EL Assessment

Missouri joined the WIDA (pronounced Wee-Duh) consortium in 2010 in response to both wanting to improve the EL standards within the state and to help provide better service and assessment to a growing EL population. The WIDA Consortium is a non-profit group whose purpose is to promote educational success for ELs. Through the development and delivery of standards, assessments, research and professional development, WIDA provides meaningful tools, training and information to educators working with ELs, which are anchored in research-based practices for serving these diverse learners.

Aside from professional development and English Language Development resources, WIDA provides the state with screener and summative English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessments.​


ELP Summative Assessment

WIDA ACCESS is a suite of English language proficiency (ELP) assessments that Missouri has selected to meet the requirement of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) to annually assess students who are eligible for EL (English Learner) services, including EL students with disabilities. ACCESS allows educators, students, and families to monitor student progress in acquiring academic English in the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing and is aligned with the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards.

WIDA offer three ELP assessments:

  • WIDA ACCESS – The online assessment for students in grades 1-12. A paper version is available for those with an IEP and for students with very limited exposure to technology. Large print and braille versions are also available for those with that accommodation in their IEP.
  • Kindergarten ACCESS – A paper-based assessment that comes in a kit with manipulatives.
  • Alternate ACCESS – An assessment for students in grades K-12 who are classified as ELs and have significant cognitive disabilities – those who do or would qualify for MAP-A – that prevent their meaningful participation in the WIDA ACCESS assessment. For students in grades K-2, the IEP team will need to determine if the student would qualify for MAP-A, if the assessment were available in those grades.

Student scores reflect proficiency levels ranging from Level 1 (Entering) to Level 6 (Reaching). Test scores can be used for accountability purposes and as benchmarks against which educators can measure future performance. Additionally, WIDA ACCESS can:

  • Help students understand their current level of English language proficiency along the developmental continuum
  • Serve as one of multiple measures used to determine if students are prepared to exit English language support programs
  • Provide teachers with information they can use to enhance instruction and learning in programs for their English learners
  • Help educators make decisions about student English academic language and facilitate their language development
  • Provide districts with information that will help them evaluate the effectiveness of their ESL/bilingual programs.
  • Be used as a measure to make reclassification decisions about whether a student can exit English language support services
  • Help support decisions about placing students into appropriate classes or groups for instruction, instructional planning
  • Show the progress students have made


Kindergarten ACCESS is an individually administered, adaptive assessment. All sections are adaptive, meaning items are presented until the student reaches their performance "ceiling." The administration of Kindergarten ACCESS is estimated to take approximately 45 minutes per student. The test is not timed.

WIDA recommends that Kindergarten ACCESS be administered during one session. If the 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 two consecutive school days.

Alternate ACCESS is an individually administered assessment for students with severe cognitive disabilities. The assessment has been revamped for the 2023-24 school year and now includes all-new test content. Additionally, the assessment now contains an Individual Characteristics Questionnaire (ICQ), which prompts test administrators to answer questions about students. ICQ information will be reported on the individual student score report to help educators make reclassification decisions about students taking Alternate ACCESS. The administration of Alternate ACCESS is estimated to take approximately 80 minutes per student.

WIDA ACCESS is an online assessment for students in grades 1-12. Students in grades 1-3 will take the writing modality in a writing booklet. Students with an IEP/504 plan that state they require a paper, large print or braille assessment may use that accommodation. Additionally, for students who are brand new to the country who may not have had exposure to technology, the district may choose to give the assessment to the student via paper. The assessment may not be given using mixed modes – e.g. part of the assessment online and part on paper. The administration time of WIDA ACCESS varies by modality, administration type and student proficiency level. Most modalities take between 45-90 minutes.

NOTE: Unlike our other state assessments, if any portion of the assessment is given via Paper/Pencil, the district will not enter those student responses into the system. Instead, those responses will be shipped back with all physical testing materials.

Manuals And Resources


Some links may require a login to the WIDA Secure Portal.


Some links may require a login to the WIDA Secure Portal.

Score Interpretation



Upon enrollment, Missouri districts are required to give a language use survey (LUS). The questions are:

  • What was the student’s first language?
  • Which language(s) does the student use (speak) at home and with others?
  • Which language(s) does the student hear at home and understand?

If the answer to any of these questions notes a primary language other than English is either spoken or understood, or if a Local Education Agency (LEA) feels the student might have an English learning need due to unreported exposure to another language, the student is potentially an EL. The district must take active steps to determine if the student qualifies for language instruction educational program (LIEP).

LEA's are required to use the WIDA Screener as the screening assessment to determine if a student qualifies for the district LIEP. More information about the WIDA Screener can be found in the EL Screening Guide.

Additional information and resources about identification can be found on the Identification tab on the DESE English Language Development page.

Screener Resources

Test Administrator Requirements And Training

Test Administrator Requirements


Individual test administrators must be trained prior to administration of the assessment, and agree to maintain the security of test questions.

For the WIDA Screener, a test examiner must complete the required training prior to giving the assessment the first time. Afterwards, the district determines how often the examiner must retake the training. If an examiner has not taken the training in the last three years, they must complete it prior to screening any students.

WIDA Screener for Kindergarten has two certification quizzes, both of which must be passed for the user to be considered certified.

For WIDA ACCESS, a test examiner must complete the required training prior to giving the assessment each year. Your district testing coordinator or EL coordinator will be tracking electronically who has completed the training.

In order to be marked as certified in an assessment training course, a user must pass a certification quiz and download a certificate of completion. These steps are outlined on each training course’s homepage and must be completed in the order indicated in the course.

A passing score for all WIDA certification quizzes is 80% but users will only see their results in terms of the number of correct responses they submit. The minimum passing score is communicated to users on the training course homepage and just before the user attempts the quiz. All certification quizzes are located at the end of their respective courses.

All training for the WIDA Screener and WIDA ACCESS is located on the WIDA Secure Portal

Test Preparation

Test Preparation

WIDA ACCESS is not a content that test students study to do well. Instead, students should focus on doing their best to demonstrate their language abilities. Prior to the assessment, you can help familiarize students with the kind of content they will encounter on the test, become familiar with the INSIGHT platform and give them a chance to practice the different question types.

Technology Resources

Technology Resources

Some links may require a login to the WIDA Secure Portal.

Contact Information

Contact Information


Drew Linkon - Assistant Director of Assessment
EL Screening and EL Summative Assessment

VACANT - Director of MELL, Title III, Migrant
Title III, LAU Plan, EL Law

Cammy Goucher - ELD Curriculum Director
EL Instruction, Building capacity in educational programs and strategies, Assistance in enhancing English language proficiency and academic achievement of ELs

WIDA Client Services Center
Administration Questions, Screener, Standards, WIDA Secure Portal

Data Recognition Corp. (DRC)
WIDA AMS, INSIGHT Testing Platform, COS, Technical Support

Important Dates

Dates Event
September 29, 2023 to November 03, 2023 ACCESS Test Materials Ordering
October 02, 2023 to October 26, 2023 ACCESS Precode Window
November 06, 2023 to March 01, 2024 ACCESS Test Setup Available
November 06, 2023 to March 01, 2024 ACCESS Test Setup Available
December 05, 2023 to February 23, 2024 ACCESS Additional Test Materials Ordering
DUE December 05, 2023 ACCESS Materials Arrive In Districts
January 08, 2024 to March 01, 2024 ACCESS 2023-2024 Testing Window
April 30, 2024 to May 07, 2024 ACCESS Pre-Reporting Data Validation
DUE April 05, 2024 ACCESS Deadline To Ship Materials To DRC
DUE May 23, 2024 ACCESS Initial Data Available In WIDA AMS
June 14, 2024 to June 21, 2024 ACCESS Post-Reporting Data Validation
DUE June 12, 2024 ACCESS Districts Receive Individual Student Reports (ISR)
DUE July 09, 2024 ACCESS Districts Receive Final Data
DUE September 20, 2024 Alternate ACCESS - Districts Receive Final Data
DUE October 10, 2024 Alternate ACCESS - Districts Receive Printed Individual Student Reports (ISR)