WIDA ACCESS for ELLs is the District of Columbia's annual assessment of English proficiency. Students that qualify for ELL services are assessed in the four domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing through an English language screener proficiency test to determine their level of English proficiency. Students who score from Level 1 to Level 5.0 on the screener test are eligible for services and will participate in the annual language proficiency test, ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State for English Language Learners), each spring until they score an English Language proficiency level of 4.5, which indicates the student is proficient in English.
The English learner (EL) exit criteria has changed from a proficiency level of 5.0 on ACCESS to a proficiency level of 4.5 for students in grades 1-12, beginning with the 2021-22 ACCESS assessment (to affect EL statuses beginning in the 2022-23 school year). The exit criteria for students in kindergarten remains the same at 5.0, as the kindergarten assessment did not significantly change. This policy change will not be retroactive. Visit the English Learners Exit Criteria webpage for additional information about this policy.
To learn more about WIDA ACCESS for ELLs and resources available to educators and families, please explore the resources below.
The WIDA assessment is administered online and includes four domains: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Additional information can be found on resources to support multilingual leaners page on the WIDA site.
Practice Tests and Tutorials
- WIDA ACCESS for ELLS website
- ACCESS for ELLs Online
- ACCESS for ELLs Paper
- Preparing Students for ACCESS for ELLs
Accessibility for All Students
OSSE is committed to providing equitable assessment opportunities for students in the District of Columbia. For details about how the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs supports accessibility, please read the Accessibility and Accommodations Supplement on the WIDA website. More information can be found on OSSE’s Testing Accommodations page.
OSSE Guidance Documents
- Spring 2023 Alternate ACCESS Field Test Guidance Memo
- OSSE Home Language Survey
- OSSE Approved English Language Proficiency Assessments
OSSE requires that new Test Coordinators and Test Administrators complete all trainings related to their role(s) and the test(s) they will administer. OSSE also recommends that Test Coordinators become familiar with all technology requirements two to four weeks prior to test administration.
- Test Administrator Manual
- District and School Test Coordinator Manual
- ACCESS for ELLs Checklists for Test Coordinators & Test Administrators
- WIDA AMS User Guide
- ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator Overview Training Packet
- ACCESS for ELLs Test Administrator Overview Training Packet
- Site Technology Readiness Checklist for Deploying WIDA Online Assessments