Altoona Area School District

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PSSA & Keystone Exams

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is an annual assessment administered in commonwealth classrooms in grades 3 through 8, and in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Pennsylvania adopted more rigorous PA Core Standards in late 2013 and the 2015 PSSA marks the first time the assessment was fully-aligned to the standards. These new, more rigorous standards aim to better prepare students for the 21st century work force.

Assessment scores represent a snapshot in time of student performance, and should not be considered the sole indicator of student achievement. Standardized assessments, like the PSSA, help Pennsylvania meet federal and state requirements, as well as provide educators, stakeholders, and policymakers with important information about the commonwealth’s students and schools, and inform instructional practices.

For more information, go to the PA Department of Education PSSA website.


Keystone Exams

The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Literature, English Composition, Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History, World History, and Civics and Government.

The Keystone Exams are one component of Pennsylvania's new system of high school graduation requirements. Keystone Exams will help school districts guide students toward meeting state standards.

For more information, go to the PA Department of Education's Keystone website.