The Keystone Exams are state-mandated end-of-course assessments in Algebra I, Biology and Literature. At the high school level, they are used to satisfy the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).
Each Keystone Exam is divided into two parts called modules. Student scores are based on the total points earned from the two modules combined. The scores are then broken down into the following categories: Advanced, Proficient, Basic and Below Basic. Students must score in the Advanced or Proficient range to show mastery of the content.
- Content Area: Algebra 1
- Below Basic: 1200-1438
- Basic: 1439-1499
- Proficient: 1500-1545
- Advanced: 1546-1800
- Content Area: Biology
- Below Basic: 1200-1459
- Basic: 1460-1499
- Proficient: 1500-1548
- Advanced: 1548-1800
- Content Area: Literature
- Below Basic: 1200-1443
- Basic: 1444-1499
- Proficient: 1500-1583
- Advanced: 1583-1800
- Content Area: Algebra 1
Keystone Exams During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the statewide graduation requirement associated with Keystone proficiency has been postponed and now only applies to the Class of 2023 and beyond. Current seniors (Class of 2021) and current juniors (Class of 2022) are exempt from the Pennsylvania State Graduation Requirement.
Spring 2020 (Updated 12/11/20)
As a result of Act 136, signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on November 25, 2020, any student who was scheduled to take a Keystone Exam in Spring 2020 has been determined proficient on that exam if they passed the course. This applies to RHS students who were enrolled in Algebra I, Biology and/or Literature (10th-Grade English) during the 2019-20 school year.
Winter 2020 (Updated 12/11/20)
As a result of Act 136, signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on November 25, 2020, Radnor High School will not administer Winter Keystone Exams.
Spring 2021 (Updated 12/11/20)
The Spring 2021 session of the state-mandated Keystone Exams is May 17-28. As of December 2020, RHS is still planning to administer Spring Keystone Exams. However, if the state cancels the Keystone exams for the 2020-2021 school year, as they did in Spring 2020, we will communicate this information with families as soon as possible.
The following students will take a Spring 2021 Keystone Exam:
- Students who are currently enrolled in College Prep or Advanced Algebra I.
- Students who are currently enrolled in College Prep, Advanced, or Honors Biology.
- Students who are currently enrolled in College Prep, Advanced, or Honors World Literature, as well as those enrolled in Global Issues.
- Any student who has completed Algebra I, Biology, or 10th grade English and who has not yet taken the Keystone Exam in that subject area.
For additional information, please see the Keystone Resource Page here. Questions? Contact Dr. Joseph MacNamara, Assistant Principal of Student Services, at Joseph.MacNamara@rtsd.org or call 610-293-0855 x3506.
Class of 2023 and Beyond
Current freshman (Class of 2024) and sophomores (Class of 2023) still fall under the Pennsylvania State Graduation Requirement. There are multiple pathways students can take to satisfy the graduation requirement.
Pathway 1: Keystone Proficiency
Pass all 3 Keystone exams (Algebra I, Biology, and Literature) with a 1500 or higher. This is the pathway Radnor High School recommends for all students. This remains the most straight-forward route.
Pathway 2: Keystone Composite Score
Earn a composite score of 4452 on the Keystone exams: Algebra I + Biology +Literature. This is the other pathway Radnor High School recommends for all students. This also remains the most straight-forward route.
Pathway 3: Alternative Assessment
Pass the Keystone classes and earn a minimum score on an approved alternate assessment:
- Advanced coursework and achieves the following scores: AP level course (3) or dual enrollment course (IB - 4)
- An alternative assessment and achieves the following scores: PSAT (970), SAT (1010), ACT (21), or ASVAB (minimum score for admittance to armed services)
- Acceptance into a four year non-profit institution of higher education
Radnor High School’s average score over the past five years is significantly above the required score. We are always looking to provide our students with both options and flexibility.
For that reason, Radnor High School will administer the PSAT to all sophomores on Tuesday, January 26. This will help to offer another pathway for them to meet the Pennsylvania State graduation requirement if needed at a later date.
Pathway 4: Career and Technical Education
Earning a locally established grade on the course associated with each Keystone exam and satisfactorily completing one of the following:
- Pass the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
- National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) assessment in an approved Career and Technical Education concentration
Pathway 5: Evidence-Based (Three Pieces of Evidence)
The student earns a locally established grade on the course associated with each Keystone exam and demonstrates readiness for post-secondary engagement through three pieces of evidence from the student’s career portfolio aligned to the student goals and career plan. Examples include:
- SAT subject tests
- AP level dual enrollment coursework
- High education acceptance
- A community service project
- Completion of an internship, externship, co-op, or full-time employment
Click here to learn more, including additional Keystone Pathway options.
Keystone remediation is no longer required for students who do not achieve proficiency on the Keystone Exams. Students still have the option to re-test on the Keystone Exams; however, they will not have the option to do the Project Based Assessment to achieve proficiency. If a student wishes to retest, they need to inform both their school counselor and Dr. Joseph MacNamara, Assistant Principal of Student Affairs. Act 158 applies to the Class of 2023 and beyond.