Administration Features

Test Design and Administration Guidelines

The Summative ELPAC is a computer-based, linear (nonadaptive), grade-level assessment for students in K–12 who are ELs. The Summative ELPAC is designed for one-on-one administration between a single student and a TE for K–2 and for group administration for grades three through twelve. The exceptions are as follows:

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


In the one-on-one administration of the Listening, Reading, and Speaking 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, except for Speaking, which is one-on-one.

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


Students in K–2 write their responses to the Writing domain of the ELPAC in paper Answer Books. LEAs mail the completed Answer Books to ETS for scoring.

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; this is discussed further in the Scoring the Speaking Domain Locally subsection of this manual.

Additionally, for the Summative ELPAC, field test items will be included in some test forms. LEAs will be assigned a test form and will be notified of the test form assignment prior to the start of the testing window and before training is available. For more information, as well as a tool for looking up the forms assignment, refer to the Forms Assignment for the 2022–23 Summative ELPAC Administration web page.

Technical Requirements

The computer-based 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 DFA that is posted in TOMS and to access the DEI for entering the locally scored Speaking test scores.

The computer-based ELPAC requires the installation of secure browsers on student testing devices. These are the same secure browsers that are used for the Initial ELPAC and 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 Initial ELPAC and CAASPP. These are described in the CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing web document.

The computer-based Summative 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 using 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 immediately after testing.

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 PFA is a nonsecure document that contains information and instructions for preparing to administer the ELPAC in all formats—in person, remotely, or using braille—that were previously provided in the DFAs, which the coordinators and TEs should review in advance of testing to become familiar with testing guidelines for the Summative ELPAC. It contains information for before, during, and after testing. There is information about such things as pause and expiration rules, pausing and ending the test, and seating arrangements. There is one PFA for K–2 and one PFA for grades three through twelve. The PFA is posted in TOMS under the [Resources] tab as well as posted on the Manuals and Instructions web page on the ELPAC website.


The DFAs for the Summative 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 each for kindergarten, grade one, and grade two. Grades three through twelve DFAs include administration instructions for Listening, Reading, and Writing in one DFA and separate DFAs for Speaking domain instructions for each grade span. Additionally, there are DFAs for visual impairment/braille administration for each respective DFA version noted previously. The DFAs also include the test administration script for the ELPAC TE to use at the beginning of testing and provides administration guidance for the day of testing. In-person and remote testing directions are provided in the DFAs.

The Speaking DFAs, including the DFA for K–2, 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 them directly into the DEI during the Speaking domain administration. 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 by selecting the [Resources] tab on the top navigation bar in TOMS. Each assigned test form has its own DFA. When accessing the DFAs in TOMS, the site ELPAC coordinators and TEs will have access only to the DFA associated with the form that was assigned to the school, and LEA ELPAC coordinators will continue to have access to all forms of the DFA. Form assignments are found on the ELPAC Forms Assignment for the 2022–23 Summative ELPAC Administration web page.

Do not send these DFAs via email since these are secure materials.

All users will have access to the visual impairment/braille forms of the DFAs.

Test Scheduling

Testing Window and Test Times

The Summative ELPAC testing window will be open from February 1 through May 31. 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. All STAIRS cases must be submitted one week before May 31 to ensure that cases are approved with adequate time to allow students to complete testing by May 31.

Key Dates

Table 1 lists key dates for the Summative ELPAC administration.

Table 1. List of Key Dates

Date Activity
November 1 to December 19, 2022 Summative ELPAC primary ordering window for K–2 Writing Answer Books (standard and large print)
Week of December 12, 2022 LEAs that ordered materials in November receiving K–2 Writing Answer Books shipment
Week of January 2, 2023 LEAs that ordered materials in December receiving K–2 Writing Answer Books shipment
January 13 to May 12, 2023 Summative ELPAC supplemental ordering window for K–2 Writing Answer Books (delivered 10 to 14 days after order has been placed)
January 13, 2023 Round 1 printing of Pre-ID labels for students in K–2 only
February 1, 2023 Summative ELPAC administration window opening
February 10 and 24, 2023 Dates to return completed K–2 Writing Answer Books to ETS in February for scoring
March 10, 2023 Round 2 printing of Pre-ID labels for newly enrolled students in K–2 only
March 10 and 24, 2023 Dates to return completed K–2 Writing Answer Books to ETS in March for scoring
April 7 and 21, 2023 Dates to return completed K–2 Writing Answer Books to ETS in April for scoring
May 5 and 19, 2023 Dates to return completed K–2 Writing Answer Books to ETS in May for scoring
May 31, 2023 Summative ELPAC administration window closing
June 16, 2023 Final date to return completed K–2 Writing Answer Books to ETS for scoring (Answer Books received after this date will not be processed.)