Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA)

Overview. The Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) is the state summative test that assesses an English learner’s progress to English proficiency and readiness to exit from the English language development program. Traditional public-school districts, community schools and participating chartered nonpublic schools administer the OELPA annually to students identified as English learners in grades kindergarten through high school. The OELPA is aligned to Ohio’s English Language Proficiency Standards and meets the state and federal requirements for an annual assessment of English proficiency measuring listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Ohio districts and schools may administer the Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alt-OELPA) to eligible English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities in kindergarten through high school and whose IEP team has decided the alternate assessment is appropriate. Please visit the Alt-OELPA webpage for information, including Alt-OELPA Participation Guidelines.

Federal and state laws require all English learners to be administered the OELPA or Alt-OELPA annually, and these summative tests are required in addition to Ohio’s State Tests in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

Administration. Districts and schools may administer the OELPA’s four domain tests in any order and at any time during the test administration window. The OELPA is an online test, but paper test forms are available to accommodate students and districts and schools who cannot test online. Districts and schools that need to use the paper tests (paper-pencil, large-print or braille test) must submit their order through the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) and include the reason the online test cannot be used. The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce’s approval of the order is dependent on the reason.
OELPS. The Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS) is the state test designed to identify Ohio students in grades kindergarten through high school as English learners. Please visit the OELPS webpage for additional information.
ELPA21. Ohio works with a group of states led by English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) to develop and maintain its English language proficiency assessments.

Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessments Portal

Ohio’s English Language Proficiency Tests Portal is the gateway to state test administration systems and resources for:

The portal is maintained by the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce’s (Department) vendor, Cambium Assessment, Inc. Answers to frequently asked questions are available on a variety a topics on the test portal.

TIDE for Test Administrators

The Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) system stores student demographic information and provides authorized users with tools for administrative tasks. All students being administered the OELPA must be entered in TIDE prior to testing. Refer to the TIDE User Guide for information about registering students for testing and updating student test settings. Pre-identification in TIDE. The Ohio Pre-ID File Layout and Guidance Document for Ohio Pre-ID Files are posted on the TIDE Support Documents page of the test portal to help schools register students for the test in TIDE.

Resources on the Test Portal

Access any of these resources in the Resources section of the test portal with the exception of the Directions for Administration for Paper-Pencil Tests, which is a secure document delivered with the paper test materials.

Note: Although most information remains consistent from year to year, the Department and Cambium Assessment update many of the resources below during the months preceding each test administration.
Although this test portal is available to the public, several systems require users to log in using their account information.

Planning the Test Administration

These documents provide district test coordinators and test administrators with a monthly timeline and task checklist to prepare for the administration of the OELPA.
District Test Coordinator Checklist The District Test Coordinator Checklist is Appendix D of the OELPA Test Coordinator Manual.
Test Administrator Checklist The Test Administrator Checklist is Appendix E of the OELPA Test Coordinator Manual.

Manuals, User Guides and Administration Documents

OELPA Test Coordinator Manual The Test Coordinator Manual (TCM) explains policies and procedures for districts and schools administering the OELPA. Refer to the OELPA Test Administration Manual for step-by-step test administration procedures. District test coordinators and building test coordinators must review the information in this manual prior to administering the test and should use the TCM to train assessment staff.
OELPA Test Administration Manual for Online Administration The Test Administration Manual (TAM) guides test administrators through the online administration of the OELPA. It gives specific procedures, set-up details, instructions for administration and a script with directions for test administrators to follow. Test administrators must review this manual prior to testing and access it during testing to guide the administration.
OELPA Translated Online Test Directions The Department provides translated test directions in Arabic, Somali and Spanish. These scripts and their corresponding audio files are verbatim reproductions of the scripted test directions in the OELPA Test Administration Manual. Audio track numbers below each of the “SAY” boxes in the test administration manual help the test administrator know which track to play. 
Directions for Administration Manual for Paper-Pencil Tests The Directions for Administration (DFA) guides the administration of the paper tests (paper-pencil, large-print, and braille). This manual is a secure document and is not posted on the test portal. It is included in the shipment of paper test materials and must be returned with the paper test materials. Test administrators must review this manual prior to testing and access it during testing to guide the administration.
Accessibility Manual for OELPS and OELPA The accessibility manual is a comprehensive policy document providing information about the accessibility features of the OELPS and the OELPA. It explains the administrative considerations, universal tools, designated supports, accommodations and domain exemption policies for the OELPS and OELPA.
OELPS and OELPA Data Entry Interface User Guide for Paper Tests This user guide should be reviewed by individuals who will administer the OELPA accommodated paper forms. The guide includes step-by-step instructions for accessing the site and submitting student responses and scores into the Data Entry Interface.


Speaking Local Scoring Document The paper-pencil and large-print forms of the OELPA speaking test are designed to be scored by test administrators. The Speaking Local Scoring Document includes the rubrics needed to score the student’s spoken responses. The document lists the items that are to be scored and includes instructions on scoring responses and entering scores to the Data Entry Interface (DEI). The document is secure and is not posted on the test portal. It is delivered with paper test materials and must be returned to the vendor after testing.
Local Scoring Tutorial for Speaking This tutorial provides information and training to test administrators who will score the spoken responses of the OELPA paper tests. As students respond to each speaking test question, test administrators assign scores and record the scores in the Data Entry Interface.
OELPA Constructed-Response Rubrics These rubrics present the scoring criteria for students’ constructed responses in the speaking and writing domain tests of the OELPA. Constructed-response items are those which require students to speak or write a response. There are no writing rubrics for kindergarten and grade 1 since the writing test for these grades does not include constructed-response items.
OELPA Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) The ALDs describe the skills and processes that students demonstrate in language development at each tested grade band and in each language domain (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
OELPA Understanding Results Manual The manual helps district and school staff by defining and explaining elements of the OELPA score reports and what the results mean for their students.
OELPA Rescores and Verifications Guidance Document This document provides district test coordinators with directions for submitting rescore and verification requests for the OELPA. Please review this document before submitting these requests.
Annual Technical Reports These reports provide comprehensive documentation of the OELPA test development process and test administration.


Test Administrator Certification Course This course provides step-by-step instructions for starting a test session in the Test Administrator Interface, marking student test settings, approving students to test and monitoring a test session. All test administrators are encouraged to complete the course to prepare for the OELPA. The course applies to all state tests accessed from the test portals. The companion document offers Ohio-specific information and clarifications. Please review this information in conjunction with the Certification Course.
Test Administrator User Guide Explains how to use the Test Administrator Interface and Test Administrator Practice Site to proctor online and practice tests. It explains tools available to students, online testing rules and the secure browser. 
Webinars Webinars provide information about the OELPA and can be viewed when preparing staff to administer the OELPA.

System Resources

TIDE Support Documents This page has several TIDE support documents to help district and school staff with the test administration, such as:
  • TIDE User Guide
  • TIDE Training Modules
  • TIDE Tutorial
  • Ohio Pre-ID File Layout
Tech Guide Technology coordinators and test coordinators should refer to the Tech Guide on the Technology Coordinators page of the portal for technical specifications, including how to use online systems, set up workstations and administer the online tests with the secure browser.

Resources on the Department Website

Although most information remains consistent from year to year, the Department and Cambium Assessment update many of the resources below during the months preceding each test administration.
English Learner Exit Criteria A student’s OELPA results determine whether the student is eligible to continue as an English learner or is proficient and ready to exit the English language development program. These criteria explain Ohio’s standardized requirements for exiting English learner status.
Estimated Test Times This page presents estimated test times to administer the OELPA domain tests by grade band. These estimates are for students’ time only.
OELPA Frequently Asked Questions This guidance answers the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) received by the Department about the OELPA.
Number of Tasks per Grade Band This page presents the minimum and maximum number of test items/tasks by grade band for each OELPA domain test: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Translated Family Reports for OELPA Results The translated Family Report templates are in the state’s most common home languages, as reported by Ohio schools. The Department provides the translated templates to help districts and school notify parents and guardians about students’ achievement on the OELPA.
Test Dates This page states the test administration window for the OELPA, as well as other state tests.

Important Links

Last Modified: 3/15/2024 3:10:01 PM