ELPA21 is an online assessment given to all identified English learners K-12. The ELPA21 assessment system measures growth based on the new English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards designed to make sure that all ELLs leave high school prepared for college and career success. Grade bands for testing are:

  • K
  • 1
  • 2-3
  • 4-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

For successful administration, be sure to check the platform requirements to ensure that your district has everything in place!  Please note, that headsets are required for implementation.  For planning purposes, districts may find this Testing Administration FAQ helpful.

Training is required for ELPA21 test administrators. The Iowa Department of Education has also created modules to support Test Coordinators, Technology Coordinators, Using the Data and on Assessing ELs with Significant Cognitive Disabilities and/or Alternate Forms of Communication. Use this Training For Schools document to view the statewide training modules.

Access the training modules at: AEA Online learning


District Test Coordinators and Test Administrators will need an A & A account in IDE’s EdPortal to access specific sections of the ELPA21 portal.  Please see instructions to set up and A & A account and add the appropriate ELPA21 role.

Accessibility, Accommodations and Domain Exemptions

Non-standard test administration such as accommodations and/or domain exemptions may be considered for students with IEPs or a 504 Plan. Additional information and guidance can be found in the following resources:

Important links

ELPA21 portal

Access to important information and tools for Tech Coordinators, Test Coordinators, Test Administrators including:

  • Help Desk
  • Test Administrator Manuals & Resources
  • Practice Test Administration
  • Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE)
  • Operational Test Administration
  • Online Reporting System
  • ELPA21 Announcements & FAQs
  • Sign up for email notice of announcements posted on the portal

Iowa Department of Education’s ELPA21 page


  • General information on the ELPA21
  • ELPA21 preparation checklists
  • Operational FAQs
  • Technology support documents
  • ELPA21 Screener information