Administration Features

Test Design and Administration Guidelines

The Initial ELPAC is a computer-based, linear (nonadaptive), grade-level assessment for students in kindergarten through high school whose primary language is a language other than English and who have an ELAS of TBD in CALPADS. The Initial ELPAC is designed for one-on-one administration between a single student and a TE for K–2 and for one-on-one or group administration for grades three through twelve. The exceptions are as follows:

  • Speaking domain: one-on-one administration for all grade levels
  • Writing domain: group administration optional for grade two


In the one-on-one administration of the Listening and Reading domains for students in K–2, TEs enter the responses for the student in the Student Testing Interface on behalf of the student. For grades three through twelve, the students enter the responses individually and independently in the testing interface, with the test session being monitored by the TE through the Test Administrator Interface. Test administration for grades three through twelve may be one-on-one or group administration depending on a student’s familiarity with technology.

The K–2 Writing domain is a PPT. LEAs order paper Writing Answer Books in TOMS. If an LEA requires a version of the Writing test and large-print version of the K–2 Writing Answer Books, these can also be ordered through TOMS.


Initial ELPAC Speaking and Writing domains are locally scored by the TE or designated trained LEA staff:

  • The Speaking domain must be administered using the TDS. The TE scores in the moment, either by entering scores directly into the DEI or onto the Speaking score sheet, to be entered as soon as possible following the administration, preferably the same day in the DEI.
  • The Writing responses from students in grades three through twelve are entered into the TDS. The TE or designated trained LEA staff scores these responses in the THSS.
  • The Writing responses for students in K–2 are written into the Answer Book and scored by the TE. After local scoring, the Writing scores are entered in the DEI.

Completing these steps ensures that the Writing and Speaking domain scores can be merged with the Listening and Reading scores to produce an SSR.

Technical Requirements

The computer-based Initial ELPAC is administered online and requires two internet-connected devices: a student testing device and a separate device that the ELPAC TE uses to start a test session through the Test Administrator Interface. ELPAC TEs may also use their device to access

  • the DFAs that are posted in TOMS;
  • the DEI, for entering the locally scored Speaking (for all grade levels and grade spans) and Writing (for K–2 students only) test scores; and
  • the THSS, to score the submitted Writing tests for grades three through twelve students.

The computer-based Initial ELPAC requires the installation of secure browsers on student testing devices. These are the same secure browsers that are used for the Summative ELPAC and the CAASPP. Secure browsers are available for download on the Secure Browsers web page.

The general technical requirements and supported devices are also similar to those for the Summative ELPAC and CAASPP. These are described in the CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing.

The computer-based Initial ELPAC contains directions and stimuli that are provided via audio files within the Student Testing Interface, so it is recommended that for one-on-one administrations, the audio component be played on the device’s built-in or external speakers and that, for group administrations, headphones or headsets be used.

The Speaking domain uses voice-capture technology. LEAs are encouraged to administer the Speaking domain on student testing devices with built-in recording or microphone capabilities, or headphones or headsets with microphones, in an area where outside sounds are minimized. The Speaking domain must be locally scored, and scores must be entered into the DEI.

Prior to the start of the testing session, it is recommended that TEs test the audio (adjust volume) and voice-capture functionality of the student devices. When the test session has started, adjusting the audio volume will require the student to log off the TDS.


The DFAs for the Initial ELPAC include test day instructions and must be used by the ELPAC TE to administer tests to students. Administration instructions for the Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing domains are included in one DFA that is available for every grade level and grade span. Additionally, there are four-domain DFAs for visual impairment/braille administration. The DFAs also include the test administration script for the ELPAC TE to use at the beginning of testing and provide administration guidance for the day of testing. The DFAs for grades three through twelve contain a Student Score Sheet, which is provided for optional use by the TE to record a student’s Speaking scores in the moment instead of entering the scores directly into the DEI during the Speaking domain administration. For K–2, the Speaking score sheet is also included in the Writing Answer Book with the Writing score sheet. TEs can use this Student Score Sheet to enter the student’s Speaking scores into the DEI after the student’s test has been submitted (refer to the Scoring the Speaking Domain Locally subsection of this manual for this process).

LEA ELPAC coordinators, site ELPAC coordinators, and ELPAC TEs can access PDFs of the DFAs in the [Resources] tab on the top navigation bar in TOMS. Printed DFAs can be ordered by contacting the assigned LEA Success Agent. Rates and details can be found on the ELPAC Fee-based Services web page.

Test Scheduling

Testing Window and Test Times

The Initial ELPAC testing window will be open from July 5, 2023, through June 28, 2024. Pursuant to 5 CCR Section 11518.5€, Initial ELPAC testing and parent/guardian notification of results must be done within 30 calendar days after students are first enrolled in a California public school or 60 calendar days prior to instruction, but not before July 1. LEAs may schedule testing according to local preference within this window and do not need to inform the CDE or ETS. All testing must take place within this window.

Key Dates

Table 1 lists key dates for the Initial ELPAC administration.

Table 1. List of Key Dates

Date Activity
April 10 to May 5, 2023 Initial ELPAC primary ordering window for K–2 Writing Answer Books (standard, braille, and large print)
Middle of May to first week of June 2023 Estimated delivery of materials for orders received from April 10 to May 5
May 8, 2023, to June 7, 2024 Initial ELPAC supplemental ordering window for K–2 Writing Answer Books and braille and large-print test materials (delivered 10 to 14 days after order has been placed)
July 5, 2023 Initial ELPAC test administration window opens
June 28, 2024 Initial ELPAC test administration window closes