Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE)

Learn about the PSAE assessment from these ISBE presentations.

  • 2014 PSAE Training Webinar Presentation
  • 2014 PSAE - General Updates Presentation pdf(PDF) ppt(PPT)
  • 2014 PSAE - Mathematics Presentation pdf(PDF) ppt(PPT)
  • 2014 PSAE - Science Presentation pdf(PDF) ppt(PPT)

The Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) measures the achievement of grade 11 students in reading, mathematics, science, and writing.

The spring 2014 PSAE includes three components: (1) the ACT Plus Writing, which includes the ACT battery of four multiple-choice tests (English, mathematics, reading, and science) and a writing prompt, (2) an ISBE-developed science assessment, and (3) two WorkKeys assessments (Applied Mathematics and Reading for Information).

In addition, ACT's WorkKeys Locating Information assessment will be administered at district discretion after the three PSAE Day 2 tests. This will allow students who earn qualifying scores the opportunity to be eligible for ACT's National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Scores for WorkKeys Locating Information assessment will not be used in any PSAE score calculations.

IIRC presents the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) test results for all Illinois public schools and districts, for the years 2001-2013 in easy-to-understand graphs and tables.

IIRC-PSAE-two girls studying

PSAE measures individual achievement for high school students in grade 11 relative to the Illinois Learning Standards. Curriculum experts and Illinois teachers developed these standards in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education. Results are reported by subject according to four performance levels: exceeds standards, meets standards, below standards, and academic warning. On the IIRC web site the bar graphs displaying the PSAE results are color-coded to show the percent and number of students at each performance level.

The graphs on this site also present PSAE results for specific student demographic groups whose performance is tracked for purposes of assessing adequate year progress (AYP) of schools. The specific student subgroups are race/ethnicity (six groups), low income status, students with disabilities, and limited-English proficient.

Note: the score a student makes on the ACT Reading test combined with the score on the WorkKeys for Reading for Information test constitutes the PSAE Reading score. The score a student makes on the ACT mathematics test combined with the score on the WorkKeys Applied Mathematics test constitutes the PSAE mathematics score. The science score is also based on the combined ACT science score and the ISBE science score. Data from the Work Keys Locating Information will be reported separately.

Students may designate colleges to receive scores for the ACT portion of the test as part of their college application process. This no-cost service is part of the state testing program.

In spring 2015, the new PARCC assessment aligned to the Common Core State Standards will replace the PSAE.