Keystone Exam Information

Keystone Exams


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 with the class of 2019, students will be required to obtain a core of proficient on the Algebra 1, Biology, and Literature Exams in order to graduate.  In the event a student does not obtain the minimum score on a Keystone exam, a Project Based Assessment can be completed to meet the graduation requirement.
    2. Since 2013, high schools have been 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 school score on the School Performance Profile.

Which subjects have a related Keystone Exam?

  • Currently, there are Keystone Exams for the following content areas:
      • Literature
      • Algebra I
      • Biology

When will my child take the Keystone Exams?

  • In May, all high school and junior high students currently enrolled in Algebra I,  English 10, and Biology B will be required to take the related exams.
  • Testing opportunities for retaking exams will be provided in December and May.

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 Tiger Time
  • 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 replaced 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 2019 will need to pass 3 Keystone Exams in order to graduate including:
    • Literature
    • Algebra I
    • Biology

**Information provided on this page is based on Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) guidelines as of June, 2017 and is subject to change.  For the most up-to-date information, please refer to PDE’s website found below.