Test Requirements

The Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) consist of questions in reading comprehension, language arts (grammar and writing), and mathematics and a constructed-response writing assignment. The Basic Skills Test (prior to April 2012) or the TAP (after April 2012) is required for Advancement to Degree Candidacy. A new ruling by the state now allows students who provide proof of an ACT Plus Writing composite score of at least 22 (and a minimum score of 19 on the writing sub area) or an SAT (critical reading and mathematics) composite score of 1030 (and a minimum score of 450 on the writing sub area) to waive the TAP test. For more information on waiving the TAP, please contact Bradley's Clinical Certification Officer.  It is strongly recommended that candidates who are not able to waive the TAP with an ACT score either repeat the ACT Plus Writing or take the TAP during their freshman year or early in their sophomore year in college. Furthermore, it’s strongly recommended that candidates take measures to prepare for the test in order to maximize their potential for success. Given the high stakes nature of this test and other required certification tests, we urge you to be prepared. Sitting repeatedly for a test will also require paying to take the tests multiple times, which will be costly.

Important Considerations

There is a no longer a limit on the number of times that an individual can take the TAP or any other required test. The state will allow students to bank subtest (Writing, Math, Reading, Language Arts) scores that are passed beginning September 2010. In other words, if one passes some sections but not others, one may “bank” the passes in those sections and not retake them. Passing scores on sections of the Basic Skills Test can be banked toward the TAP.  Individuals not passing the test should not repeat the test without taking measures to remediate their areas of weakness.  Test scores older than 10 years are not accepted.  The ACT test can be taken up to 12 times and can be taken by high school students, college students, and those not currently enrolled as students.

Effective Summer 2012, a ruling allows students who provide proof of an ACT Plus Writing composite score of at least 22 (and a minimum score of 19 on the writing sub area) or an SAT (critical reading and mathematics) composite score of 1030 (and a minimum score of 450 on the writing sub area) to waive the TAP test. For information on applying for the waiver, please contact Bradley's Clinical Certification Officer. All candidates should take a look at the test framework and other resources available online to make sure to be well prepared for success.

For additional information regarding the TAP and ACT tests, view the ACT and TAP Informational Chart. 

Prepare for Test

Review the information on the Illinois Certification Testing System Web site


Review the Test Framework first. The Framework provides information on the content covered on the tests in the areas of Reading Comprehension, Language Arts, Mathematics, and Writing. The framework is a great starting point for preparing for the test.

Next, take advantage of the online resources on the ITCS website and the ACT website.

Additional Resources for Preparation For Both Tests

  • Use Commercial Guides (TAP and ACT Study Guides) – Many commercial test preparation publishers have developed study guides for the tests. These study guides can be found at bookstores or on-line through sites such as Amazon.
  • Review Middle and High School Textbooks available in the Cullom-Davis Library – The Simpson Curriculum Materials Center in the Cullom-Davis Library has numerous textbooks in Mathematics and English that might assist you in reviewing the concepts covered on the TAP test and the ACT test.
  • Hire a Tutor(Private or commercial) – Consider seeking assistance from a former teacher, friend or acquaintance with exceptionally strong skills in the given area in which you need help. Some test preparation companies also provide tutoring that may be of assistance in test preparation.
  • Utilize Websites– The following list of websites may assist you in preparing for the Basic Skills Test.
    • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/
    • This site contains handouts and online quizzes on a variety of writing topics such as the writing process, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and essay writing.
    • http://www.studygs.net/
    • This site contains information about taking essay tests, multiple-choice tests, and test anxiety.
    • http://www.mathpower.com/
    • This site provides information about basic math, algebra, study skills, math anxiety and learning styles
    • http://www.mathforum.org/
    • This site provides help in all levels of mathematics in a question and answer format.

Register for the Test

Registration information and materials for all Illinois Teacher Certification Tests are available online at http://www.icts.nesinc.com. Please note that you cannot register for the test online if you are requesting alternative testing arrangements. All documents for alternative testing must be mailed and received by the regular registration deadline. The TAP is available in a computer based testing format (at selected sites, on selected dates). Please watch test registration and score report deadlines carefully. When registering for all tests please be sure to report Bradley University as a score recipient.