WIDA ACCESS for ELLs is the annual North Dakota English Language Proficiency Assessment in which all English Learners must participate. The assessment measures students’ academic English language in each of the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The content of the assessments aligns with the five North Dakota English Language Development Standards: Social & Instructional Language, Language of Language Arts, Language of Mathematics, Language of Science, and Language of Social Studies.

ACCESS for ELLs is administered online for grades 1-12 and paper-based for kindergarten students. Students' ACCESS scores reflect proficiency levels ranging from Level 1 (Entering) to Level 6 (Reaching). Educators use ACCESS results, along with other resources, to make decisions about programming for English learners to facilitate their language development.



North Dakota 2023-2024 ACCESS for ELLs Testing Dates


Testing SpecificsStartEnd 
SEA Loads Pre-ID File into WIDA AMS


WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for Test Sessions12/28/233/8/24
Districts Receive Test Materials1/3/241/4/24

During Testing

Testing SpecificsStartEnd 
Test Window1/29/243/8/24
Additional Test Materials Ordering in WIDA AMS1/3/243/1/24


Testing SpecificsStartEnd 
Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Materials to DRC3/14/243/14/24
Pre-Reporting Data Validation - LEAs in WIDA AMS3/29/244/11/24
Reports and Data Files Available - Online in WIDA AMS5/2/245/2/24
Reports Available in Districts - Printed5/8/245/9/24
Post-Reporting Data Validation - Data File to SEA5/13/245/13/24
Post-Reporting Data Validation - DRC Receives Data File from SEA5/23/245/23/24
Updated Data Posted in WIDA AMS6/11/246/11/24


  • North Dakota requires that all personnel who come into contact with the WIDA assessments must complete ANNUAL training(s) for all tests being administered. For specific requirements, see the ND State Page of the WIDA website.
  • To obtain a WIDA AMS or WIDA Secure Portal account, contact your District Test Coordinator.

  • Visit the WIDA North Dakota page for state-specific information and resources, including ND’s ACCESS for ELLs Checklist, Identification and Placement Guidance document, and testing requirements.
  • On the WIDA Secure Portal you can manage your WIDA account, complete training courses, and gain access to resources only available to WIDA members.
  • The Secure Portal User Guide provides a quick overview of some of the most frequently used features of the WIDA Secure Portal, as well as step by step instructions for accessing these features.
  • WIDA AMS (Assessment Management System) is a secure online system used for the preparation and administration of ACCESS for ELLs suite of assessments and WIDA Screener Online.
  • The WIDA AMS User Guide provides an explanation and assistance in the use of the features and functionality within the AMS system.
  • Heritage Language Codes are state-designated codes used to help indicate the student's primary language in ACCESS. Heritage Language is the language or dialect first learned by an individual or first used by the Parent/Guardian with a child.
  • Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Annual Technical Report, Series 502
    • Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Technical Reports provide evidence for the validity and reliability of Alternate ACCESS for ELLs and support the intended uses, interpretations and decisions made with the test. 
  • Annual Technical Report for ACCESS for ELLs Online ELP Test, Series 502
    • ACCESS for ELLs Technical Reports provide evidence for the validity and reliability of ACCESS for ELLs and support the intended uses, interpretations and decisions made with the test. 
  • Annual Technical Report for ACCESS for ELLs Paper ELP Test, Series 502
    • ACCESS for ELLs Technical Reports provide evidence for the validity and reliability of ACCESS for ELLs and support the intended uses, interpretations and decisions made with the test. 
  • ACCESS Non-Participation Reporting

ACCESS for ELLs materials are considered secure. Therefore, it is important to take the appropriate measures to maintain confidentiality of all test materials. Remember to adhere to the NDDPI test security policy. Any breaches of security may result in invalidation of student scores. If test security has been compromised in any way, contact NDDPI's ACCESS Coordinator to determine remediation steps.

ACCESS for ELLs test materials will arrive approximately two weeks prior to the start of testing. The specific delivery date can be found on the ND page on the WIDA website. Shipping cannot be expedited unless the materials are deemed “emergencies” and approved by NDDPI or WIDA. The initial shipment of test materials is delivered either to the district or directly to the school. Refer to the ND ACCESS for ELLs checklist to determine if your site is ship-to-district or ship-to-school. For both types of sites, the initial materials overage will be split between the district and the school. Please be aware that later, Additional Materials Orders will be shipped to the district, even if your initial order is ship-to school.

Ship-to-district sites receive test materials and Pre-ID labels, boxed separately for each school. You can inventory materials at the district level or school level, depending on your district’s policy. Also follow your district’s policies to ensure the secure test materials are delivered to each school. If the materials are shipped directly to your school, open and inventory the boxes before you distribute the test materials to the test administrators. Regardless of shipping method, district-level materials will always be sent to the district site.

Box Contents Packing List

Now that you know what’s in the boxes you’ll receive, let’s talk about the inventory process. One thing you’ll need to manage your test materials is a unique way to identify each item. The second half of the security barcode number in the lower left corner of test booklets is the unique booklet identifier you’ll use to track secure materials. You’ll find security barcodes on packing lists, security checklists, range sheets, and individual test materials. Keep in mind that test booklets have multiple numbers and only one is the security barcode.

When you receive your ACCESS test materials, you should take the time to review the materials you received and ensure everything you ordered has arrived as expected. Some of this inventory process will happen at the district level and some at the school level. We’ll cover the general process here, but your state may provide additional guidance or have its own process for you. When boxes arrive from DRC, you should verify that you have the correct number for your school or district. Remember that the district location in ship-to-district sites will receive all the test materials for the entire district and will need to distribute boxes to individual schools


ACCESS Security Reminders

Subject: Unauthorized Offsite ACCESS for ELLs Testing

  • Schools may NOT install DRC INSIGHT on student-assigned devices that leave the school campus.  
  • Students are NOT allowed to take the ACCESS test away from a school without a Test Administrator (TA) present.

In addition to making score results invalid, unauthorized offsite testing creates a significant security risk for the ACCESS assessments. The purpose of this memo is to inform all consortium states about the potential for this student behavior, and to respond to the following questions:

  • What details can DRC provide for states’ investigation when this situation occurs? DRC can provide:
    • An external IP address (starting June 30, 2022). This is an external or public IP address that identifies the router that the student used. DRC does not have deeper logging abilities that identifies the device’s location.
    • If the student login is known, DRC can provide the test that was taken, and the corresponding timestamps for test taking.
  • ​​​​​​​What can Technology Coordinators, Test Coordinators and Test Administrators do to prevent offsite testing? 
    • ​​​​​​​First, manage test tickets carefully. In training and in preparation, consider and plan how to safeguard against students copying or, insofar as possible, memorizing test ticket information. Students can only test offsite when the test login/password leaves the building.
    • Second, turn on the COS-SD. This part of ACCESS configuration has historically been needed for content delivery, as a way to reduce latency. Utilizing the COS-SD has the additional benefit of providing test security: the test device and the COS-SD must be on the same internal network for a student to successfully login and take a test.
  • ​​​​​​​ What does WIDA plan to do to help minimize this risk? 
    • Coordinate communications with SEAs, LEAs and TAs to recognize this student behavior as a serious test security risk and to encourage use of the COS-SD.
    • Provide clear recommendations and guidance in appropriate manuals and documents.
    • Engage subcommittee considerations for solutions to mitigate the risk.