Keystone Exam Information
  • What are the Keystone Exams?
      • The Keystone Exams are state mandated end-of-course examinations designed to measure proficiency in specific subject areas. Student performance on these exams will serve two purposes:
      1. Beginning in 2017, students will be required to pass certain Keystone Exams in order to graduate.
      2. Beginning in 2013, high schools will be held accountable for the participation and performance of all students on the Literature and Algebra I Keystone Exams. These assessments will be used to report the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) of high schools.
    • Which subjects have a related Keystone Exam?
      • Currently, there are Keystone Exams for the following content areas:
        • Literature
        • Algebra I
        • Biology
      • Keystone Exams are being developed for the following content areas:
        • Composition
        • Civics and Government
        • Geometry
        • Algebra II
        • Chemistry
        • World History
        • U.S. History
    • When will my child take the Keystone Exams?
      • In May 2014, all high school and junior high students currently enrolled in Algebra I, World Literature, and Biology B will be required to take the related exams.
      • Testing opportunities for retaking exams will be provided in October, January and May.
    • Why does my child have to take the exam if it will not be used as a graduation requirement for students in grades 10-12 during the 2013-2014 school year?
      • The State requires that all students must participate in the Algebra I, Literature and Biology Keystone Exams at least once before the end of 11th grade. This means that all students in grades 10-11 will be required to take the Keystone Exams for the purposes of school accountability, even though the exams are not a graduation requirement for these students.

    • What if my child does not pass a Keystone Exam?
      • Students who do not demonstrate proficiency on a Keystone Exam will be provided with remediation and will be required to take the test again. Remediation will be provided during the regularly scheduled tutorial period.
      • If a student receives a higher score on a subsequent test, the best scores for each student are banked and incorporated into the School Performance Profile score.
    • What happens if a student is still not proficient after retesting?
      • Students can retest until a proficient score is attained. If, however, a student takes the test twice without reaching proficiency, he/she will be given the opportunity to complete a project-based assessment to fulfill the graduation requirement.
    • Do the Keystone Exams replace the PSSA?
      • The Keystone Exams replace the PSSA in grade 11. The PSSA exams will remain in grades 3-8.
    • Will there be testing accommodations provided for students with special needs?
      • As with the PSSA, there will be testing accommodations available following the guidelines provided by the State and specified in the student's IEP or 504 Plan.
    Projected Schedule for Implementation of Graduation Requirements:
    • Class of 2017 (grade 9 in 2013-14) will need to pass 3 Keystone Exams in order to graduate including:
      • Literature
      • Algebra I
      • Biology
    • Class of 2018 (grade 8 in 2013-14) will need to pass 3 Keystone Exams in order to graduate including:
      • Literature
      • Algebra I
      • Biology
    • Class of 2019 (grade 7 in 2013-14) will need to pass 4 Keystone Exams in order to graduate including:
      • Literature
      • Algebra I
      • Biology
      • English Composition
    • Class of 2020 (grade 6 in 2013-14) will need to pass 5 Keystone Exams in order to graduate including:
      • Literature
      • Algebra I
      • Biology
      • English Composition
      • Civics and Government
    • Voluntary Keystone Exams are not planned to be used as a graduation requirement at this time and include:
      • Geometry - available 2016-17
      • U.S. History - available 2017-2018
      • Algebra II - available 2018-2019
      • Chemistry - available 2019-2020
      • World History - available 2020-2021
    **Information provided on this page is based on Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) guidelines as of June, 2013 and is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to PDE's website found below.

    http://www.pdesas.org/