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Learning Center and Disability Services

Frequenty Asked Questions about the Mock Basic Skills Test

What is the Mock Basic Skills test?

Education majors take the Illinois Test of Basic Skills sometime prior to student teaching. This test is one of the requirements for certification. The Mock Basic Skills test is a test given that simulates the actual Basic Skills test. Students work through actual Basic Skills questions in the same amount of time they would have to complete the actual test. When students take the mock test, they will know whether or not their scores would be passing scores on the actual test.

Do I need to take the mock test to go through the Basic Skills tutoring sessions?

Yes. Because the tutors work through questions and problems specific to the test, you should take the test and then go through the workshops with the tutors.

How much does it cost to take the mock test?

The mock test is free for all currently enrolled students and alumnae of SXU. (Unfortunately, the mock test and review are not available to the public.) The actual Illinois Test of Basic Skills does have a fee, though, so you should consult the registration booklet for specific information on fees and registration deadlines.

When should I take the Mock Test?

You need to have passing scores on the actual Basic Skills test submitted to the School of Education to proceed with your methods coursework, so it is a good idea to start thinking about the Basic Skills test early. Some students take the test during their freshmen or sophomore years. This exam tests your knowledge of subjects like math and English, so plan to take the test when these things are still fresh in your mind, like not long after high school.

Where do I go to get information on the actual Basic Skills test?

You can get information and talk to someone about the actual Basic Skills test in the Office of Teacher Education and Certification, WAC G-200. You can also find information online at Illinois Certification Testing System.

Do you offer a mock test for the various content-area educational certification tests?

No, the Learning Center only offers a program for the Basic Skills test. For each certification test, you can work through sample problems in the registration guides.

I'm taking the real Basic Skills test a few days after the mock test is scheduled. Should I take the mock test anyway?

Sure. The mock test is free, so the only commitment you are making is to give up a few hours of your time. You can benefit from seeing what the test is really like, and you will have the opportunity to work through any test anxiety you might have over the types of questions on the exam. If you do not feel satisfied after taking the actual Basic Skills test, stay with the tutoring workshops and plan to retake the actual test the next time it is offered.

How often is the mock test offered?

Once each semester (fall and spring).

Who runs the tutoring sessions for the Basic Skills?

The mock test workshops are conducted by Learning Center tutors. These tutors are experienced with the test because they have taken it themselves. They will be able to offer you clarification on problems and tips for taking the actual test.

When do I get my mock test scores?

The first workshop session, which will include a review of your scores and of the schedule for the test workshops over the next few weeks, will be held the week after the mock test. Make sure you listen to the announcement of the time and date for this scheduled workshop when you attend on the test date. Scores are only given to students at this time, and when you are given your scores, you will also be instructed on what they mean.

When are the mock test workshops?

These are on Saturdays for a few weeks following the mock test. Make sure you listen to the announcement of workshop times and dates when you sit for the mock test.

I received passing scores in everything but math. Do I need to go to the English/writing workshops, too, or can I just to the math workshops?

You can just attend the math workshops. However, we recommend attending both workshops to ensure you receive passing scores in all content areas. Be sure to check with the tutors as to what time your particular workshops will be held—math and English are usually held on the same day, back to back.

I am a student with a disability, and I will need a testing accommodation to take the mock test. What do I need to do to set up my accommodation?

Like setting up a testing accommodation for any course, you will need to make arrangements with the Director of the Learning Center. To receive accommodations for a disability, you must have documentation on file with the Learning Center staff. More information on test accommodations and other services for students with disabilities can be found on the Disability Services portion of the Learning Center Web page.