The ICTS Test – Illinois Certification Testing System – is a challenging and comprehensive battery of assessments for men and women looking to teach or work in schools in the state of Illinois. These exams were developed by the Illinois State Board of Education in consultation with an expert team of test administrators. The exams in the series are criterion-referenced, meaning that performance is compared to an objective standard rather than to the performance of other test takers. There are six general types of ICTS test.
The basic skills test is an assessment of general knowledge for would-be teachers. It consists of four subtests: reading comprehension (48 multiple-choice questions); language arts (42 multiple-choice questions); mathematics (35 multiple-choice questions); and writing (one constructed-response assignment). In order to pass this exam, candidates must pass each subtest.
The ICTS assessment of professional teaching tests measure pedagogical knowledge and skill at four student-age levels: birth to grade three; grades K through nine; grades six through 12; and grades K through 12. Each exam is composed of 120 multiple-choice questions and two constructed-response assignments.
Content-area tests, which measure knowledge in specific subjects, make up the majority of exams in the ICTS test series. Most of the content-area tests consist of 125 multiple-choice questions, with exceptions in the areas of special education and language.
The exams for French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Spanish are composed of 100 multiple-choice questions and two constructed-response assignments. The exams for Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Japanese, and Korean are composed of seven constructed-response assignments.
The Special Education General Curriculum Test has 65 multiple-choice items. The ICTS assessment for a learning behavior specialist II is intended for prospective special education teachers and consists of six constructed-response assignments; that for removal of a learning behavior specialist I limitation consists of 125 multiple-choice questions. These tests certify educators to work with specific populations of students, for instance, those with social or emotional disorders.
ICTS also offers a series of language proficiency tests that are required for a Transitional Bilingual Certificate. Of these, the English language proficiency test and the target language proficiency test for Spanish consist of 55 multiple-choice questions and two constructed-response assignments; the remaining target language proficiency tests consist of four constructed-response assignments.
Each ICTS test is administered via computer at special testing centers. The unofficial results of multiple-choice questions are made available immediately upon completion of the exam, while official results (including scores for constructed-response assignments) take about a month for test takers to receive.
Questions 1 to 3 refer to the following passage:
Alexander the Great died in Babylon at the age of 32 in 323 BC. He had been sick and febrile for two weeks prior to his death. Much speculation exists regarding his cause of death. Poisoning, assassination, and a number of infectious diseases have been posited. An incident mentioned by Plutarch may provide a significant clue. Shortly before his illness, as Alexander entered the city of Babylon, he was met by a flock of ravens. The birds behaved strangely, and many came to die at his feet. The strange behavior of these birds, taken as an ill omen at the time, is similar to the illness and death of birds observed in the United States in the weeks preceding the identification of the first human cases of the West Nile virus. This information suggests that Alexander the Great may have died of encephalitis caused by the West Nile virus.
1. The main purpose of this passage is to
a. describe the symptoms of West Nile virus encephalitis.
b. describe an incident involving birds and Alexander the Great.
c. propose a cause for the death of Alexander the Great.
d. connect Alexander the Great and Plutarch.
2. In the passage above, “posited” is synonymous with
3. The author believes that the illness and death of birds observed in the United States indicated that the birds
a. were an ill omen
b. were ravens
c. were mentioned by Plutarch
d. were infected by the encephalitis virus
English Language Skills Section
For Questions 4-5, choose the underlined word or phrase that is unnecessary in the context of the passage.
4. The company said it was unaware of any accidents or injuries that resulted from the problem. A spokesperson said the company was working on a fix forrepairing the problem. Customers will be notified to bring their vehicle to a dealership for an inspection.
a. or injuries
d. to a dealership
5. A certain amount of advance planning is necessary in order to prevent situations like this one from arising. One should gather all interested parties before the event and have them come to a consensus regarding what activities will be needed.
b. like this one
6. Miguel buys a loaf of bread at the grocery store for $4.25. He also buys two bottles of soda at $2.15 each, a chocolate bar for $1.90, a bottle of shampoo for $5.25, and three magazines at $1.50 each. How much did he spend in all?
7. A charity organization is preparing a fund-raising dinner. The goal is to raise $27,000. They must pay costs of $1,000 to rent the hall for the evening, plus $2,500 in wages for staff and $25.00 per plate of food served. If tickets to the dinner cost $150, how many tickets must the organization sell in order to reach their goal?
1. The correct answer is C. Although the passage does describe some of the symptoms encephalitis caused by the West Nile virus as well as the incident in which the birds died at Alexander’s feet, these descriptions are incidental to the paragraph’s main purpose. The main idea of the paragraph is that Alexander may have died of encephalitis.
2. The correct answer is A. The third sentence, in which this word appears, reviews a number of possible, suggested, or proposed causes for Alexander’s death. The author then recounts the incident of the ravens as evidence for a different cause of death.
3. The correct answer is D. The author’s thesis holds that the birds contracted the encephalitis virus first and that it led to their death. The virus then spread to the human population, leading to the outbreak of West Nile encephalitis. The author suggests that this train of events occurred both in ancient Babylon and in the modern United States.
English Language Section
4. The correct answer is C. The sentence states that the company is working on a fix for the problem. The word “fix” means “to repair.” Since both words convey the same meaning, it follows that the latter word is not necessary.
5. The correct answer is A. The meaning of “planning” is “to develop a scheme or method in advance.” Since the definition includes the concept of advanced timing, the use of the word “advance” is redundant.
6. The correct answer is C. Add the numbers together, noting that there are two sodas and three magazines: $4.25 + 2x$2.15 + $1.90 + $5.25 + 3x$1.50 = $4.25 + $4.30 + $1.90 + $5.25 + $4.50 = $20.20.
7. The correct answer is C. Translate the problem into an algebraic equation, and let x equal the number of tickets sold and therefore the number of plates of food that must be purchased. Then the desired profit will equal . That is, the profit will equal the revenues per plate, minus the cost per plate and the fixed costs of the hall and staff. Simplifying this equation, . Solving for x yields .