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Annual ELP Assessment (ACCESS for ELLs®)

PDE is a member of the multi-state WIDA Consortium. The WIDA Consortium develops the ACCESS for ELLs. The Pennsylvania Department of Education uses the ACCESS for ELLs as the required instrument for the annual assessment of English language proficiency. Access for ELLs is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English language learners' proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies within the school context across the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The ACCESS for ELLs is used to reliably and validly assess the English language development (ELD) of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades K–12. Results of the ACCESS for ELLs are used by PDE and local education agencies for monitoring the progress of students, for making decisions about reclassifying students from language instruction educational programs, and for accountability. For more information about the technical characteristics and quality of the assessment, please visit the WIDA webpage. More information about the WIDA English Language Development Standards​.

State Testin​​​g Dates

Please visit the PA sta​te page on the WIDA website​ for current testing dates. Please note that DRC and PDE establish testing dates and update the schedule between late June and early August each year

ACCESS for ELLs Test Security Procedures: The security of state administered assessments is of the utmost importance. The Bureau of Assessment and Accountability has outlined the state's expectations and procedures regarding test booklet security, test administration security, and the identification and reporting of test security violations. Breaches in test security must be quickly identified and reported to PDE.

To report a test security breach or test irregularity, email the PDE ESL/Bilingual Education Advisors, Bob Measel ( or Julia Puza (

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs: The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is an assessment of English language proficiency (ELP) for students in grades 1-12 who are classified as English learners (ELs) and have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent their meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs® assessment.

For more information about the Alternate ACCESS and student eligibility to participate in the Assessment, please visit the WIDA Alternate Assessment webpage.​