Algebra I Keystone Exam

Pennsylvania's Algebra I Keystone Exam

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Why are high school students required to take the Pennsylvania Keystone Exams?

Since the national No Child Left Behind act was adopted, each state must require all students to pass a state assessment in Mathematics.

Click on the link below to see the Pennsylvania graduation requirements with regards to the exam.

Graduation Requirements

What material is tested?

The math Keystone tests knowledge from Algebra I and is divided into two modules. These modules are then furthur divided into assessment anchors.

Click on the link below to see the anchors that are on the assessment.

Keystone modules and anchors

How is the test scored?

Students receive a level of proficiency on their Algbera I skills once they have taken the exam. They can score advanced, proficient, basic, or below basic on the material. 

Click on the links below to see the scoring guides 

Defining the four levels of proficiency

General scoring guide for open ended problems

When is the test given?

The test is given in December and May. Only students that have taken a complete Algebra I course are prepared for the exam. This means that students could be given the exam as early as eighth grade.

If a student scores advanced or proficient on the test, they do not need to retake the Algebra I Keystone. If a student scores of basic or below basic, they will be required to retake the exam until they score at the proficient level or above. 

Are there any accomodations given on the Keystone?

All students may take extended time to complete each module. Additionally, they are allowed to use a calculator on the entire exam.

Click on the link below to see the state calculator policy

Calculator Policy

Students that struggle with a documented disability may be eligible for more accomodations.

What can you do to prepare?

Part of the success on any standardized test is due to good test taking strategies.

Click on the link below to see test taking strategies

Testing Strategies

Current Algebra I or Algebra IB students will be given preparation materials and instruction in class. It is critical that those students complete the practice both in class and at home to ensure success.

Students who are not in an Algebra I course can prepare to retake the exam by visiting the math lab, getting help before or after school, asking for additional practice problems, and asking their math teacher to check their progress. 

Can I get extra help online?

There are many sites online where a student can get extra help preparing for the keystone.

The link below will lead you to the Algebra I resources page on our math website. This page has notes, videos, and practice that is sorted by chapter and section in the Algebra I textbook. 

Click this link to access the resource page for Algebra I 

The link below will lead you to Study Island. Students can log in using their email address and password. Once in study island, students can follow the links to math and the Keystone resources which includes practice problems and lessons for each topic on the exam.

Click this link to access study island

The link below will lead you to the SAS (standards aligned system) portal which has a lot of resources from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. You can access these resources as a guest on the site and explore lessons and practice problems for all the Keystone topics.

Click this link to access SAS portal


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