PA Keystone Exams
Preliminary Information for Parents or Guardians
Pennsylvania Keystone Exams
What are the Keystone Exams?
The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to evaluate proficiency in academic content. Beginning with the class of 2017, students must demonstrate proficiency on the Algebra 1, Literature, and Biology Keystone Exams to graduate. Students will be offered multiple opportunities to take the Keystones throughout their high school careers.
Who will participate in the Keystone Exams?
Currently, all students take the Keystone Exams in Algebra, Biology and Literature.
When will the exams be offered?
The Keystone Exams will be administered three times each year—winter, spring, and summer.
What is assessed on the Keystone Exams?
Pennsylvania adopted academic standards that are aligned with expectations for success in college and the workplace. The Keystones are designed to measure these standards.
How long is a Keystone Exam administration?
There is no time limit for a student to complete a Keystone Exam. Each Keystone Exam should take the typical student 2 to 3 hours to complete. There are two modules on each test, and each module (or Test Session) of the Keystone Exam should take 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.
What types of questions are on the Keystone Exams?
The Keystone Exams will include multiple-choice questions and constructed-response, or open-ended, questions. For each Keystone Exam, approximately 60% to 75% of the total score will be from multiple-choice questions and 25% to 40% of the total score will be from constructed-response questions. The English Composition Keystone Exam will be an exception, with 20% of the total score from multiple-choice questions and 80% of the total score from constructed-response questions.
How are the results reported?
Keystone Exam scores will be processed as quickly as possible and provided to the districts.
Two copies of the individual student report for all Keystone Exams will be sent to the school districts. One copy should be sent home to parents/guardians; the other is kept by the school/district.
School-level reports will be used for curricular and planning purposes. School districts may publish the results of Keystone Exams for each school. The state will also release school-by-school exam data.
May parents see the Keystone Exams?
Parents and guardians may review the Keystone Exams if they believe they may be in conflict with their religious beliefs by making arrangements with the building Principal once the exams arrive at the school.