ICTS Scoring

For understanding how you can perform well in ICTS, you need to have in depth knowledge of the scoring procedure. “Why?” you might ask. Some of the reasons why you must understand the scoring procedure are given below.





  • You can set an aim for yourself and prepare in view of that.
  • You shall become more objective in your approach.
  • You put in efforts where required, rather than wasting time in futile pursuits.
  • You can devise methods for scoring better.
  • You can balance your weaknesses with your strengths by judging how much importance is associated with which aspect.
  • Seriousness comes about in preparation when you set your targets in terms of scores.

Scoring Procedure for the ICTS Tests

  • Basic Skills Test: The test contains 125 multiple choice questions based on reading comprehension, language arts and mathematics and one writing assignment.

Total Scaled Score: This score varies from 100 to 300.
Weight of Scores: 85% of your total test score depends on the multiple choice questions and 15% depends on the constructed response test items.
Passing Conditions: A total test scaled score of at least 240 is required besides scoring 50% in Reading Comprehension and Language Arts each, 35% in Mathematics and 5 in Writing.
Subarea Scores: These fall between 100 and 300. There is no passing score for any subarea and 240 is considered a satisfactory score.
Writing Section: The response is tested for focus, support, organization and grammar. A six point scale is used to score the response by two examiners. Their scores are added if they do not differ by more than one point, else a third examiner’s opinion is sought. The scores are then converted to scaled scores within the range of 100 to 300 with 240 as the passing score.  ‘U” is for an unscorable essay response and ‘B’ is for a blank response. An essay that is illegible, off topic, in any language other than English or limited in content is categorized as unscorable.

  • Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) Tests: There are 120 multiple-choice questions and two constructed response items in each APT test.

Total Scaled Score: This score varies from 100 to 300.
Weight of Scores: 80% of your total test score depends on your multiple choice questions and 20% depends on the constructed response questions.
Passing Condition: The total scaled score should be at least 240.
Subarea Scores: These fall between 100 and 300. There is no passing score for any subarea and 240 is considered a satisfactory score.
Constructed Responses: Two qualified scorers score each constructed response. The responses are judged for purpose, application of professional knowledge and support/elaboration. The responses are scored on a scale from 1 to 4 and the sum of the two scores is taken in case they differ by not more than one point, else a third reader is consulted. The two added scores for the two responses are then combined and converted to a scaled score falling between 100 and 300. A score of 240 or above represents acceptable performance. ‘U’ is given for an unscorable response and ‘B’ for a blank response.   

  • Content Area Test: The content area tests contain 125 multiple-choice questions, barring the Special Education General Curriculum Test that contains 65 multiple choice questions.

Total Scaled Score: This score varies from 100 to 300.
Passing Condition: The total scaled score has to be at least 240.
Subarea Scores: These lie between 100 and 300 and a score of 240 signifies satisfactory performance. There is no passing condition for different subareas.

  • Foreign Language Content Area Tests: 100 multiple choice questions and 2 constructed response items constitute the tests of French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Spanish while the tests  of Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, and Korean consist of only 7 constructed response items each.

Total Scaled Score: It lies between 100 and 300.
Passing Condition: A total test scaled score of at least 240.
Subarea Scores: The range for subarea scores is also 100 – 300 and a score of 240 is considered satisfactory.
Weight of Scores: For French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian and Spanish, the multiple-choice section contributes 67 percent towards your total test score and the constructed-response assignments contribute 33 percent. These limits are 90% and 10% respectively for the Latin test. 

Constructed Responses: For the tests of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Korean, each subarea is tested through one of the seven test items. Qualified scorers take on the task of judging each assignment. The scores are granted on a scale from 1 to 4 and the combined scores given by various scorers are converted to scaled scores ranging between 100 and 300. ‘U’ signifies an unscorable response and ‘B’ signifies a blank response.  
French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Spanish constructed responses are each scored by two scorers at the least. A four point scale is used for scoring. The scoring method also depends on the number of examinees that took the test on the same day. If a lot of examinees took the test, then two or three examiners score the test. If the number of examinees is less, then a group discussion is carried out to score the responses.  
5.         Learning Behavior Specialist II (LBS II) tests: 3 unconnected constructed response items and 3 constructed response items based on one case study form the 6 constructed response assignments in this section.

Total Scaled Score: It lies between 100 and 300.
Passing Condition: A total test scaled score of at least 240.
Subarea Scores: The range for subarea scores is also 100 – 300. The subareas are divided according to the test content

  1. Three stand-alone assignments
  2. Three assignments on a case study.

Performance in each of the six responses is also indicated.
Constructed Responses: The six responses are scored by two scorers at least on a four point scale. If the number of examinees is large on the test day, then two scorers score your essay. The scores are added, provided they differ by not more than one point, in which case a third reader is called in. If the number of test takers is less, then the scoring is done through group discussions by scorers. The scores of the three independent responses is combined and converted to a scaled score between 100 and 300 with 240 being representative of acceptable performance. The other three responses based on one case study are also combined in a similar manner. ‘U’ stands for an unscorable response and ‘B’ stands for a blank one.
6.         Tests for Removal of a Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) Limitation only: Each test consists of 125 multiple choice questions.

Total Scaled Score: This score is within 100 and 300.
Passing Condition: A total test scaled score of at least 240.
Subarea Scores: These lie between 100 and 300. 

7.         Language Proficiency Tests for the Transitional Bilingual Certificate: The English Language Proficiency (ELP) tests and the Target Language Proficiency (TLP) tests consist of 4 constructed response items for all but Spanish, which consists of 55 multiple-choice questions and 2 constructed response items each.

Total Scaled Score: This score varies from 100 to 300.
Weight of Scores: For the English Language Proficiency (ELP) and the Target Language Proficiency (TLP) Spanish tests 50% of your score is related with the multiple-choice questions and 25% with the two writing tasks each. For the Target Language Proficiency test of other languages, 50% of the score depends upon the two Reading Comprehension assignments and 25% each for the writing and oral constructed response assignments.
Passing Condition: A total test scaled score of at least 240.
Subarea Scores: These fall between 100 and 300. There is no passing score for any subarea and 240 is a satisfactory score.

Constructed-Response: For all assignments except the reading comprehension assignments in the Target Language Proficiency Spanish test, at least two qualified examinees judge your responses. In case of Target Language Proficiency tests for all except Spanish, group discussions are carried out to grant scores. The raw scores thus obtained are converted to scaled scores between 100 and 300 with 240 being representative of average performance. ‘U’ is granted for an unscorable response and ‘B’ for a blank response.  

Note: For all of the above tests

  • The total test score is not the average of the scores in subareas.
  • There is no negative marking. Hence, you can afford to guess the answer instead of skipping a question.
  • Each question contributes equally towards your score. Hence, you can attempt the easier questions before you move to difficult ones as this shall help you warm up to the test.

ICTS Score Report
The score report for all the tests you take primarily contains the following information.

  • Your pass/fails status
  • Your performance on the complete test
  • Your performance in major subareas

Besides, there is information about how your scores are to be interpreted. This report shall help you understand how you have performed and how you can score better in case you plan to retest. Your performance in major subareas can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses better. This shall be instrumental in your ensuing professional life.
Score Reporting

  • The scores you receive are mailed to you and ISBE. They are automatically reported to the institutions you listed while registering.
  • There are fixed days associated with each test date on which you can view your unofficial scores on the internet at 5:00 p.m. central time. You can view your scores once and cannot use these scores for any official purpose.
  • You can request your answer sheets to be rescored. Written responses for the Basic Skills test, an APT test, or an LBS II test can be rescored. In case there is a variation in the score, you fees for rescoring is refunded and the corrected score reports are sent to all concerned.
  • You can request Evaluation Systems to cancel your scores, if you are not satisfied with your performance, within 7 days for paper based testing and within 2 business days for computer based testing from the date you took the test. The scores shall not be reported to anyone in that case. Evaluation Systems and ISBE hold the authority to void your scores if they so decide.
  • You can request for additional copies of your score report for 10 years, two weeks after the test scores are released.
  • The official score report information cannot be provided on phone, by fax or e-mail. Multiple-choice questions’ response sheets are machine scored.
  • Further details of scoring can be obtained from the PDF documents on the website http://www.icts.nesinc.com related with each test.
    A Word of Advice

Where there is a will, there is a way. The first step towards taking ICTS is making up your mind. To minimize your chances of failure, fix a definite target score. This shall bring in focus in your attempts. Work through your preparation towards achieving that score and constantly remind yourself of your goals. Have unwavering confidence in yourself and give your hundred percent to preparation. Then, success shall surely be yours.




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