W-APT stands for the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. It is an English language proficiency "screener" test given to incoming students who may be designated as English language learners. It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELLs. The W-APT is one component of WIDA's comprehensive assessment system.
W-APT test items are written from the model performance indicators of WIDA's five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards:
- Social & Instructional Language
- Language of Language Arts
- Language of Mathematics
- Language of Science
- Language of Social Studies
Test forms are divided into five grade-level clusters:
- Grades 1-2
- Grades 3-5
- Grades 6-8
- Grades 9-12
Each form of the test assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
The W-APT is designed to be individually administered and adaptive, meaning that parts of the test may be discontinued as soon as the student reaches his or her performance "ceiling."
The Kindergarten W-APT
The Kindergarten W-APT is meant to be administered to second semester preK, K, and first semester 1st grade students. It is organized as a single, individually-administered test with a combined Speaking/Listening component. The Reading and Writing tests make up a separate test which is optional, and only for students with some literacy skills.
The Kindergarten W-APT is not able to assign scores across the full range of WIDA ELP levels 1-6. Instead, scores for Speaking and Listening are marked as showing low, mid, high, or exceptional proficiency. Scoring details can be found in the W-APT Test Administration Manual and on the scoring sheets.
The WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten assessment is an optional replacement to the Kindergarten W-APT and it yields a score between 1 and 6 on the WIDA ELP scale. To learn more about this test kit, please visit the WIDA MODEL page under "Assessment."
The cost of the W-APT is included within the cost of the ACCESS for ELLs assessment for Consortium members. Authorized consortium member educators are able to download and print off this assessment.. Please contact the WIDA Client Services Center if you have questions or need access at 1-866-276-7735 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purpose and Use
The W-APT was designed to be used as:
- One of several criteria to determine eligibility for language support services
- An indicator of a student's language proficiency level (1 through 6) on the WIDA continuum
- An aid to determining appropriate levels and amounts of instructional services
- A guide for tier placement on the ACCESS for ELLs annual assessment (consortium members only)
Test items and forms were developed, piloted, field tested, and reviewed concurrently with the original development of the ACCESS for ELLs Series 100 test forms. Development was completed in partnership with the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and as a collaborative effort of consortium member states.
As with all WIDA assessments, the W-APT test specifications were derived from the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards. While the W-APT does not have a refreshment cycle like ACCESS for ELLs, there have been notable re-releases. The W-APT was updated in 2006-07, Version 2.3, 2007 and revised again in the fall of 2013, Version 3, October 2013. Version 3 is the current version, however districts and schools may continue to use any already printed copies of Version 2.3.
Please see p. 17 of the Technical Report No. 1: Development and Field Test, and note that this technical report addresses the validity and reliability of both the W-APT and the first ACCESS for ELLs test form (Series 100).
WIDA supports local trainers (facilitators, coordinators, or Test Administrators) by offering free use of its training materials related to ELP Standards, ACCESS for ELLs, and the W-APT. You may edit the PowerPoints, but do not post them publicly. To download the various PowerPoint presentations offered, please login with your ACCESS for ELLs personal training account.
Test Administrator Training
It is recommended, but not required, that W-APT administrators be trained for the full ACCESS for ELLs, which is a complete and detailed training course. However, reading the W-APT Test Administration Manual(s) and Scored Student Writing Samples should be sufficient for reliably administering and scoring the W-APT.
Test administrators who have participated in test administration training for the ACCESS for ELLs secure assessment will be well qualified to administer the W-APT. They will merely need to review sound files and train on the writing rubric by examining the scored writing samples in the training package.
Download the Test Forms and Manuals
The W-APT test forms and administration manual (PDF files) are available to all authorized users from WIDA Consortium member states. You must enter your district's W-APT username and password to view or print these files. Please contact your district or state ESL or testing coordinator if you have not received your login information.
The W-APT for a particular grade level cluster is administered to children one semester beyond the beginning of the grade level cluster and one semester beyond the end of the grade level cluster. For example, the grades 3-5 W-APT is administered to children from 2nd semester grade 3 through lst semester grade 6.
The W-APT for all grade levels except kindergarten is administered as follows:
- The Speaking test is administered first, followed by the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests.
- All components are adaptive, meaning the component in process is stopped when the test administrator reaches items with more complex material than the student is likely to successfully handle. Instructions for stopping a component are included in the test script.
W-APT Scoring for Grades 1-12
- Scoring for the Speaking section of the W-APT is identical to the ACCESS for ELLs. Trained test administrators determine whether a student's response approaches, meets, or exceeds expectations based on a given rubric.
- Scoring for the Writing test is also based on a rubric. Scored writing samples are available to help raters get accustomed to using the rubric. Note that test administrators do not score the ACCESS for ELLs Writing test, so W-APT test administrators must take on additional training to reliably score students' Writing tests.
- An answer key on the scoring sheet is provided for the multiple choice Listening and Reading items.
- The W-APT scoring sheet guides test administrators in assigning an overall or composite English language proficiency level for all four components of the test.
The W-APT Score Calculator is a tool to save test administrators the time and trouble of manually converting raw scores and calculating students' composite proficiency levels (CPLs). With the click of a button, it calculates Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening scores, along with the CPL and a grade-adjusted CPL. Unfortunately, it can not be applied to Kindergarten scores at this time
What is the W-APT?
The W-APT is an English language proficiency test that is given to incoming students who may be candidates for ESL/bilingual services. The W-APT can be used to identify and make placement decisions for English language learners.
Will the W-APT still be available for use now that the new WIDA Screener has been released?
The Kindergarten W-APT will be available for the foreseeable future, but the Grades 1-12 W-APT test forms and training materials will be removed from WIDA’s website on Aug. 31, 2017. The WIDA Client Services Center will still be qualified and willing to answer educator questions about the administration of the test.
How can I obtain a log-in to access the W-APT materials?
If you require access to the W-APT materials please contact your District Testing Coordinator or State Department of Education.
How do I interpret the scores from Kindergarten W-APT??
Kindergarten W-APT scores do not directly convert to a proficiency level (1-6). The assessment is diagnostic, and the scores inform teachers what skills the students have in English. Each state has its own policy on using Kindergarten W-APT for placement decisions. Please contact the individuals listed on each state's web page to determine your state's policy.
How can I prepare to administer the W-APT?
W-APT administrators should review the test administration manual, scored student writing samples, and the applicable W-APT webinars. It is recommended, but not required, that test administers complete the ACCESS for ELLs training course prior to administering W-APT.