The purpose of this page is to make you aware of the testing mandates issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) regarding the Keystone Assessments. The Keystones are important to our school and students as they help identify areas of the curriculum in Algebra I, Literature, and Biology that may need more instructional attention.

Who will take the Keystone Exams?

  • All students will take the corresponding Keystone exam at the end of the following courses: Algebra I, Biology, and English 10 Literature.
  • Students who do not score proficient or advanced on a Keystone exam will need to retake that particular Keystone again.
  • SWHS Counseling Department handles Keystone Exam scheduling and will send home a letter to each scheduled test taker with the details of their required testing sessions

What is the Keystone Exam like?

Each Keystone Exam consists of two modules (test sessions). Each module is designed to take up to 2 hours to complete. The exams will include multiple-choice questions and constructed-response or open-ended questions.

When will the Keystone Exams take place?

  • Your child’s testing schedule can be found in the letter sent to your home.
  • There are two testing windows: Winter (January) and Spring (May)

Why is the Keystone Exam important?

Please understand the importance for our students to do their best on the tests. Not only is the school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) contingent on our students achieving high academic scores, but students who do not achieve Proficient or Advanced will be required to enroll in remediation sessions and retake the Keystone Exam until the proficiency level is achieved.

What should I do to help my student prepare for the Keystone Exams?

Students are encouraged to get a good night’s sleep and eat a good breakfast each day of the exam. They should bring a No. 2 pencil and a calculator (not a cell phone) for the Algebra I test. They should also bring reading materials in case they finish the exams early.

Please note that cell phones or electronic devices are not permitted in the testing rooms. All electronic devices must be left in the student’s locker or given to the test proctor to hold in a secure location during the testing time period.

What is South Western doing to help my student prepare?

Students currently enrolled in any Keystone course will receive instruction during class leading up to the exam. Opportunities for students who are not currently enrolled in Algebra I, English 10, or Biology are offered on this website.

Students can also review for the exams at USA Test Prep. Students should use their school computer usernames and passwords and the Account ID “mustangs87”. Once logged in, they can click on the KEYSTONE tab and select the appropriate test.