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Student Assessment

Tier Selection Override

Based on a student's performance on the Reading and Listening tests, the online ACCESS test will automatically select the student's tier for the Speaking and Writing tests. Tiers are assigned so students will be assessed on the most appropriate test content. On rare occasions, it may be necessary for a school to override the automatically assigned tier for a student's Speaking and/or Writing tests. It is strongly recommended that tiers be overridden only after careful deliberation.

To make a request to override the tier placement of the student, please send an email to with "override the tier placement of a student" in the subject line. An excel spreadsheet Download Excel Document is available, which must be completed by the test administrator or test coordinator and emailed by the test coordinator to the Department at ACCESS Requests with incomplete information cannot be reviewed. The following information is required:

  • Your name, title, email address, and phone number
  • School and district name
  • School and district code
  • Grade
  • Student's name, date of birth, and SASID (make sure the SASID is a 10-digit number beginning with 10…)
  • Domains:
    • Speaking and/or Writing
  • Justification for overriding the automatic tier placement:
    • Prior ACCESS test results
    • Screener results
  • Optional:
    • Results of classroom or interim assessments
    • State test results
    • Classroom observations

Requests for a tier override will take approximately one week to process by DRC, our testing vendor. You must wait until you receive confirmation from DRC that the override has been processed before you may resume testing. Tier overrides will not be reflected in the Tier Reports.

Please contact Student Assessment Services with any questions about ACCESS for ELLs testing at or by phone at 781-338-3625.

Thank you for your attention to this important information.

Last Updated: November 17, 2017
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