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The state of Illinois requires students to pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or achieve the ELIS-verified qualifying scores on the ACT+Writing or SAT prior to being fully admitted to any teacher education program.

ACT/SAT and TAP Comparisons

Testing Schedule:

  • ACT/SAT exams are given a few times a year, with exam results about a month after the exam dates. 
  • TAP exams are offered at Testing Services weekly and preliminary results for most exams printed after the exam is taken. Official results are available about 4 weeks after the exam date.

Test Format:

  • ACT/SAT are paper and pencil exams.
  • TAP is a computer-based test (CBT)

Test Setting:

  • ACT/SAT are given in large classroom settings with high school students in attendance.
  • TAP is given in a computer lab setting with mostly college students and adult candidates.

Content of Tests:

  • ACT: English, Mathmatics, Reading, Science Reasoning and Writing.
  • SAT: Reading, Writing and Language, Math
  • TAP: Reading, Language Arts, Mathmatics, and a constructed-response writing assignment

Score requirements:

  • ACT: Composite score of 22 or higher and a minimum of 16 on the writing portion. Scores prior to Sept 2015 requires a English/Writing score of 19, with a 22 composite score.
  • SAT: Composite score of 1110 and a minimum score of 26 on Writing and Language test. Tests taken before March 2016, composite score of 1030 with a minimum of 450 in writing.
  • TAP: Each test area (Reading, Mathmatics, etc.) is scored with a score of 240 or higher required to pass. All 4 test areas must be passes to pass the test as a whole. Results can be combined across administrations.


  • For the ACT or SAT, you must re-take the entire test and can only take it on available test datesl
  • For the TAP exam, you must wait a minimum of 30 days, but you only need to take the tests that you did not pass.