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WIDA English Language Proficiency Assessments

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires state education agencies to establish and implement standardized, statewide entrance and exit procedures for English learners (ELs). In accordance with federal regulations, all states are required to:

  • Identify the languages other than English present in their student population;
  • Assess the language proficiency of students in order to place them in the appropriate language development program; and
  • Administer an annual assessment of English proficiency, which includes measuring a student’s oral language, reading, and writing skills in English.

WIDA provides the English language proficiency placement and annual assessments administered in Indiana. WIDA Screener assessments are used to identify and inform initial programmatic placement of English Learners. WIDA ACCESS summative assessments are administered annually to determine an EL’s current level of English proficiency and to monitor students’ progress in learning academic English. WIDA ACCESS assessments are also used for accountability purposes.

WIDA Screener (Placement) Assessments

WIDA ACCESS (Summative) Assessments


WIDA Screener and ACCESS 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, and Language of Social Studies.

WIDA Alternate ACCESS aligns to four of WIDA's English Language Development Standards and associated Alternate Model Performance Indicators and is administered to students who have significant cognitive disabilities.

Sample Items and Scoring

WIDA resources to prepare students for ACCESS testing, including sample items, are available on WIDA’s Preparing for ACCESS Testing and Preparing to Administer Alternate ACCESS web pages. The sample items provide examples of the content and rigor of items that have previously appeared on operational assessments. The sample items are not intended to be a complete test. Sample items provide students with an opportunity to become familiar with the format and functionality of test items.

WIDA resources for understanding scoring and reporting, including Interpretive Guides and Speaking and Writing Rubrics, can be found on WIDA’s ACCESS Scores and Reports and Alternate ACCESS Scores and Reports web pages.

Program Specific Policy and Guidance

Additional Resources and Guidance: