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Federal and state laws require that students identified as English Learners (ELs) be assessed annually to determine their level of English language proficiency (ELP) and ensure that they are progressing in achieving full English proficiency. This includes students who receive special education services.

In addition to meeting these statutory accountability requirements, the annual ELP assessment can be effectively used for planning and instructional purposes. It serves as the single most psychometrically valid and reliable measure of a student’s ELP.

Most ELs will take the ACCESS for ELLs assessment annually. ELs recognized under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004) as having a significant cognitive disability and who are expected to participate in the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment are eligible to take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs in place of the ACCESS for ELLs®.

ACCESS for ELLs® is designed to measure English language proficiency. It is a large ­scale assessment that is based on the WIDA Consortium’s ELD Standards that form the core of Wisconsin’s approach to instructing and testing ELs.

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is designed to fill the same role as the regular ACCESS for ELLs for students in grades 1­-12. This paper/pencil assessment is accessible for eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities.

ACCESS for ELLs Ordering

Initial orders will be generated based on the roster uploaded in late October. Districts may order additional paper ACCESS for ELLs test materials online via the WIDA AMS during the Additional Materials Window, which runs from late November until early February.

What's New


New Process for Transfer Students

If your district receives a new EL during the test window, fill out this form

DPI will receive the transfer request, verify enrollment, and transfer a student record with any incomplete tests to your district. It is anticipated that this will be done within 1-2 business days. You will be notified of the result of your request via email.

Quick Contacts

Hours: 6:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Central, M-F
(855) 787-9615

Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m M-F
(866) 276-7735
Fax: (608) 263-3733

DPI Contacts

Assessment for ELs
(608) 267-5153
Test Security
(608) 267-1069


Title III and Bilingual Education, Supports, and Service

(608) 266-7292
WISEdata Help Desk
24x7 DPI Online Help Desk
(800) 507-5744

For questions about this information, contact