Cutting-edge assessment items

ELPA21’s items are interactive, online, and technology-enhanced, compatible, and accessible.

Using an evidence-centered design framework, the ELPA21 assessments were developed with test items aligned to the ELP standards.

All students learn language skills while interacting with grade-level academic content. ELs are taught the same academic content as their classmates across the core subject areas of English language arts, math, and science. The success of ELs depends on keeping the same content-level pace as their non-EL peers. As the K-12 academic content becomes increasingly challenging, so too do language demands. The ELPA21 assessments focus on the language skills necessary for ELs to be successful in school and beyond.

Beyond paper to interactive, online items

ELPA21 assessments include many interactive item types, which provide a more accurate and reliable measure of students’ English language proficiency that more closely reflects the student’s instructional experience.

Online delivery

ELPA21 is delivered online incorporating technology-enhanced items that allow students to respond in ways that differ from those of traditional paper administrations.

Technology enhancement

ELPA21 measures the four language domains of listening, reading, speaking, and writing with innovative selected-response, constructed-response, and technology-enhanced items.


The assessment platform is compatible with other college and career readiness assessment consortia platforms.

Facilitated administration

The ELPA21 assessment system improves the efficiency of data collection, management, sharing, and reporting to reduce administrative burdens on school and district staff.


ELPA21 was awarded a Silver Medal by IMS Global for developing accessible content structured according to the Accessible Portable Item Protocol (APIP) Version 1.0 standard. The APIP 1.0 standard focuses on enabling the exchange of question items and tests, and adopting, wherever possible, established learning technology interoperability standards and specifications.

Sample Items

The sample items below show some of the presentation, interaction, and response actions that appear in actual operational test items. Click on any of the items to watch and hear how they would appear to a student taking the ELPA21 assessment. The domain and grade level are indicated in the blue strip at the bottom of the screen.

Learn why ELPA21 received the IMG Global Silver Medal

ELPA21 was awarded a silver IMS Global Learning Impact Award for its partnership with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in design and implementation of an assessment for ELs. The Learning Impact Awards, sponsored by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, recognize the most powerful and influential uses of technology in support of learning worldwide. The criteria used to evaluate the nominations include accessibility, affordability, quality, accountability, interoperability, and innovation. ELPA21’s partnership with ETS was recognized for its technological approach to accessibility, which surpasses what is required for Accessible Portable Item Protocol v1.0 core-level certification. Thanks to this collaborative effort, which involved both ETS assessment specialists and educators from the ELPA21 consortium’s member states, ELPA21 is able to provide learners with engaging interactive assessments tailored to each student’s accessibility needs.