Illinois Agility Test

Whether for a clinical reason or training purposes, one of the best ways to check on a person’s agility is to conduct the Illinois Agility Test! Learn all about it and how to conduct it with this nifty guide!

By Matt Olivares on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is the Illinois Agility Test?

Thewas developed at the University of Illinois in the 1950s, and it is one of the most widely used fitness assessments to measure a person’s agility and speed, especially when it comes to changing directions.

If you were ever part of a sports team in school or are just fond of sports, then you are likely to at least be (somewhat familiar) with this because it is a common exercise included in training programs.

The Illinois Agility Test involves using cones (eight cones, usually). These cones are set on a flat surface and are positioned in a straight line. The cones are spread apart from each other, usually several meters apart. Four of these cones will be placed laterally on each side of the central line.

The test taker will run through this cone course as soon as the conductor blows the whistle, and it ends when the test taker reaches the final cone/crosses the finish line. Conductors will record the time it took for test takers to finish the course. The time it takes them to finish the course will indicate their current agility level.

Printable Illinois Agility Test

Download this Illinois Agility Test to a person’s agility.

How to conduct the Illinois Agility Test

Before you conduct the Illinois Agility Test, you will have to prepare a few things, specifically eight cones, a whistle, and a stopwatch!

First, you must arrange the cones. Four of these cones should be arranged in a straight line by 10 meters. The cones must be at least 3.3 meters apart from each other. As for the other four cones, they are to be placed laterally on each side of the central line. Laterally, they should be 5 to 6 meters apart from each other, and just like the straight line, cones on each end vertically should be 10 meters apart from each other. To get a better picture of this, please refer to our picture in the sample shown later in this guide.

Once you have the cones set up, the next thing that you need to do is to explain and demonstrate what the test taker needs to do:

  • They must first lie down in a prone position by the first cone (the starting cone).
  • As soon as you blow the whistle, they have to run to the second cone, which should be 10 meters away in a straight line.
  • Once they reach the second cone, they will have to make a turn and run to the third cone.
  • Once they arrive at the third cone, they have to weave around the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth cones, then weave around the fifth, fourth, and third cones. The order is strict.
  • Once they are back at the third cone, they’re going to run to the seventh cone, then turn around and run to the eighth cone (the finish line).

When you’re done demonstrating it, you can start the test whenever the test taker is ready. They will start as soon as you blow your whistle, and the test ends when they reach the final cone.

Make sure to activate your stopwatch the moment you blow your whistle and deactivate it when the test taker crosses the finish line.

Also, it’s recommended that you conduct at least two trials.

How to score the Illinois Agility Test

Scoring the Illinois Agility Test is easy because it doesn’t require calculating anything. All you need to do is record the time a test taker took to accomplish the test. The record time they have will be the one that determines what their level of agility is!

To help you out, here’s a table that you can refer to so that you know what level the test taker is at:

Illinois Agility Test Scoring

If you decided to have them do multiple trials, you just need to calculate the average.

Illinois Agility Test Example

Normally, the Illinois Agility Test doesn’t have a sheet that comes with it, so we created a template that contains the instructions and even editable fields to indicate the number of seconds it took for the test taker to finish the course and what Agility Level designation they are at based on the results. It also has a picture of what the cone course should look like!

If you like what you see and think this is a good sheet to add to your roster of assessments, then feel free to download it! It’s free. You can print it if you like filling out physical copies, or if you want to go paperless, you can simply fill out the PDF’s editable fields!

Download this Illinois Agility Test Example (Sample) here:

Illinois Agility Test Example

When is the best time to conduct the Illinois Agility Test?

As mentioned earlier, the Illinois Agility Test is often used as part of the training programs for athletes and sports teams, especially for those playing basketball, soccer, and football, where agility and quick changes in direction are essential.

In the context of sports, it is also included in pre-season and mid-season testing. This is so coaches and trainers can properly gauge their athletes to determine what their training program should be or what should be tweaked to maintain fitness while at the same time ensuring that they don’t get injured mid-season before any games.

This test is also used to train the military and law enforcement. Agility and quick changes in direction are also important in those fields, especially when soldiers and police are deployed for action because being able to move fast and dodge means life and death.

The Illinois Agility Test can also be used in a clinical setting! In this context, it’s often included as part of rehabilitation to assess how far a patient has come after getting treated for an injury. It can be conducted regularly (how often is up to you and your care plan) to monitor for improvements. If an athlete is the one undergoing rehabilitation, it’s used to determine if they have reached an optimal level of agility to return to competition.

What are the benefits of the Illinois Agility Test?

It can be used as a recruitment screen.

In the context of the military, law enforcement, or sports try-outs, the Illinois Agility Test can be included as part of the series of tests that will be used to determine if a person is fit to be in the army, a police squad, or the varsity/professional sports team based on the level of agility that the conductor requires.

This test is not influenced by subjective factors and will be based on a person’s speed, something that can be observed and scored objectively since a stopwatch will be used to check how fast they can run and change directions.

It’s a good way to track an individual’s progress over time.

Conductors can use the Illinois Agility Test to set agility benchmarks for their teams and can be used to track each member of their team in terms of their training progress. Are they maintaining their agility level? Are they getting faster? Or are they getting slower? These are questions that can be answered by conducting the test on a routine basis.

Speaking of tracking an individual’s progress, the conductor doesn’t have to be the only one tracking it. Even the person taking the test can use it to monitor themselves. The test can be used to set personal goals, motivate clients to achieve them, and improve as much as they can every time they take this test.

It’s a good injury rehabilitation exercise.

Suppose a person with an injury in their lower extremities is on the road to recovery, and they’re at the point where they can attempt physical exercises. In that case, you can conduct the Illinois Agility Test as part of the rehabilitation exercises of your program. Just don’t be surprised if they’re getting scores within the Poor range. The important thing in this context is that they are doing it and improving during subsequent iterations of the test.

If the patient being rehabilitated happens to be an athlete, the test can help coaches and trainers determine if they are fit to return to the active sports roster and/or competitions.

Why use Carepatron for fitness-related work?

If you are a physical therapist or a fitness coach and you’re looking for more assessments to add to your roster for your work, then we recommend that you take your time and browse our platform! Eventually, you will come across our massive collection of resources! This collection covers various healthcare fields, including physical therapy and fitness! If you want to include the Illinois Agility Test as part of your fitness or rehabilitation regimen for your athletes and/or patients, feel free to download our template!

We also have numerous assessments that might benefit your work, such as the Harvard Step Test, the 30-second Chair Stand Test, and a lot more! Feel free to download what tickles your fancy.

Accessing Carepatron doesn’t just grant you access to our treasure trove of resources. You can also access our fantastic storage system, which allows you to store your clinical documents in a HIPAA-compliant manner! If you downloaded our Illinois Agility Test sheet template, you can create backups of the ones you filled out by storing them with us! You can even decide who gets to access these documents besides you!

We at Carepatron are all about helping healthcare professionals with their work, so take advantage of our platform so we can help streamline your workflows and help you preserve your work!

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Is one test run enough every session? Or should I conduct multiple trials?
Is one test run enough every session? Or should I conduct multiple trials?

Commonly asked questions

Is one test run enough every session? Or should I conduct multiple trials?

That’s up to you. It’s recommended that you do 2 or more (how many times is up to you) to ensure that the results are consistent, however, if you do decide to have them do several trials, please make sure to observe if they are tired or not. If they’re tired, then they will obviously take longer to complete certain trial runs. You’re not going to get consistent results that way.

Are there any limitations to this test?

Yes. This test may not be suitable for people with pre-existing joint or muscle problems. These people need to procure medical certificates that allow them to take the test before they can partake in this exercise. Also, this test only assesses a person’s speed/agility. It doesn’t account for strength or endurance.

Are the number of cones strict for this test?

Yes. The number of cones for the Illinois Agility Test is strictly eight, especially because the scoring benchmarks are also based on that number. Though, even if it’s strict, that does not mean you’re not allowed to modify it by adding more cones. Feel free to do so, however, you’re going to have to adjust the time benchmarks for that as well.

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