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 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

Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs scores can be used to:

  • Establish a baseline in order to monitor future progress
  • Establish when ELLs have attained English language proficiency according to state criteria
  • Inform classroom instruction and assessment
  • Aid in programmatic decision-making


What’s New This Year?

In the past, each student who took Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs received an Individual Student Report and a Parent/Guardian Report.
This year, the Kindergarten Individual Student Report matches the single 1–12 Individual Student Report, and is intended for both educators and parents/guardians. Aligning grades K–12 ensures that both families and educators have access to the same information about students' language proficiency, and this consistency will also make it easier to analyze student performance from one year to the next.


Types of Score Reports

Individual Student Report:

  • Matches the format of grades 1–12
  • Scores for each language domain (Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing)
  • Composite scores (combining one or more domain scores, such as Listening and Speaking scores to calculate Oral Language)
  • Brief descriptions of what students at each proficiency level are typically able to do
  • Translations of these reports are available for printing from WIDA AMS

Student Roster Report:

  • Domain and composite scores for all the students in a single school and grade

School/District Frequency Report:

  • The number and percent of students tested at a school or district who attained each proficiency level at each grade level.


Data Validation

Data validation is the process of reviewing student test records to identify errors and make corrections before production of score reports. Each state has unique policies related to data validation. Refer to your state’s ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 checklist to view your state’s guidance.


Accessing Score Reports

Testing sites receive Individual Student Reports, Student Roster Reports, and School Frequency Reports from DRC. These reports are also available for download in WIDA AMS. Each member state determines when score reports will become available. To view key dates for your state, please visit your state’s page on the WIDA website.