Keystone Exams and ACT 158

Parents and students,

This page has been developed to provide you with basic information about the Keystone Exams.



Students are under the state mandate which states that in order to receive a diploma in the state of Pennsylvania and the Springfield SD, students must demonstrate proficiency on three exams: Algebra, Biology and Literature.

Their is no particular grade level at which a student takes these exams but rather these exams are "End of Course" exams or at a point deemed appropriate by the district. Once a student takes an exam, the district is notified of their performance. The exams are evaluated by an independent agency not affiliated with the school district.

Our courses that align with exams have undergone review and revision over the past three years to ensure that they are properly aligned to the standards or content the exams test. Additionally, our departments have developed assessments that mirror the exams so that the students have exposure to the exam format.

Each exam has two parts, or modules, and each module assesses different standards in different ways. There are multiple choice items and short answer or Constructed Response Items. Also, each exam has different numbers of each items and different point values for each.

When scoring the exam, students need to attain an overall score of proficiency. It is possible for a student to score advanced/proficient on one module, basic/below basic on another, and still pass the exam. However, if a student does not score proficient, they only need retest the module(s) that they did not pass (proficient or advanced).

If a student does not demonstrate proficiency, the district is required to provide supplemental instruction and the student must successfully complete this remediation before the student can retake the exam. Currently this supplemental or remedial instruction is offered during the school day. However, we are in the process of developing alternative programs.

Students who do not demonstrate proficiency after two (2) attempts have the option of foregoing a third attempt and move to the PBA (Project Based Assessment). The PBA is offered during the school day and will take the place of an elective course; much like the remediation course. Unlike the remediation course which may be only one module, the PBA encompasses all course content; regardless if the student passed one module. All PBA work must be completed and submitted by December of the student's senior year.


Algebra II - Students enrolled in Algebra II (H and CP) will take the Algebra Exam in January testing window.

Biology - Students enrolled in Biology (H and CP) will take the Biology exam in the May testing window.

10th Grade Language Arts - Students enrolled in 10th Grade LA (H and CP) will take the Literature Exam in the May testing window.

Keystone Exam Parent Overview

Math Keystone Page