs Training if previously certified?

Educators who were certified to administer any assessment in the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 suite of assessments for the previous school year still hold valid WIDA certification for the current school year. Please consult your state’s ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Checklist for more information on your state-specific policy regarding certification.

Q: How is training and certification monitored?

Records of Test Coordinators’ and Test Administrators' certification quiz progress are available within the online training portal at Individuals can print a certificate that shows their completed training components. Test Coordinators use this portal to monitor the training and are responsible for ensuring that Test Administrators have completed all applicable training components before a Test Administrator gives ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. 

Test Coordinators should also confirm that Technology Coordinators have completed all training and preparation steps, as outlined the Technology Readiness Checklist for online administration. State Education Agency personnel also have the ability to monitor who has completed training within their state.

Q: How long do the trainings take?

The time it takes Test Administrators to complete the training depends on the assessments that they need to be certified to administer. The time it takes to complete each training course will vary for each individual since the training is self-guided. With that being said, below you will see the approximate amount of time a Test Administrator should expect to spend to complete each training course.

Online Grades 1-12: 2.5-3 hours

Paper Grades 1-12: 2-2.5 hours for Listening, Reading, and Writing only*

*If a test administrator is responsible for administering the Paper-based Speaking test, the Speaking Scoring Modules are required. The approximate time to complete the Speaking Scoring Modules is 1-3 hours, depending on the number of grade clusters for which the Test Administrator is responsible.

Kindergarten: 2-2.5 hours

Alternate: 1.5-2 hours

WIDA recommends that Test Coordinators complete the same training as Test Administrators to ensure they are able to answer questions that Test Administrators have related to training and test administration procedures.

Technology Coordinators do not have a training course on the WIDA website. Instead, they should follow the Technology Readiness Checklist which includes all tasks that need to be completed in order to prepare a site for online testing. Tasks begin as early as 2-3 months prior to testing.

Q: Are there any sample prompts or practice items?

Yes, DRC's website hosts Practice Tests and Interactive Sample Items for the Public that allow students and educators to familiarize themselves with online test items.

Q: Who is allowed to proctor the test? What qualifications should they have?

WIDA recommends that any designated testing staff or volunteers who have access to secure test materials complete Test Administrator training for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Online.

WIDA recommends that any individuals who administer the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Paper group tests (Listening, Reading, and Writing) complete the Test Administrator training for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Paper.

WIDA also recommends that the Kindergarten test, Grades 1-12 Paper Speaking assessment, and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs be administered by individuals who are well trained in language acquisition and have experience working with English language learners. State education agencies may determine that other individuals who have completed ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 training can also administer these tests as needed.

Q: Is there a way to test a student’s keyboarding skills prior to testing?

If you are unsure of a student’s keyboarding ability and would like to assess this prior to administering the Writing domain, use the Writing test practice, which is available in WIDA AMS for grades 4-12. It is recommended that students try the practice test for all domains. During the Writing domain practice, you can monitor a student’s ability to answer the practice questions.