Keystone Exams

Until 2016 Beginning in 2017
Under Forest Area School District Policy students are required to successfully complete PA State assessments in Math and Reading to qualify for graduation.  Students that are unable to score proficient or advanced on the Keystone Exams will have the opportunity to complete a local graduation assessment. Under Chapter 4 regulations, students must successfully complete state assessments in Math, English Language Arts, and Science.  Students that are unable to score proficient or advanced on the Keystone Exams will be required to successful complete a PA Project Based Assessment to qualify for graduation.

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 decided what Keystone Exams should measure?
Groups of educators from across Pennsylvania chose the areas of knowledge on which the Keystone Exams are based. The groups included teachers, supervisors, curriculum directors, and college specialists. These groups also reviewed, edited, and approved exam questions.

 What is assessed on the Keystone Exams?
Pennsylvania adopted the Common Core Standards, standards aligned with expectations for success in college and the workplace. The Keystones are designed to measure these standards.

 What are the PA Core Standards?
The State Board adopted Core Standards in July 2010. Since that time, the decision was made to craft a set of PA Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. A group of Pennsylvania educators created a draft set of PA Common Core Standards. These new standards mirror the content and rigor of Common Core, but reflect the organization and design of the PA Academic Standards.

Additionally, the PA Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies and Science/Technical Subjects will be appended to their respective PA Academic Standards.

For more information visit