Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ACCESS for ELLs is administered, annually, to all English learners in Georgia. ACCESS for ELLs is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English learners’ social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies within the school context across the four language domains. ACCESS for ELLs meets the federal requirements that mandate​ states to evaluate EL students in grades K through 12 on their progress in learning to speak English.

ACCESS for ELLs is used to determine the English language proficiency levels and progress of ELs in the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. ACCESS for ELLs serves five main purposes. These include:

  • determining the English language proficiency level of students;

  • providing districts with information that will help them evaluate the effectiveness of their ESOL programs;

  • providing information that enhances instruction and learning in programs for English language learners;

  • assessing annual English language proficiency gains using a standards-based assessment instrument;

  • providing data for meeting federal and state requirements with respect to student assessment.

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is a recently developed, individually administered test. It is intended only for English learners with significant cognitive disabilities that are severe enough to prevent meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs assessment. Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is not intended for ELs who can be served with special education accommodations on ACCESS for ELLs. Decisions regarding a student's participation must be made by an IEP team.  


Participation Criteria:

1. The student has been classified as an EL.​​

2. The student has been classified as a special education student and is receiving special education services.

3. The student has a significant cognitive disability.

4. The student participates in the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA).


Importantly, students shall not be administered both the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs and the ACCESS for ELLs.​​​



 Contact Information

Mary Nesbit-McBride, Ph.D. 
Assessment Specialist 
Phone:  (470) 579-6345