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Student Assessment


PSAE Reading Performance Definitions



Introduction

The Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE), which was administered to Illinois grade 11 public school students for the first time in spring 2001, assesses the high school benchmarks defined by the Illinois Learning Standards. Student performance on the PSAE is evaluated relative to four levels: Exceeds Standards, Meets Standards, Below Standards, and Academic Warning.

The work of students at each performance level is summarized in the following profiles:

Examples are provided only as guidance and are not meant to be exhaustive.

The PSAE reading test consists of two multiple-choice assessments:

The components assess the Illinois Learning Standards for reading contained in State Goal 1: ability to read literary and informational texts with understanding and fluency.

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Exceeds Standards:

Readers at the Exceeds Standards level demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in reading. They creatively apply knowledge and skills in comprehending a variety of complex literary and informational texts.

Readers who exceed the Standards identify and understand abstract themes and ideas in the text and support their ideas with relevant information from the text and their coursework in other subjects. They make connections among ideas. These readers analyze both the meaning and structure of the text to understand and apply important information. They infer implicit main ideas and draw logical conclusions based both on evidence in the text and their own knowledge.

These readers understand the broad meanings that underlie a text and recognize multiple perspectives and interpretations. They use clues in the text to understand complex character traits and motives. They use context clues to determine the appropriate meaning of words that have multiple meanings and of words in figurative contexts.

Readers who exceed the Standards interpret and evaluate the use of a range of literary devices, including word choice, language structure, figurative language, and point of view.

 

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Meets Standards:

Readers at the Meets Standards level demonstrate proficient knowledge and skills in reading. They effectively apply knowledge and skills in comprehending a variety of challenging literary and informational texts.

Readers who meet the Standards demonstrate a general understanding of the important ideas in the text and support their ideas with relevant information from the text and sometimes from their own knowledge and experience. These readers use knowledge of text structure to recall and understand important information. They make connections between explicit main ideas and some implicit main ideas. They draw conclusions using evidence in the text and their own knowledge.

These readers understand theme and author’s purpose. They use clues in the text to understand character traits and motives. They apply word analysis skills to recognize words and use strategies to determine the meaning of words in the text.

Readers who meet the Standards understand the use of a range of literary devices, including word choice, language structure, figurative language, and point of view.

 

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Below Standards:

Readers at the Below Standards level demonstrate basic knowledge and skills in reading. Although they have gaps in their learning, readers at this level apply their knowledge and skills in comprehending literary and informational texts having a clear purpose, simple language, and familiar style and structure.

Readers who are below the Standards demonstrate a basic understanding of the important ideas in the text and support their ideas with general information from the text and from their own experience. These readers identify and relate aspects of text structure to its overall meaning, recognize interpretations, and relate ideas in the text to their own experiences. They sometimes rely more on their own knowledge and ideas than on the text. They identify some explicit main ideas and important details and make simple generalizations about the main points.

These readers understand basic character traits and motives in uncomplicated literary passages. They order simple sequences of events and explain the relationships among the events. They apply word analysis skills and use context clues to determine the meaning of words in the text.

Readers who are below the Standards recognize basic literary elements and devices, including setting, point of view, conflict, foreshadowing, and flashback.

 

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Academic Warning:

Readers at the Academic Warning level demonstrate limited knowledge and skills in reading. Although readers at this level have major gaps in learning and apply knowledge and skills ineffectively, they demonstrate a general understanding of short, uncomplicated literary and informational texts that use basic vocabulary.

Readers at the Academic Warning level identify uncomplicated key concepts and simple details. They locate basic details at the sentence and paragraph level. They recognize basic text structures, such as memos, letters, poems, narratives, and instructions. They identify some explicit main ideas and locate some important details in the text.

These readers identify explicit character traits. They recognize the proper placement of items in a sequence of events and recognize simple cause-and-effect relationships. They detect the meaning of words defined within the text and infer the meaning of simple words not defined within the text.

Readers at the Academic Warning level recognize a few basic literary elements, such as setting, conflict, and plot.

 

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