Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs

About Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs

Like ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, 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.


Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs test items are written from the model performance indicators of WIDA's five English Language Development (ELD) standards:

  • Social & Instructional Language
  • Language of Language Arts
  • Language of Mathematics
  • Language of Science
  • Language of Social Studies

Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs is aligned with the WIDA ELD Standards and it assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing

Purpose and Use of Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs

  • Helps students and families understand students’ current level of English language proficiency along the developmental continuum.
  • Serves as one of multiple measures used to determine whether students are prepared to exit English language support programs.
  • Generates information that assists in determining whether ELLs have attained the language proficiency needed to participate meaningfully in content area classrooms without program support.
  • Provides teachers with information they can subsequently use to enhance instruction and learning in programs for their English language learners.
  • Provides districts with information that will help them evaluate the effectiveness of their ESL/bilingual programs.

Meets, and exceeds, federal requirements for the monitoring and reporting of ELLs' progress toward English language proficiency.


Test Materials

Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs can be ordered along with ACCESS for ELLs test materials from DRC via the established order process.

Test Scheduling

The Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs assessment is individually administered.

WIDA recommends that Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs be administered during one session. If test administration has to be divided into two sessions, the break must occur between the administration of the narrative and expository sections and the break should last no more than 2 consecutive school days.

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

Please see the Test Administration Manual (Login Required) for additional details on scheduling the test.

Test Administrator Preparation

Test administration training and certification is crucial for successful administration of Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs, and answers to many frequently asked questions about test administration are answered in the training located within the WIDA Secure Portal for Kindergarten:

Kindergarten Portal Badge

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

Certification Quiz

WIDA requires test administrators to complete the Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration Quiz before administering the test. The certification quiz can be found in the ACCESS for ELLs Training Course & Quizzes Secure Portal. The quiz requires a personal account. Only educators in Consortium member states can create accounts to take the training. Please note that member states have different policies for who can take the training and how to access the Account Creator.

It is the state or district’s responsibility to monitor whether test administrators have passed the quiz and are prepared to administer the assessment. District Test Coordinators can monitor their district educators’ training certification results in the online course by clicking on “My Quizzes”, followed by the “District View” tab. If you are a District Test Coordinator and do not see this tab in the training course, please call the WIDA Client Services Center at 1-866-276-7735 or email to request it.



  • Individually administered
  • Not tiered; all students take the same test
  • All domains (Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing) are tested twice, once within the expository section and once within the narrative section
  • Speaking and Listening are presented together, alternating between a listening task followed by a speaking task
  • All sections are adaptive, meaning items are presented until the student reaches his/her performance "ceiling"
  • Scored locally by the Test Administrator

Specific instructions on how to administer each section of the test can be found in the following resources:

  • Test Administration Manual
  • Test Administration Script
  • Administering Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs Webinars
  • Administering Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs PowerPoint

Much like in any testing situation, please review and follow all state and local testing and security policies before administering the test.

Accessibility and Accommodations

The WIDA Consortium encourages the participation of all English language learners in the Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs testing program. Standard features “built in” to Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs allow most students to be able to access the assessment without the need for accommodations. For example, grouping of questions by theme, graphic supports, and individual administration allow a broad range of students to use the standard version of test items without the need to “add on” accommodations.

Testing accommodations may be appropriate for some students with disabilities. WIDA provides guidelines for appropriate accommodations for the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment suite (including Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs) on the Accessibility and Accommodations page.

Scores & Reports

WIDA has developed a new Individual Student Report for Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs. In addition to the Individual Student Report, there is also a specific Parent/Guardian Report.

The Individual Student Report, intended primarily for educators, provides information about an individual student’s performance on ACCESS for ELLs. It includes scores for each language domain as well as composite scores.

The Parent/Guardian Report, available for download in multiple languages on WIDA AMS, also provides information about an individual student’s performance, but is intended for educators to provide to families and guardians. WIDA recommends that the Parent/Guardian Report be accompanied by the Parent Guide for Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports, available in multiple languages for download under Downloads and Products and in the Download Library.

Sample Reports for Educators

Samples of the Individual Student Report for Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs, and Parent/Guardian Report can be accessed under Downloads & Products or in the Download Library.
Educators who wish to access the full list of translations available for the Parent/Guardian Report are able to download them on WIDA AMS.

Resources for Families

WIDA has developed several new resources for families and guardians that educators can provide to accompany these reports. Below is a description of these documents, which can be accessed under Downloads & Products.

  • Kindergarten Parent/Guardian Report: A Parent/Guardian Report for Kindergarten students, available in DRC’s WIDA AMS, locally printed/distributed and available in multiple languages.
  • Parent Guide for Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs Score Report: Guide provides information about the Parent/Guardian Report for Kindergarten, available in multiple languages.
  • ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Parent Handout: One-page flyer provides answers to several basic questions about ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, available in multiple languages.
  • Sample Letters to Accompany Score Report: Translated letters, generated by consortium members, are examples of what you may wish to send to parents to accompany students’ score reports. Please reference the Download Library for the full list of translations.
  • Interpretive Guide: Comprehensive document providing information on understanding the scores.

Reports and Resources for Educators

Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs scores can be used to:

  • Monitor student progress on an annual basis
  • Establish when ELLs have attained English language proficiency according to state criteria
  • Inform classroom instruction and assessment
  • Aid in programmatic decision-making

In addition to the Individual Student Report, the following reports will be provided to schools and districts:

  • Student Roster Report
  • School Frequency Report
  • District Frequency Report

Module for WIDA AMS: Accessing Score Reports: Provides information on how to download test results and reports in WIDA AMS
WIDA AMS User Guide #3 provides information on

  • Reviewing and correcting student demographic records, student accommodation records, and student test records
  • Viewing student reports, data files, and online results

Please reference the Interpretive Guide for the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Score Reports for further information and assistance in understanding the scores reported for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 grades K-12 test takers.

Please note that each member state determines when score reports will be sent to districts. To find your state's window for shipment of score reports, please visit the WIDA states’ pages.