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ELL Assessment Update: ACCESS for ELLs Online Test Instructions for Submitting an Incomplete Test Domain and Overriding Tier Selection

To:Principals, District ELL Program Directors, ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinators, and ACCESS for ELLs Technology Coordinators
From:Dan Wiener, Administrator of Inclusive Assessment
Alexis Glick, ELL Assessment Coordinator
Bridgette Kelly, Educational Specialist
Date:January 3, 2017


The testing window for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 for Massachusetts begins on Thursday, January 5, 2017. This update provides additional guidance to schools administering the online ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 test.

Submit an Incomplete Test Domain

In order to begin the Speaking and Writing domains in ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Online, a student must first complete the Listening and Reading domains. However, there may be instances where a student may not be able to complete a test session in Listening or Reading. It will be possible for schools to "force submit" an unfinished (incomplete) test domain or domains, using WIDA AMS, the online application to manage ACCESS testing. There are several reasons why a student may not be able to complete one or more assessment domains. For example, a student may not finish within the allotted time; or may have a disability that prevents him or her from being tested in a required domain.

The WIDA AMS Submit Incomplete Domain process allows a WIDA AMS user to "force submit" an unfinished (incomplete) domain or domains so the student will receive credit for the work already submitted and for participating in the test domain. Only ACCESS Test Coordinators have been granted permission to submit an incomplete domain.

At the close of the testing window, all incomplete domains will be force submitted. The Submit Incomplete Domain process is limited to tests that have a status of Not Started or In Progress. Tests with a status of Complete cannot be force submitted. Speaking or Writing domains may be force submitted, but it is not required.

See the WIDA Assessment Management System (WIDA AMS) Submit Incomplete Domain Supplement for detailed instructions for submitting an incomplete domain in WIDA AMS.

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 to adjust 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 and include:

  • 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)
  • Brief justification for overriding tier placement

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: January 6, 2017
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