ACCESS for ELLs® to provide media-based listening test

Beginning this testing year, the listening test of Assessing Comprehension and Communications in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs®) will be media-based, meaning that all listening items for all tiers and grades 1-12 are prerecorded. Rather than listening to the test administrator read the scripted items as in the past, the students will listen to a recording. This allows for students to listen to more authentic language use, such as conversations involving more than one speaker.

Test materials will include one CD for every eight test forms at each grade and tier. This CD can be played on a standard CD player or a computer with a CD/DVD drive with speakers. As an alternative option, the test can be streamed online from a secure, password-protected website.

The table below indicates the necessary minimum computer requirements for streaming the audio.

Apple Macintosh Windows PC Apple iPad Android Tablet
Operating System OS/X 10.5 or greater Windows XP SP2 or greater IOS 6.0 or greater Android 4.0 or greater
Browser Apple Safari; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or greater; Apple Safari; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome Apple Safari Android Browser

Schools may review sample listening items that can be used for test administrator review and check equipment and sound levels prior to testing. These samples can also be shared with students to familiarize them with the new format prior to testing.

The listening section in the Test Administrator Script booklet includes changes to reflect the new delivery method. The listening section will contain scripting for the following:

  • Introduction to the listening test
  • Script for guiding students through the practice items
  • Transcript of the recorded practice items
  • Track listings and instructions on playing and pausing tracks

The Test Administrator Script will not contain the transcript of the recorded test items. The written transcript of the actual items will not be provided except in rare instances when a test administrator-read script is a necessary accommodation documented in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. In these cases, a copy of the appropriate Recording Script can be ordered from MetriTech.

Beginning Oct. 7, additional information on Maine’s online training course through the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Test Administrator course will be available.

Also starting this year, rather than providing a fixed amount of time for the reading test (35 minutes) and extra time allowable (five minutes), the timing guidelines provide an overall range of how long the test should take (35-45 minutes) and allow educators more discretion. Test materials and guidelines have been updated to reflect this change.

Note that test administration time does not include time for convening students, taking attendance, distributing and collecting test materials, explaining test directions or completing practice items. This change does not affect students with IEPs/504 Plans who require an extended time accommodation.

Resources and more information