CELLA Online Testing: Aim, Ideal Requirements, and Duration

CELLA Online Testing

The Comprehensive English Language Learning Assessment (CELLA) is a proficiency test designed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). It was developed under the No Child Left Behind Act (currently Every Student Succeeds Act) to help English Language Learners (ELLs) develop their English language. CELLA online testing applies to schools and districts within the state of Florida. While the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment replaced it in 2015, the content and requirements remain the same. Our English exam experts analyze the CELLA testing online, its aim, duration, and administration. If you need help with the exam, our online exam experts are on standby. We guarantee over 90% score, pitting you against the best in the test.

Aim of CELLA Online Testing

This testing examines four English language proficiency skills. It’s part of Florida’s requirements to help increase the command of the English language among ELLs. The results of the CELLA online test enable schools and administrators to:

  1. Determine test takers’ language progress over time
  2. Assess the English proficiency of new ELLs
  3. Know the areas of strength and weaknesses among individual students
  4. Decide whether to remove students from English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs

Requirements for CELLA Online Testing

CELLA online testing is for Florida state students in kindergarten up to grade 12. They must be classified as English Language Learners with an LY code before taking the test to show their limited English proficiency. 

Also, foreign exchange students looking to study in the state may or may not be required to take the CELLA online test, depending on their English language proficiency. Foreigners with an LY code must take the CELLA, whereas those without may skip taking the CELLA online testing.

Sections in CELLA Online Testing

The CELLA online exam tests four language proficiency skills. They include reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Each section assesses students’ knowledge based on their grade level. Level A is for kindergarten to grade 2, level B covers grades 3 to 5, level C includes grades 6 to 8, and level D consists of grades 9 to 12.  

All kindergarten learners and some grades 1 and 2 take the online exam with an instructor present, while others tackle reading, writing, and listening as a group. An online administrator is only present during the listening section for level B to D students.

The following is a description of the content in each section:


Speaking exam test learners’ ability to read various scripts, texts, and passages. They’re required to engage in conversations, present information to a group, and explain the context of different visual objects. The instructor assesses their vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation to determine their overall performance.


In the CELLA online testing listening section, the test instructor reads different texts or plays audio for students to listen to. They must identify words and phrases in the script, text, or audio file and decode their meaning to prove their understanding of spoken English at their specific grade level.


The reading section contains various scripts for learners to read through. They’re gauged based on the ability to spell out words correctly, flow words in a sentence, and identify different phrases and their meanings (especially for students in advanced grade levels).


The writing test gives exam takers various prompts and asks them to write about them in English. The writeups can be sentences, short texts, passages, or even essays, depending on their grade level. Exam instructors assess students’ written English, including their word usage, idea presentation, grammar, and vocabulary.

CELLA Online Test Timing

The testing time varies depending on grade level. Below is a summary of the approximate timelines for the different sections and grade levels:

Level A (K–2) Timelines

  • Speaking: K–2 students take about 15 minutes in individual speaking
  • Listening: K–2 learners use 15 minutes in the listening CELLA exam
  • Reading: K to grade 1 students take 15 minutes reading, while grade 2 students use about 35 minutes
  • Writing: K to grade 1 take around 15 minutes writing, whereas grade 2 use 30 minutes

Level B, C, and D Timelines

  • Speaking: Takes approximately 25 minutes
  • Listening: Most students use about 10 to 15 minutes
  • Reading: Group reading takes 45 minutes
  • Writing: Group writing lasts around 70 minutes

Students may get additional time to complete the test besides the assigned timelines. This testing has no strict time limits, provided all sections are complete within a day.

CELLA Online Testing Administration

CELLA online tests are administered during the administration window, usually from February to April. Students must have access to a computer with the latest Windows Internet Explorer browser or Safari on Mac OS to avoid complications during the test. A minimum bandwidth of 100Kbps is also necessary for processing audio files.

Hire an Expert to Help with CELLA Online Testing

CELLA online testing is a mandatory proficiency test for English Language Learners in Florida. It tests their ability to read, write, speak, and listen. Students experiencing challenges with the CELLA can contact our English language online experts for help preparing for the test.

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