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Information on Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS)

as of 9/5/2014


Registration for the Illinois licensure tests can be found at

VanderCook teacher candidates need to take the following Illinois Licensure Tests in order to move forward in the degree program and receive a Professional Educator License.

Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) – Computer Based Format

  • The TAP or its equivalent should be passed at the freshman level of study at VanderCook.
  • The TAP or its equivalent is a requirement for admission for Master and certification and Teacher Certification Entitlement Program candidates.
  • The TAP (400) is comprised of four areas – Language Arts, Reading, Writing and Math.
  • A study guide for the TAP can be found at
  • Any student entering VanderCook with an ACT or SAT not reflective of the necessary level to be “TAP exempt” will be enrolled in a TAP tutoring session and expected to attend the session once a week until the TAP or it’s equivalent has been passed.  Failure to attend these sessions will result in the loss of institutional aid.
  • A candidate qualifies for TAP equivalency if one of the following has occurred within the past 10 years:
    • An ACT composite score of 22 or greater with a combined english/writing score of 16 or higher on exams taken Sept 1, 2015 or later (or 19 or higher on exams taken prior to Sept 1, 2015).
    • A composite SAT score of 1030 (mathematics + critical reading) or greater with a minimum writing score of 450.
  • In order to use the ACT or SAT in lieu of the TAP the following must occur:
    1. Applicant must create an Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS) account using name, social security # and birth date at
    2. Within 30 days after creating an ELIS account, applicant must contact ACT or SAT to submit a score report directly to ISBE.
    • ACT submissions should be sent using the code 3001.
    • SAT submissions must be mailed directly to ISBE, as there is no school code.
      Illinois State Board of Education
      Division of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness
      100 North First Street, S-306
      Springfield, IL  62777
  • Any student entering 300 level coursework without having passed the TAP, will be placed on Candidate Probation and enrolled in mandatory tutoring.  Failure to attend these sessions will result in the loss of institutional aid.
  • Student teaching placements will not be pursued until a record of TAP completion is on file with ELIS.
  • The TAP, ACT and SAT tests are valid for application to licensure for 10 years from the date taken.

Music Content Test  - Computer Based Format

  • Candidates must pass the music content-area test (143) PRIOR to the semester of student teaching.
  • The test is comprised of Listening Skills, Music Theory, Creating and Performing Music, Music History and Culture, and Music Education.
  • A study guide for the Music Content Test can be found at
  • The music content test is valid for application to licensure for 5 years from the date the test is taken.

Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) – Computer Based Format

  • Candidates must pass the APT (188) prior to receiving entitlement for licensure.
  • Candidates are advised to take the APT during their student teaching experience.
  • The APT is comprised of Development and Learning, Learning Environment, Instruction and Assessment, and Professional Environment.
  • A study guide for the APT is available at
  • The APT is valid for application to licensure for 5 years from the date the test is taken.

General Items

  • A passing score on all exams listed above is 240.
  • As of 5/6/2014 the five-time limit on attempting to pass a test has been lifted.
  • As of 9/8/2014 a new APT is available that no longer splits grade levels for testing.  The new APT  addresses all teachers pre-K through Grade 12 and reflects Standards for all Illinois Teachers.
  • Examinees must wait 60 days before taking the same computer based exam again.


Teacher Performance Assessment - edTPA

  • Beginning 9/1/2015 each candidate completing an educator preparation program is required to pass the edTPA.
  • edTPA includes a review of a teacher candidate’s ability to plan, deliver, and assess student learning.
  • edTPA is administered during the student teaching experience as part of the student teaching course.

VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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