Illinois Certification Testing Systems (ICTS) is a standardized test initiated by Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for ensuring teaching standards and credentialing. This test is developed and administered by Evaluation systems group of national examiners- Pearson.
This test is one of the requirements for individuals desiring to gain teaching credentials, become school service personnel or achieving administrative certificates. There are different tests for different certifications. These are criterion referenced tests, which means that the examinee is evaluated in respect to a set standard instead of performance of other examinees.
Most of ICTS tests are in paper based format except the basic skills test which can also be taken in computer based testing on payment of additional fees. The different ICTS tests are:
Basic skills Test: – It consists of four subtests- reading comprehension, language arts, mathematics and writing. There are 48, 42 and 35 multiple choice questions in the reading comprehension, language arts and mathematics subtests respectively. The writing subtest contains one constructed response type question.
Assessment of Professional Teaching Tests: – These tests examine pedagogical skills and knowledge. The tests are conducted at four levels- Birth to Grade 3, Grades K-9, Grades 6-12 and Grades K-12. Each test consists of 120 multiple choice questions and two constructed response assignments.
Content Area Tests: – These tests examine candidate’s knowledge in specific content areas. Most of these tests except Special Education General Curriculum Test contain 125 multiple choice type questions. The Special Education General Curriculum Test consists of 65 MCQs.
Foreign Language Content Area Tests: – In this category, there are tests for French, German, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Italian, Hebrew and Latin Languages. There are 100 MCQs and two constructed response assignments in the tests of French, Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, German, Russian and Italian languages. The tests of Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Korean and Japanese language consist of 7 constructed response questions each and no multiple choice questions.
Learning Behavior Specialist II Test: – There are 6 constructed response questions in this test of which three are independent and other three are related to a case study.
Learning Proficiency Tests: – These include English Language Proficiency (ELP) and Target language Proficiency (TLP) tests. The ELP and TLP- Spanish tests both have two constructed response questions and 55 MCQs in each. The TLP tests of other languages consist of four constructed response questions each.
The tests consist multiple choice questions or constructed response questions or both according to the objective of a test. Most of the tests in ICTS are paper and pencil based while only few of them are also available in computer based testing format.
ICTS test score ranges between 100 and 300. The passing score is 240. The official score is reported to a candidate, listed institutions and ISBE. This score remains valid for 10 years.
This test is conducted at fixed dates of a year. The available test dates can be checked at the official website of ICTS (http://www.icts.nesinc.com/IL16_testdates.asp). The registrations are available in regular, late and emergency periods. The registrations can be done via internet, mail or telephone. The online registration is available for all times; registration through telephone can be done only in emergency periods and registration through mail is available in regular and late periods only.
There are different fees for ICTS tests according to the tests selected for a particular certification. The details of test fees are available at the official website of ICTS at the link- http://www.icts.nesinc.com/IL16_testfees.asp.