Keystone Exam Information (updated December 2012)
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?
Beginning in 2012-2013 the Algebra I, Literature, and Biology Keystone Exams will replace the 11th grade Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in mathematics, reading, and science for purposes of satisfying No Child Left Behind (NCLB)/Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements. Therefore, all students in grade 11 must participate in the Algebra I, Literature, and Biology Keystone Exams. Additionally, students in any grade who are enrolled in a Keystone related course should participate.
The Keystone Exams will be operational for the 2012–2013 school year for Algebra I, Biology, and Literature. The Keystone Exams will be offered in both online and paper/pencil testing formats. Students in grade 11 are required to complete all three Keystone Exams during the 2012–2013 school year for AYP purposes (Algebra 1 and Literature will measure AYP; Biology is tested to satisfy 'participation' as outlined by NCLB). The PDE strongly recommends that all grade 11 students complete the Keystone Exams during the winter administration. Students in grades 9 and 10 must complete the Keystone Exams prior to the end of their grade 11 school year. Stu‐ dents who have previously completed a corresponding Keystone course are encouraged to take the Keystone Exam during the winter administration. Results for these students will be banked until they reach grade 11. The winter 2012–2013 testing window is scheduled in two separate waves to accommodate different semester end dates in schools that have block scheduling, as well as the additional students required to test for AYP. The testing window for wave 1 is December 3–14, 2012. The testing window for wave 2 is January 9–23, 2013.
Districts must choose the testing wave for each subject. A district may test all subjects during a single wave or split the subjects between waves, but a single subject cannot be tested during both waves. All schools in the district will follow the same window for security reasons. Districts will use DRC’s eDIRECT system during the September 10–14 Enrollment Window to enter enrollment counts for each testing window. Enrollment counts will be entered for test mode, subject, and accommodated material. Districts will enter individual student in‐ formation into eDIRECT during the October 8–19 Test Setup Window. If districts utilize the September 4 PIMS file, then student information will be preloaded. Districts will then create test sessions for students and enter their test mode. Students listed as paper testers prior to October 19 will receive Precode Labels.
Link to the BCIU's subject-specific resources: