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Testing for High School Students

by Tami Kelly
September 28, 2007

There are several tests that students here at the high school participate in. Below is a list of those tests.

1. ACT - This is a national test that most colleges use to help determine eligibility for admissions. Juniors will take this test as a mandatory graduation requirement in April as part of the PSAE. However, it can be taken more than once before or after April to achieve higher scores. For any other time besides April, online registration is accepted as well as paper applications. Online site is


2. SAT - This is a national test that colleges may use to help determine eligibility for admissions. This test is not as widely used in our area but if students plan on attending colleges on the west or east coast, they may want to look into whether this is the preferred test. More information about this test can be found at


3. PSAT - The PSAT is an optional test that we offer to our juniors for a cost of $13.00. The PSAT assesses critical reading, mathematical reasoning, and writing skills. It helps students prepare for further testing. It gives specific suggestions on how to improve their academic skills. It also enters them into the National Merit Scholarship Corporation competitions for recognition and scholarships. This test is given in October.


4. ASVAB - The ASVAB is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. This test is given free of charge to Juniors usually in November. The ASVAB is the most widely used aptitude test in American schools today. There are NO military obligations of any kind associated with this test. It is not a pass/fail test. It helps students compare their scores with other students throughout the United States. It provides measures of general learning ability that are useful for predicting performance in academic areas. It is designed especially to measure potential for success in occupations that require formal courses of instruction or on-the-job training.


5. PLAN - The PLAN test is a test that we give to our Sophomore class. This test is a predictor test for the ACT. This test is usually given in November.


6. PSAE/ACT - This test is a test that is state required for graduation. Our juniors take this test in April free of charge. Two days are required for the completion of this test. The first day is spent on the ACT. (see above). The second day is spent on the PSAE. (Prairie State Achievement Exam). This is the test that the state uses to determine if the schools are meeting the state standards. We spend a great deal of time preparing our juniors for this test due to the importance of it.


7. PSAE/ACT Senior retake - This test is the same as above but is given to seniors who either were not pleased with their test results or were not able to take the test as a junior. A waiver of fee is given for this test and it is taken in October.


8. ITBS - The ITBS is given to freshmen and sophomores during the same time that the juniors are taking the PSAE/ACT in April. These scores help determine with the state if the school is meeting the school standards set forth.


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