Testing Requirements

All teacher candidates must pass two tests and one performance-based assessment to be entitled to licensure in Illinois.

  • Qualifying ACT Plus Writing or SAT with Writing score or the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)
  • The Content Area Test
  • The Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) for candidates who complete Student Teaching Residency after Sept. 1, 2015
  • The Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) test for candidates who completed Student Teaching Residency by Aug. 31, 2015

Qualifying ACT Plus writing score or SAT with Writing or The Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP):  Prior to Admission to the Teacher Education Program

Teacher candidates must achieve one of the following before they can enroll in any Education course following EDN 101/101F:

  • ACT Plus Writing:
    • Prior to 9/1/15 - Composite score of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 19 on the Combined English/Writing portion
    • 9/1/15 to 9/9/16 - Composite score of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 16 on the Writing portion
    • 9/10/16 and later - Composite score of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 6 on the Writing portion
  • SAT with Writing: 
    • Prior to 3/5/16 - Composite score of 1030 (critical reading + mathematics = 1030 or higher) and a minimum score of 450 on writing
    • 3/5/16 and later - Composite score of 1110 (evidence-based reading and writing + mathematics = 1110 or higher) and a minimum score of 26 on writing and language
  • Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP): Candidates must pass all four sections

*ACT Plus Writing and SAT with Writing scores must be ordered and sent to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for verification. See http://isbe.net/licensure/requirements/act-sat-testing-in-lieu-of-tap.pdf for more information. TAP scores will automatically be sent to ISBE.

If you don't have a qualifying ACT Plus Writing score:

  1. Retake the ACT Plus Writing to try to earn the qualifying score; or
  2. Earn a qualifying score on the SAT with Writing; or
  3. Pass the TAP

The TAP consists of four independently scored subtests:

  1. Reading comprehension: 60 multiple choice questions
  2. Language arts (grammar and writing): 60 multiple choice questions
  3. Mathematics: 50 multiple choice questions
  4. Writing: 1 constructed-response assignment

Content Area Test:  Prior to Student Teaching Residency

Each content area test consists of 125 multiple choice questions.

Teacher candidates must pass this test prior to Student Teaching Residency; candidates typically take the test junior year.

Content tests include: elementary education, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, history, English, PE, music, art, Spanish, German, and French.

Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA): During Student Teaching Residency (September 2015 and later)

The edTPA is a national assessment used in teacher education programs.

Three tasks are required for each content area:

Task 1:  Planning for Instruction and Assessment

Task 2:  Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning

Task 3:  Assessing Students’ Learning

Teacher candidates are required to submit the following materials for the edTPA:

  • Plans for three to five lessons
  • Video clips of the candidate's instruction
  • Assessments utilized in the lessons
  • Student work samples along with the teacher candidate's feedback
  • Comprehensive commentary and analysis of planning, instruction and assessment

Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT): Prior to Licensure (for candidates who complete Residency by August 31, 2015)

The APT assess your professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills.  The APT consists of 120 multiple-choice questions and 2 constructed-response assignments. 

This test is taken during your final year of the program.

Preparing for the TAP