General Information

What is Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs?

Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarteners who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It is given annually in WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English. Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs is only available to Consortium member states.

In what format is Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs administered?

Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs is individually administered with the student and Test Administrator. WIDA recommends that Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs be administered during one session.

Is Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs a tiered assessment?

No, there are no tiers associated with the test. Rather, Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs is designed to be adaptive to a student’s demonstrated abilities during test administration. The Test Administrator’s Script contains detailed information on this adaptivity during the test, and a full explanation of the structure of the Kindergarten test can be found in the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Test Administrator Manual.

Preparation and Training

What training is required to administer Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs?

Online and/or face-to-face training may be required by your state in order for you to become a Test Administrator (TA) for the first time. The Kindergarten Training Course on the WIDA website includes modules related to administration of Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs as well as the Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration Quiz. Test administrators must review the modules and take the quiz, and must satisfy any other state requirements before administering the test.

Some states also require annual training updates for certified TAs. Please view your state’s ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 checklist to review any requirements that may apply to you.

How much time will it require to complete training?

The time it takes to complete the Kindergarten training course will vary for each individual since the training is self-guided. However, you should expect to spend approximately 2-2.5 hours to complete the training and quiz.

If I am certified to administer ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, do I also need to be certified for Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs?

Yes. In order to administer any assessment in the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 suite of assessments, the appropriate training modules and quizzes must be completed. Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs is an assessment that is separate from and different than ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Online or Paper in its format and administration.

If I was certified to administer Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs in previous years, will I need to complete training again?

Recertification requirements will vary by state. For detailed information on what is required in your state for annual recertification, please refer to your state’s ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 checklist, which can be found on your state’s WIDA webpage.

Ordering and Returning Test Materials

Material ordering and returning processes for Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs are the same as all other ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessments. Please refer to the Ordering and Returning Test Materials FAQs for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 for further information.


Approximately how long does administration of Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs take?

The administration of Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs is estimated to take approximately 45 minutes per student.

Are there restrictions on the timing of the test?

While the recommended time to administer Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs is approximately 45 minutes per student, additional time may be added at the professional discretion of the Test Administrator. It is important to note that some states have specific limitations on additional timing during testing; refer to your state’s ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 checklist for an explanation of your state’s timing policy.

Can the Kindergarten test be administered in two sessions instead of one?

The Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs test may be administered over two sessions, but the break must occur between the narrative (A-C) and expository (D-F) sections of the test, and the break may not last more than two consecutive school days. For example, if the narrative section is administered to a student on a Monday, the latest the expository section should be administered is on Thursday of that week.

If the student needs additional stretch breaks you may provide time for that, however, many students in this age group take time to "warm up" to a particular activity, so test scores could actually be lowered for some students by dividing up the administration sessions with additional breaks extending longer than a stretch or bathroom break.

In situations when the testing session absolutely must be interrupted (for example, by lunch or a fire drill), it is permissible to stop administration and resume at a later time. WIDA emphasizes that this should only occur in cases of emergency or extreme inconvenience, and the testing session should be resumed as quickly as possible.

Test Administration

How many students can be tested at once during Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs administration?

Only one. Due to the adaptive nature of the assessment, Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs can only be administered one-on-one with the student and Test Administrator.

How do I determine when to stop in the Listening/Speaking section?

Please follow the criteria for advancement and stop only if the student meets BOTH criteria for stopping. If a student does not meet both criteria for stopping, even though his or her response may have been deficient in one of the two areas (Listening or Speaking), both parts must be administered at the next level.  For example, students may score 2 or 3 in Listening and Approaches in Speaking at Level 1, and still move on to score Meets in Speaking at Level 2 even though they did not meet expectations on the lower level task.

What do I mark for tasks B2, B3, B4, & B5 and E4 & E5 if these items are not administered?

If these tasks are not administered because student did not meet the criteria for advancement in B1 or E1-E3, DO NOT mark a score for Tasks B2-B5 or E4 & E5. Assigning a score of 0 indicates that the section was administered, so please do not mark any score for these tasks if they are not administered. Instead, simply check "Stopped here" on the last item administered, and leave the rest blank.

Why is there a difference between what is written in the Speaking "Expect boxes" in the Script and what I see in the Speaking Rubric? Which should I use for scoring?

In the Test Administrator Script for Kindergarten, WIDA introduced the "expect box" to the Speaking portion of the test. The expect boxes contain a short summary of the full task-level expectations contained in the Speaking Rubric. The contents of the expect box are meant to serve as a quick reminder of the language the task requires the student to produce in order to meet the task-level expectations contained in the full Speaking Rubric. The test administrator must use his or her internalized understanding of the descriptions in the full Speaking Rubric as the complete guide for making scoring decisions.

That said, test administrators may notice a slight difference between what is written in the expect box and what appears under Linguistic Complexity in the Speaking Rubric. The expect boxes reflect reasonable expectations based on the developmental characteristics of Kindergarteners, who may not always speak in full sentences even when fully proficient in English. Therefore, the expect boxes serve as a useful distillation of the Speaking Rubric yet incorporate some slightly adapted expectations in the area of Linguistic Complexity resulting from expert awareness of Kindergarteners' development in the domain of speaking. For example, where the Speaking Rubric calls for the students to produce sentences at Level 3, the expect box requires only phrases in response to a Level 3 test item. The expect boxes and Speaking Rubric together provide a holistic picture of how students are expected to speak at each level of language proficiency during the PreK/Kindergarten grade years, and both should be utilized in scoring the Kindergarten Speaking test.