The Illinois State Board of Education Basic Skills Test (#300) has been replaced with an expanded basic skills test that is now called TEST OF ACADEMIC PROFICIENCY – TAP (#400). TAP is only offered as a computer based test at Pearson-Vue testing sites. It is offered by appointment, year, round, whenever the testing site is open (Monday through Saturday) on a first-come, first-served basis. (A paper-based test will no longer be offered.) Teacher candidates are given five (5) chances to pass this new test regardless of how many times they have taken the old Basic Skills version.
ACT for TAP – are you a 22?
Teacher Candidates with ACT composite scores of 22 or higher or with SAT scores of 1030 or higher may apply to the Illinois State Board of Education to use their ACT or SAT scores in lieu of the TAP test. The full ACT test must be taken including the writing component. The ACT or SAT must be passed within five years of applying to enter a program.
Who needs to take the ISBE Test of Academic Proficiency?
ALL education majors.
Is this an important test?
Yes, all teacher candidates must pass the Basic Skills or the Test of Academic Proficiency to enter any teacher education program in Illinois.
Is this a hard test?
Yes. Statistically it is extremely difficult to pass the test if you have not prepared. Recent changes to scoring have resulted in many candidates having to take the test more than one time. The test may only be taken a total of 5 times. No one who has failed the test 5 times will be allowed to proceed in any program toward teacher certification in Illinois.
When should I take the test?
As soon as possible. However, PREPARE for the test prior to taking the test.
Can I just show up at a testing site?
No. You must first register through ICTS (see below links)
What is the ICTS website address?
Where do I register?
When is the computer-based test offered?
TAP is offered by appointment, year round, whenever the testing centers are open – first-come, first-served. Centers are open all day, Monday through Saturday, (excluding holidays). The closest testing center to USF is in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Previous banked (Basic Skills) passed sections will stay banked. Candidates should retake only those sections that they failed.
Candidates must wait 60 days to retake any section of the computer-based test that they failed.
PREPARING FOR THE TAP
What will be on the Test of Academic Proficiency?
Is there preparation assistance for me?
*Please note that some links reference Basic Skills instead of TAP. These links are still valid. TAP is an expanded version of Basic Skills. Many of the TAP test items will be the same as Basic Skills test items.
Yes, there are several resources available to you:
Other practice tests:
Purchase a study guide – The Best Teachers’ Test Preparation for ICTS, from REA – Research & Education Association in bookstores or on-line at www.rea.com. This book is a study guide and a practice test for both the Illinois Basic Skills and the Elementary Education Content Test. A CD is included – timed practice exams with instant scoring.
Other study guides:
Other helpful resources:
Do you have any tips for taking the test?
Prior to the day of the test:
On test day:
What if I have more questions?
Contact your education advisor.