The Au/ZnO/n-GaAs Schottky barrier diode was fabricated and examined regarding to its current-voltage characteristics under distinct illumination intensities at room temperature. The reverse biased current increases with increasing illumination level while forward biased current is almost unchanged with illumination which states that the fabricated diodes exhibit photosensitive character or photodiode behavior. Hence, the shunt resistance is decreased with illumination while the series resistance is almost remained constant. The increment in the ideality factor after illumination can be ascribed to the assumption of inhomogeneities at M/S interface. Considering the ideality factor and the voltage dependent effective barrier height, the energy distribution profiles of surface states (Nss) were formed by the forward bias current-voltage data and increased with increasing illumination level. The Nss values acquired by considering series resistance are lower than those acquired by ignoring series resistance. Consequently, surface states can serve as recombination centers and have great importance especially in reverse bias current-voltage characteristics.