If you have been assigned to Diverse Learning (or Special Education) you will take two exams: The Learning Behavior Specialist Exam (155) and the Special Education General Curriculum exam (163). Both of these exams are computer-based test and you can take them at a Testing location near you (aka- you don't need to be in Chicago). 90% of corps members opt to take both exams on the same day, however, you register and test for these exams on separate days, if that is preferred. Most corps members assigned to this content area express some nervousness about this exam because it may include content and information in which you have very limited knowledge. However, with dedicated study time (and proactive outreach for support) we see approximately 98% of corps members pass this exam.
- You will take 2 separate exams. The 155 and the 163. You will register for each exam individually.
- These exams are computer-based (you can take them from a testing center anywhere in the US and some international locations).
- The combined cost of these exams is $198 (or $99 per exam)
- If you fail, you can retake these exams. However, you must wait 30 days before re-testing.
- Use the ILTS Study Guides (located below). Our 2017 Corps Members said this was the most helpful study resource!
- Carve out time to study and honor that time on your calendar. What does this mean? Make sure you are dedicating real time to studying - if you put a 2 hour block on your calendar then prioritize that commitment (don't schedule over it). On average 98% of folks that studied for at least 5 hours passed this exam.
- Work together, you are a team! Reach out to each other (and the Onboarding Team) via the #licensure Slack Channel if you need support or have questions!
- Have compassion for yourself and for others. Sometimes even our best-laid plans have to change because life happens and testing cannot always be a priority. We understand that and are here for you. If you need to change your test date or ask for an extension just reach out to Lauren via a direct message in Slack.
Content specific resources
Illinois State Board of Education Test Prep (#1 Recommended):
- 155 Official Illinois Testing Guide
- 163 Official Testing Guide
- Test Taking Strategies
- 155 Test Design and Framework
- 163 Test Design and Framework
- Introduction to Special Education (Hallahan and Kaufmann)
- Understanding Special Education in Illinois
- 155 LBS 1 Flashcards <Recommended by the 2018 corps>
- 163 General Curriculum Flash Cards <Recommended by the 2018 corps>