Pinpoint Proficiency

Are you looking for a comprehensive assessment system that goes beyond accountability and supports educators’ understanding of student growth? Administration is easy, items are highly accessible, and the results provide meaningful information that benefits both educators and the families of English learners.


Design and Development

Of all the available assessment tools, the ELPA21 summative represents a renewed approach to measuring English language proficiency. The assessment is the result of a collaboration between state departments of education, leading assessment researchers, and actively practicing educators. Instead of exploring “What language does the student have?” the summative seeks to answer, “What is the student able to do with language in the four domains?”. By assessing what students can do, as opposed to taking a one-time snapshot of students’ knowledge and skills, the summative provides more actionable and instructionally relevant information than traditional ELP assessments. To learn more about how the ELPA21 summative can support your students, please contact



Accessibility and accommodations are core elements of the summative assessment. Classroom educators, disability experts, and state partners guided the incorporation of these elements from the very beginning of the design process. ELPA21 offers a robust suite of accommodations for students with IEPs or 504 plans, as well as predetermined and universal features available to all students. To learn more about the options available, review the following resources:


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Scoring and Reporting

We know program effectiveness and supporting English learners along their journey toward proficiency are important to you. ELPA21 provides 3-digit scale scores for each of the four language domains—listening, reading, writing, and speaking. These scores are used to assign a performance level (1–5) for each domain and an overall proficiency classification:

  • Emerging – Level 1 or 2 in all non-exempt domains
  • Progressing – at least one domain below Level 4 and at least one domain above Level 2
  • Proficient – Level 4 or 5 in all non-exempt domains

ELPA21 summative scores give educators and parents/guardians the information they need to best support students. Scores can be used to:

  • Measure and track progress toward attaining English language proficiency
  • Determine eligibility for program exit
  • Inform classroom instruction for English learners
  • Identify resource needs for both students and teachers
  • Provide evidence of program effectiveness

ELPA21 student reports provide data and descriptions of student performance, student growth, and school accountability. Reports are user-friendly, using communication features such as graphics to help parents/caregivers and educators easily interpret test results.

To learn more about the student report’s contents, please review the Sample ELPA21 Student Report. For further information on interpreting student reports, please see the Quick Guide to Understanding Student Reports for Educators or the Parent Guide to Student Reports, available in both English and Spanish.


Summative Items

The ELPA21 items, or test questions, were created with input from both educators and expert assessment designers, building on research from Educational Testing Service (ETS) and UCLA CRESST. Ongoing improvements ensure our items remain accessible, interactive, and current.

Interested in seeing what our items have to offer? ELPA21 sample items can be used to familiarize students with the types of questions they will interact with when taking the assessment. The items shown below cover all four language domains and our six grade bands (K, 1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–8, 9–12). Domain and grade band are indicated by the blue strip at the bottom of the screen. Click on any of the items to watch and hear how they would appear to a test-taker.

Kindergarten, Listening

Grade Band 2–3, Speaking

Grade Band 6–8, Reading

Grade Band 9–12, Listening