Prairie State Achievement Examination

The Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) was a two-day standardized test taken by all High School Juniors in the U.S. state of Illinois. On the first day, students take the ACT, and on the second day, a WorkKeys examination and Illinois State Board of Education-developed science examination.[1] The test is no longer administered in Illinois schools; however, it was required for all Illinois High School Students from 2001-2014.[2]

Areas of Assessment

The PSAE attempted to assess students on the following areas:[3]

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Writing


A student was required to take the PSAE to achieve a high school diploma, unless he or she met one of the following requirements:[1]

  • The student’s Individualized Education Program is incompatible with the PSAE, and the test cannot be modified to comply. In this case, the student takes the Illinois Alternate Assessment instead.
  • The student is not proficient in English. In this case the student takes the Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English instead.
  • The student is enrolled in an alternative Education program, including an adult education program, or high school equivalency certificates.


  1. Becky McCabe, Division Administrator, Student Assessment Division (August 21, 2006). "Memorandum:2006-07 Guidance – Graduation and the Prairie State Achievement Examination" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 13, 2006. Retrieved April 20, 2007.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. Stephen M. Ponisciak (September 2005). "Understanding the Prairie State Achievement Exam" (PDF). University of Chicago. Retrieved April 20, 2007.
  3. "Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE)". Illinois State Board of Education. Archived from the original on April 27, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2007.

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