Prairie State Achievement Exam



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TESTING
Every test is vital to a student’s future in regards to assessment and opportunity. Taking the PSAE is required in the state of Illinois. See your counselor and check the information in the guidance office for additional information on these tests.
PSAE: Prairie State Achievement Exam

This two-day test includes the American College Testing (ACT) and the WorkKeys exam. The Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) measures the achievement of grade 11 students in reading, mathematics, science, and writing.

The 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 30-minute constructed-response writing test with a single prompt question; (2) an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-developed science assessment, and (3) two WorkKeys assessments (Applied Mathematics and Reading for Information).

The PSAE is an important test. PSAE scores are used by the state board of education as well as CPS to evaluate high schools and make sure that they are serving their students academically. In addition, the ACT is used to determine college admissions, and the higher a student scores, the more options he or she has for college.



The PSAE is administered at the student’s school in the spring of the 11th grade year. This test is for ALL 11th grade students. There is no need to sign up your student and there is no fee associated with this test. If your student has an IEP and requires accommodations, the school will apply for those on behalf of the student. Students must take this exam to graduate in the State of Illinois.


ACT: American College Test

The ACT may be taken more than one time, and students are strongly encouraged to take the exam a minimum of twice. American College Testing program measures scholastic aptitude in English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. An optional writing component is now included. Results are mailed to the high school and colleges designated by the student. This is a college entrance exam used by many colleges throughout the country for admission decisions.




Optimum test dates are in the spring of the junior year (covered by PSAE exam) and again in the fall of the senior year. It is not usually recommended for students to take the exam in the sophomore year. The exception is if a sophomore student has completed Algebra2/Advanced Algebra.

The current fee is $33.00 without writing and $48.00 with the writing component. It is recommended though not required by all colleges for students to take the writing portion. All applicable testing dates and registration is available online at www.actstudent.org. Students/Parents register for this exam and choose a testing site in the local area.



ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

This exam in an optional test measuring skills with a variety of short, timed multiple choice test

items. It is administered to juniors and seniors in the fall. The test can identify occupations and

skills for which students are best suited.




There is no commitment to military service for students taking this test, and no fee. It is a great opportunity to explore aptitude for various professions. To sign-up for the exam, students should meet with the guidance counselor and a testing day will be set. With enough student interest, the test can be administered on our campus.




ACCUPLACER: Diagnostic Exam

The Accuplacer is a test that local community colleges use to determine placement in remedial or regular college courses. The test was designed to measure how well students have developed their verbal and math skills.




Sophomores and potential dual enrollment students will be taken to Lincoln Land Community College to take this exam in January or February of that year. Lincoln Land is currently looking for a score of “22” in each subject area to avoid remedial coursework. There is no fee for the exam. Students simply require a signed permission slip to attend the testing session.

This is an excused absence from school.



PSAT/NMSQT: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/

National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

The PSAT is a multiple-choice exam that measures verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities.

It is also used as a predictor for possible SAT scores and potential success in AP courses. The scores help students focus on areas for practice prior to sitting for the SAT. The test is given once a year in October and results can qualify students for the National Merit, National Achievement, or National Hispanic Scholarship Awards.


There will be announcements regarding the specific date of this exam in August and September. The current fee is $11.00. All juniors should take the exam as well as high-achieving sophomores.


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SAT I: Scholastic Aptitude Test
The SAT has three sections. Students will be tested in critical reading, writing, and math. This is a college entrance exam and can be used in lieu of the ACT. This test is not administered on this campus.


Optimum test dates are in the spring of the junior year and again in the fall of the senior year. It is not usually recommended for students to take the exam in the sophomore year. The exception is if a sophomore student has completed Algebra2/Advanced Algebra.

The current fee is $47.00. All applicable testing dates and registration is available online at www.collegeboard.org Students/Parents register for this exam and choose a testing site in the local area.


EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT

EXPLORE is the first part of a testing system that goes on to include PLAN and the ACT. Typically, students take EXPLORE in the 8th grade, PLAN as 10th graders, and the ACT as juniors or seniors. All three test you in English, math, reading, and science. However, the material tested in each program gets more difficult. This is why the top scores are different.



Program

Grade Level

Composite
Score Range


EXPLORE

8 and 9

1 to 25

PLAN

10

1 to 32

ACT

11 and 12

1 to 36

There is no fee for the PLAN or EXPLORE test. Administration of the exams will be on our campus and will occur in the Spring.

Test Preparation:

There is no specific preparation for these exams, as they are knowledge-based. However, on both the ACT and SAT websites there are practice questions and study guides. While New Berlin School nor the District of CUSD16 cannot specifically endorse any test-preparation company, the following may be of assistance:

www.bettertestscores.net www.isbe.state.il.us

www.princetonreview.com/ACT www.apple.com



www.number2.com

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