New Jersey Department of Education

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ACCESS for ELLs 2.0™

State-Specific ACCESS 2.0 FAQ
New Jersey Department of Education

Note: This FAQ is specifically designed to address questions from New Jersey educators.  WIDA's general ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 FAQ is available here:

Q:  If student information is submitted through the NJSMART pre i.d. label submission, do district staff need to order tests through WIDA AMS?

A:  Yes. NJSMART pre i.d. information will prepopulate WIDA AMS; however, districts must ORDER tests separately through WIDA AMS for all students.

Q:  How will ACCESS 2.0 pre i.d. labels be provided? 

A:  The labels will be prepopulated in AMS.

Q:  How are the writing tests for grades 1-3 paper version ordered?  

A:  There is no separate order form for this; based on the pre i.d. label information, paper writing tests for grades 1-3 will be automatically provided based on the pre i.d. label information.  A 10% overage will be sent with the shipment.

Q:  What does the writing grades 1-3 paper version look like?

A:  Students will see the prompt on the computer, but will provide responses in the test booklet.

Q:  How are kindergarten tests ordered?

A:  Kindergarten kits are ordered through WIDA AMS. 

Q: What is the cost for WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 test?

A: A broadcast memo with an explanation of ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 cost was sent out on December 13, 2016.

Q: What district personnel will be involved with testing?

A: Many staff members will be involved in the preparation and implementation of the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0.  It is essential that a test coordinator and technology coordinator are designated at the beginning of the school year.  Also, bilingual/ESL supervisors should start conversations now with stakeholders about device requirements, bandwidth requirements, server requirements, test scheduling, and funding. 

Q: Is there a deadline to complete ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 training?

A: Training should start approximately 3 months before test administration begins, and must be completed before test administration begins.  There are additional duties that everyone involved with testing needs to address through the school year as well.  Ensure that all coordinators and administrators complete their role-specific duties.

Q: Where should I go for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 administrator/coordinator training?

A: Online training materials are located in several places for educators' convenience. While all training for Test Coordinators and Test Administrators must be completed at WIDA Client Services, a number of reference materials for test ordering, online test administration, and data validation are also accessible to them via the WIDA Assessment Management System (AMS). The WIDA AMS is hosted by Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) at WIDA Client Services. Technology Coordinators may complete all training requirements via the WIDA AMS.  All New Jersey administrators and coordinators must complete the training for their individual role(s).

Q:  When will Test Coordinators and Technology Coordinators receive log in information for the WIDA AMS?

A: Districts will receive log in information for WIDA AMS by the first week of October.  DRC will be sending out log in information for Test Coordinators to the emails listed in the New Jersey CDS system for the District Bilingual/ESL Point of Contact.  Information for Technology Coordinators will be sent to the email listed in the New Jersey CDS system for the LEA PARCC IT Contact.  CDS information can be found on Homeroom

Q: What are 2015-2016 administration dates for the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0?

A: See the following calendar.

Q: Will all students be required to use headsets and/or computers?

A: For ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, all students in grades 1-12 will need headset with a microphone for the speaking test in addition to headphones and a computer for the other domains.  Technology requirements can be found here:

Q: What type of headsets should I purchase?

A: ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 headset specifications can be found here: Assessment

Q: What criteria should I use to decide if a student is eligible for the paper-based accommodation?  How do I indicate that I want to order a paper-based test?

A: Except for Kindergarten, which will continue as a paper-based kit, ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 will be an online assessment in New Jersey. If there is a reason a district will need to consider the paper version on a student-by-student basis (i.e. low computer literacy for students) the district can order the paper version through WIDA Assessment Management System (AMS). During the ordering process, districts will be able to indicate which test will be paper-based and which tests will be online. Test coordinators will receive log in information for the WIDA AMS system in the fall.

Q: How will the grade clusters change for ACCESS FOR ELLS 2.0?

A: Please see the following page: Assessment

Q: Will devices need to be on 'test mode' for the entire time of the testing window, or can they be used for purposes besides WIDA ACCESS FOR ELLS 2.0 test?

A: During active testing hours, devices may not be used for other purposes.  Outside of active testing hours, devices may be used for other purposes, however.

Q: Will the Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs test be administered on the computer?

A: No.  Kindergarten will continue as a paper-based kit for the 2015-2016 school year.

Q: Are there any professional development workshops/webinars for the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 administration?

A: The following resources are available:

  • October 22, 2015: "Introduction to ACCESS 2.0" webinar with NJDOE staff, who will explain district roles, test set up, sample items, important timelines, and other features. Registration is currently full, but a recording will be posted at:
  • November 24, 2015: There will be two webinars with WIDA staff for New Jersey test coordinators (9:00-10:00am) and test administrators (10:30-11:30am). Additional details and registration will be available August 30th at:

Q: How are the domains each going to be changing for the ACCESS FOR ELLS 2.0 test?

A: The following chart describes changes for each domain. 



ACCESS for ELLs 2.0
(Beginning 2015)


Test administrator plays the listening passages by CD or computer

Listening passages will be pre-recorded and played back to students by computer

Students select a response from multiple choice options on paper

Students will select a response on the computer screen

Answer sheets are scanned and digitized centrally

Student responses will be captured and scored by the test platform


Students read passages on the paper test form

Students will read passages on the computer screen

Students select a response from multiple choice options on paper

Students will select a response on the computer screen

Answer sheets are scanned and digitized centrally

Student responses will be captured and scored by the test platform


Students speak in response to prompts read by administrator using flipchart

Students will speak in response to integrated audio and visual prompts on the computer screen

Expected responses not modeled

Expected responses will be modeled

Test administrators rate live student speech during administration

Students' responses will be computer-recorded for offsite rating and scoring

*Note that Writing for Grades 1-3 will continue to be a paper-based test

Test booklet contains writing prompts

Integrated audio and visual writing prompts will be shown on the computer screen*

Expected responses modeled in test booklet with test administrator support for lower proficiency levels

Expected responses will be modeled by computer via textual, visual, and audio support as appropriate*

Students handwrite responses

Students will keyboard their response (if comfortable typing); handwritten for Grades 1-3*

Student responses are mailed and then digitized and scored centrally

Keyboarded responses will be automatically sent to central location; handwritten will be mailed