English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)
“Starting Smarter” Family Website for the ELPAC
To help empower parents/guardians and families to become partners in their children’s academic success, the California Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have created the “Starting Smarter” family website for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).
Using this website, families can become involved in their child’s progress and:
- Learn more about the performance areas in each subject and grade.
- See sample test questions.
- Prepare for parent-teacher conferences with a useful downloadable
- Access high-quality resources to support learning at home.
- See explanations of sample Student Score Reports.
"Starting Smarter" for the ELPAC can be found in English and in Spanish at https://elpac.startingsmarter.org/.
English Learner Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)
What is the ELPAC?
The ELPAC, or English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, is the state’s required English language proficiency test for students whose primary language is other than English. The ELPAC helps to identify students who need help in learning English, so they can get the language support they need to do well in school and access the full curriculum.
- The "Initial ELPAC" is given only once at the beginning of a student's tenure in the California school system in order to identify students who need additional help in learning English. The Initial ELPAC is a paper-pencil test administered in six grade spans: K, 1, 2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. In kindergarten and grade 1, all domains are administered individually by a trained test examiner. In grades 2–12, the test can be administered in groups except for the speaking domain, which is assessed one-on-one.
- The "Summative ELPAC" is administered annually (between Feb. 1 and May 31) to measure a student’s progress in learning English and to identify the student's current level of ELP. The Summative ELPAC is given only to students who have been identified previously as English Learners. These students will take the assessment every year until they are reclassified as "Fluent English Proficient". The Summative ELPAC is a paper-pencil test (transitioning to computer-administered in 2019-20) administered in seven grade spans: K, 1, 2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–10, and 11–12. In kindergarten and grade1, all domains are administered individually. In grades 2–12, the test can be administered in groups exclusive of the speaking domain, which is assessed one-on-one.
On both versions of the ELPAC, all grades/grade spans have test questions in four different domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Students obtain scores in each of these domains, plus overall performance scores in Oral Language and Written Language, and an Overall Performance Score.
Click here for ELPAC Resources for Parents including a video introduction to the initial ELPAC in English and Spanish, links to parent guides for initial and summative ELPAC, practice tests, and information about understanding initial and summative ELPAC student score reports.
Click on these links for additional information and resources: