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Get prepared for the ILTS Elementary Education (Grades 1-6) Exam

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Elementary Education Study Guide

ISBN Number: 978-1-68317-136-2

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1,130 Interactive Practice Questions and 419 Pages of Instructional Content!

Language Arts and Literacy

299 Questions with Explanations
70 Pages of Instructional Content

Literacy Instruction, Fluency Development, Reading Fluency, Writing, Speaking and Listening


200 Questions with Explanations
109 Pages of Instructional Content

College Algebra, Curriculum and Process, Number and Operations, Algebra and Stats, Geometry

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244 Questions with Explanations
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Your initial assessment will highlight exactly where to study. The next step is to read the study material thoroughly and then work through the interactive practice questions.


After reviewing all the sub-areas you can retake your assessment. This will help you gauge your progress and then show you exactly where to study.

 Take an Elementary Education Practice Test!

How well do you know the test?

Can you pass Subtest 1?

Can you pass Subtest 2?

Can you pass Subtest 3?

Can you pass Subtest 4?


What’s on the Elementary Education Exam

The ILTS Elementary Education exam is a required exam that ensures candidates have sufficient knowledge in all relevant subject areas to teach elementary school.

Taking the ILTS Elementary Education exam can be a daunting task.  Because its goal is to test your classroom readiness across the spectrum of content, it covers a lot of ground.  This breadth can make it hard to know how to prepare.  Luckily, if you understand how the test is organized and what it is testing, you will have no problem prepping for this test.  In order to cover everything, the exam is broken into four subtests–which are then broken down into a total of twenty-three objectives.


Now that you have your test date set, you can turn to preparing for the exam itself. To begin, let’s look at the structure of the exam. The ILTS Elementary Education exam in its entirety consists of 230 multiple-choice questions: 60 questions each on Subtest 1, 2, and 3, and 50 questions on Subtest 4.  The test is administered via computer. Because of this, there can be a variety in the style of questions that are asked. You should expect to see three main types of questions: single-answer, stimulus-based, and cluster. You should expect most questions to require you simply to click an oval next to the correct answer. However, there may be questions that utilize the technology more. They may ask you to zoom in on details in a graphic or picture, click boxes next to all that apply, click on check boxes, click on parts of a graphic or sentence, use a drag and drop feature, or select your answer from a drop-down menu.

You Need to Pay for the Exam.

The Cost of the Test is $153

 ETS accepts all major credit cards for payment


You will have a total of 6 hours and 30 minutes to complete all 4 subtests.


Subtest 1

1 hour and 30 minutes

Subtest 3

1 hour and 30 minutes

Subtest 2

2 hours

Subtest 4

1 hour and 30 minutes

 Exam Objectives

Subtest 1

0001 Understand foundations of research-based literacy instruction and assessment and apply knowledge of emergent literacy development.

0002 Apply knowledge of decoding and fluency development.

0003 Apply knowledge of development in vocabulary, academic language, and reading comprehension.

0004 Apply knowledge of skills and approaches for developing comprehension and analysis of literary and informational texts.

0005 Apply knowledge of writing development and the writing process.

0006 Apply knowledge of the development of speaking and listening skills.

Subtest 2

0001 Apply knowledge of college algebra and statistics.

0002 Apply knowledge of the mathematics curriculum and strategies for teaching counting and cardinality, numbers, and operations in base ten.

0003 Apply knowledge of properties of numbers and operations involving fractions and strategies for teaching these concepts to students.

0004 Apply knowledge of operations and algebraic thinking and strategies for teaching these concepts to students.

0005 Apply knowledge of measurement and data and strategies for teaching these concepts to students.

0006 Apply knowledge of geometry and strategies for teaching geometry concepts to students.

Subtest 3

0001 Understand the interrelationships among science, technology, and society.

0002 Understand the use of scientific investigations and inquiry skills and apply principles and procedures, including safety practices, related to the design and implementation of scientific investigations.

0003 Understand the fundamental concepts, principles, and interconnections of the life sciences, the physical sciences, and Earth and space sciences.

0004 Understand the structures and functions of government; the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in the United States; and the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for successful participation in civic life.

0005 Understand the interrelationships of economic and political principles, concepts, and systems and their relationship to historical and contemporary developments in Illinois, the United States, and the world.

0006 Understand major principles, concepts, and phenomena of geography, sociology, and culture and the interrelationships between people and their environment.

Subtest 4

0001 Understand historical, cultural, and societal contexts for the arts (visual arts, music, drama, dance) and the interrelationships among the arts.

0002 Understand concepts, techniques, and materials related to the visual arts, music, drama, and dance and how to provide students with learning opportunities that encourage them to express themselves through the arts.

0003 Understand fundamental concepts, principles, and practices related to movement, sports, and team-building skills and the role of physical activity in promoting students’ personal, social, and cognitive development.

0004 Understand the systems of the human body; health-related and skill-related fitness components, concepts, and practices; and interrelationships between fitness and body systems.

0005 Understand principles and practices related to personal, family, and community health and safety and ways to provide students with knowledge and skills that will help them make sound health-related decisions.

 Passing Scoring

Your score will be based on the number of questions you answer correctly. You will need to score a minimum of 240 on each subtest in order to pass.

Registration and Testing

The first step in getting yourself ready for this exam is to complete the registration.  The ILTS exams are offered continuously throughout the year. However, it is important to register as soon as possible to make sure you get the date and location you want.  It is also a good idea to register early, so that you leave enough time for yourself to prepare.

Which ILTS Test Do I Need to Take?

Those seeking an initial license need to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills and must do so by passing three different exams. The basic skills exam (which can be substituted by the TAP, ACT Plus Writing, SAT, or OSS Exam from out of State), various content area exams, and either the APT or the edTPA (The APT for individuals who completed their student teaching prior to September 1, 2015 and the edTPA for individuals who complete their student teaching after September 1, 2015).

Those seeking to add the following endorsements to their Illinois State Teaching License must also take the Special Education General Curriculum Test.

  • Learning Behavior Specialist
  • Teachers of Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
  • Teachers of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Speech-Language Pathologist: Teaching

Those seeking licensure from out of state, or to add content knowledge areas or endorsements to existing licenses need only to take the relevant content area exams. Please visit the Illinois State Board of Education website and select “Timeline and Requirements” for information relevant to your specific needs.

How to Register

Applicants are required to create an account in order to register for any ILTS Exam. You can create an account by providing your email, desired password, and answers to a variety of security questions at the ILTS Test Registration page. It is crucial that the information you provide at the time of registration matches your government-issued ID. Early Registration is strongly encouraged in order to schedule a desired seat and meet the required deadline for any ILTS exam.

Beginning to Prepare

Beginning to Prepare

After you have determined which exam you need to take, have registered and paid the exam fee, it is time to begin preparing for the ILTS. The most effective way to prepare for the ILTS Exam series is to develop a study plan. Your study plan should include understanding the standards, the structure of the ILTS, what study materials are available, practice or diagnostic assessments, studying strategies,  how to write a CRQ response (if applicable), and developing a study schedule as discussed below.

Understanding The Standards

The ILTS was designed to align with Illinois state learning standards and content standards for teachers. The Professional and Subject Knowledge exams will measure proficiency in their respective  fields based on the Illinois standards for that field. You can find information about these standards on the Illinois Department of Education Website.

Structure of the ILTS

Each ILTS exam consists of a unique format and time allotment. Please visit ILTS Frameworks and select the “Desired Test” for more information.

The edTPA consists of a portfolio, similar to the process used for National Board Certification, in order to display proficiency in five key competencies. These competencies are planning, assessment, instruction, reflection, and academic language. Specific items reflecting the competencies must be present in the portfolio including video recordings of the student teacher interacting with students in the classroom, lesson plans, student work samples, analysis of student learning, planning and assessment documentation, and reflective commentaries. For more information about the edTPA, please visit the Illinois State Board of Education website.

Don’t Forget to Study Testing Strategies

Testing strategies are an essential element of preparation for the ILTS. Here are some helpful articles that detail testing strategies and reasons why people fail their certification exam.

How to Write a CRQ

CRQ’s or Constructed Response Questions are an important part of the ILTS. If your exam includes CRQ’s, you will need to know how to write one effectively. Here are some helpful tips to help you prepare for the CRQ portion of your exam.

What to Expect the Day of the Test

You should plan to be at the testing center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled test appointment. You should dress comfortably and in layers. Wear soft-soled shoes in order to maintain a quiet testing environment for all testers.

Lockers are provided at most testing centers. Please double-check by calling the testing center in advance.

You need to have a government-issued ID to verify your identity. When you check in your ID will be checked, your digital signature recorded, your palm scanned, and your photograph taken.

Each testing center has computers separated by partitions as well as a proctor to prevent cheating. Before beginning the exam, each tester will complete a computer-based tutorial session designed to show you how to navigate through the test successfully.

Test Scores

Passing Score

A passing score for every ILTS subtest is 240.

When do I get Scores?

A score report will be emailed to the email address you provided upon registration as soon as it is available, so it is important to keep your registration information up to date. You can also access a PDF version of your score report 45 days after the test date by logging in and following the prompts. You can also find your results, when they become available, here.

Understanding Your Score Report

Your Score Report will include the date of the exam, your total test score out of 300, and a pass or fail status. In order to help testers understand their strengths and weaknesses in testing areas, subarea scores are provided. You do not need to pass every subarea in order to pass the exam, but do need an overall score of 240 or higher. Your subarea scores are for your information only and should be used to identify weaknesses in specific subareas.

State Reciprocity

The ILTS Exams are required for certification in Illinois. In some cases, alternate state exams can replace the ILTS. For up to date information on specific requirements please visit the Illinois State Board of Education.

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