W-APT stands for the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. It is an English language proficiency "screener" test given to incoming students who may be designated as English language learners. It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELLs. The W-APT is one component of WIDA's comprehensive assessment system.
W-APT test items are written from the model performance indicators of WIDA's five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards:
- Social & Instructional Language
- Language of Language Arts
- Language of Mathematics
- Language of Science
- Language of Social Studies
Test forms are divided into five grade-level clusters:
- Grades 1-2
- Grades 3-5
- Grades 6-8
- Grades 9-12
Each form of the test assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
The W-APT is designed to be individually administered and adaptive, meaning that parts of the test may be discontinued as soon as the student reaches his or her performance "ceiling."
The Kindergarten W-APT
The Kindergarten W-APT is meant to be administered to second semester preK, K, and first semester 1st grade students. It is organized as a single, individually-administered test with a combined Speaking/Listening component. The Reading and Writing tests make up a separate test which is optional, and only for students with some literacy skills.
The Kindergarten W-APT is not able to assign scores across the full range of WIDA ELP levels 1-6. Instead, scores for Speaking and Listening are marked as showing low, mid, high, or exceptional proficiency. Scoring details can be found in the W-APT Test Administration Manual and on the scoring sheets.
The WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten assessment is an optional replacement to the Kindergarten W-APT and it yields a score between 1 and 6 on the WIDA ELP scale. To learn more about this test kit, please visit the WIDA MODEL page under "Assessment."
The cost of the W-APT is included within the cost of the ACCESS for ELLs assessment for Consortium members. Authorized consortium member educators are able to download and print off this assessment using their designated W-APT district-wide login. Please contact your district test coordinator for the login and/or to find out how to get copies of the test.
Purpose and Use
The W-APT was designed to be used as:
- One of several criteria to determine eligibility for language support services
- An indicator of a student's language proficiency level (1 through 6) on the WIDA continuum
- An aid to determining appropriate levels and amounts of instructional services
- A guide for tier placement on the ACCESS for ELLs annual assessment (consortium members only)
Test items and forms were developed, piloted, field tested, and reviewed concurrently with the original development of the ACCESS for ELLs Series 100 test forms. Development was completed in partnership with the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and as a collaborative effort of consortium member states.
As with all WIDA assessments, the W-APT test specifications were derived from the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards. While the W-APT does not have a refreshment cycle like ACCESS for ELLs, there have been notable re-releases. The W-APT was updated in 2006-07, Version 2.3, 2007 and revised again in the fall of 2013, Version 3, October 2013. Version 3 is the current version, however districts and schools may continue to use any already printed copies of Version 2.3.
Please see p. 17 of the Technical Report No. 1: Development and Field Test, and note that this technical report addresses the validity and reliability of both the W-APT and the first ACCESS for ELLs test form (Series 100).
WIDA supports local trainers (facilitators, coordinators, or Test Administrators) by offering free use of its training materials related to ELP Standards, ACCESS for ELLs, and the W-APT. You may edit the PowerPoints, but do not post them publicly. To download the various PowerPoint presentations offered, please login with your ACCESS for ELLs personal training account.
Test Administrator Training
It is recommended, but not required, that W-APT administrators be trained for the full ACCESS for ELLs, which is a complete and detailed training course. However, reading the W-APT Test Administration Manual(s) and Scored Student Writing Samples should be sufficient for reliably administering and scoring the W-APT.
Test administrators who have participated in test administration training for the ACCESS for ELLs secure assessment will be well qualified to administer the W-APT. They will merely need to review sound files and train on the writing rubric by examining the scored writing samples in the training package.
Download the Test Forms and Manuals
The W-APT test forms and administration manual (PDF files) are available to all authorized users from WIDA Consortium member states. You must enter your district's W-APT username and password to view or print these files. Please contact your district or state ESL or testing coordinator if you have not received your login information.