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Pennsylvania Educators’ Ultimate Guide to Prepare for PSSA & Keystone Testing

Pennsylvania Educators’ Ultimate Guide to Prepare for PSSA & Keystone Testing

With making sure that you are staying on pace with curriculum guides, practicing test-taking procedures and strategies, and providing the targeted preparation and reinforcement individual students need, spring testing season can quickly begin to feel overwhelming for educators. The good news is that a little research and planning can go a long way toward ensuring that you’re able to provide the support students need to be successful on their Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and Keystone Exams. We’ve gathered all of the most useful, detailed, and relevant resources to help you put an outstanding test-preparation program into action.

PSSA and Keystone Exam Preparation resources from the Pennsylvania Department of Education

When it comes to testing, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is the authority. And, the PDE has a great collection of free resources for educators! We’ve done the legwork of combing through the PDE library to find the best PSSA and Keystone Exam materials. First, get started by checking out the list of testing dates for the PSSA and Keystone Exams. For the latest resources, check out these pages:

Assessment and Accountability

This site is a great starting place for all things Pennsylvania testing.

Resources for the PSSA and Keystone Exams

These sites provide a variety of resources that educators need to prepare for and administer the tests including scoring guidelines, technical reports, performance level descriptors, and administration materials. From this site you can also navigate to additional resources like test blueprints and sample items.

Alternative Assessments and the Future Ready PA Index

Pennsylvania is working hard to make new and flexible options available to allow learners to demonstrate their understanding. At Edmentum, we have created multiple rubrics that can help Pennsylvania districts take advantage of Future Ready PA Index options in selecting and evaluating alternative assessments for their district that are in compliance with PDE guidelines. Even if you aren’t quite ready to utilize this alternative assessment option just yet, be sure to check out these resources to lay a solid foundation for test planning and preparation next year.

Preparing for Success with Future Ready Pennsylvania Index

Understand the basics of the Future Ready PA Index program and what it means for Pennsylvania educators.

Career Readiness with the Pennsylvania Future Ready Index

Learn more about how the Future Ready PA Index supports career-readiness goals.

[Edmentum’s Commitment] Our Alignment to the Future Ready PA Index

As a demonstration of our commitment, we have completed rubrics that address each section of the Future Ready PA Index for two of our assessment solutions, Study Island and Edmentum Assessments Test Packs. For even more Future Ready PA Index info, you can learn about the Career Readiness Indicator here.

PSSA and Keystone Exam Test-Preparation Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices for Classroom Teachers

Test prep doesn’t have to dominate your classroom agenda this spring. By getting started early, utilizing formative assessment strategies, and making the most of practice testing, teachers in the classroom can provide students with individualized support without sacrificing time from the standard curriculum (and of course, fun!). Check out these resources to get started.

[Classroom Practice] Are Your Students Using Effective Learning Techniques?

With so many study techniques out there, how do you know which ones work? In this post, we dive into the research and discover which techniques can improve knowledge attainment and retention, and which aren’t worth spending time on.

5 Proven Ways to Get the Most Out of Practice Testing

The old adage “practice makes perfect” is a familiar turn of phrase for a reason. Ensure that you’re getting the most out of every minute your students are spending on practice testing.

3 Ways Online Practice Can Support Your Test-Prep Program  

As you are considering different options to ensure that your students have achieved standards proficiency, it’s critical that you have a program that’s aligned to the Pennsylvania Standards. Consider this and other benefits of using an online program.

4 Best Practices to Use Midyear Benchmark Assessment Data

Like any assessment, midyear benchmarks are only as valuable as the strategies you employ using the data. Here are four ways to make these assessments a truly valuable exercise for you and your students.

Marzano-Validated Best Practices for Online Practice

The Edmentum research team was honored to have Marzano Research peer review a research project that we conducted for our classroom practice and assessment program, Study Island. Through that review, Marzano confirmed our findings about the effectiveness of Study Island, and we also uncovered four best practices to help students get the most out of online practice.

General Test-Prep and Test-Taking Tips for Educators

No matter the exact situation, testing is a stressful process. But successful test taking, beyond content knowledge, is also a skill that can be taught, acquired, and mastered. Here are some of our best resources on general test prep and test taking to help the PSSA and Keystone Exam process go smoothly at your school.

8 Last-Minute Steps Districts Can Take to Improve Test Scores

Administrators may not feel like they have a direct hand in making sure that students are well-prepared for PSSA and Keystone Exam. But, there is no shortage of steps administrators can take to ensure that their teachers and students have what they need for a successful testing season—even when it comes down to the wire.

6 Tips for Teachers to Help Students Manage Stress

Testing season inevitably means classroom stress will hit a new high. So, how can you keep anxiety levels in check and help your students stay cool, calm, and collected when test day rolls around? Here are six tips for a low(er) stress testing season.

8 Tips for Parents to Help Your Child Prepare for High-Stakes Tests

Parents and other caregivers are critical to every student’s education journey. So, get them involved in the PSSA and Keystone Exam preparation process! Share these eight simple tips with parents to help them support their learners on testing days.

[Teacher Tips] Preparing YOURSELF for Testing Season

Yes, believe it or not, your human nature is not suspended just because it’s time for assessments. And you know that deep down you won’t be on top of your game unless you’re taking care of yourself. As the expression goes, you can’t pour from an empty glass. So, educators, here are a few healthy reminders to help you stay sane through another testing season.

Ready to take your PSSA and Keystone Exam preparation program to the next level? Check out Study Island, Edmentum’s online solution for classroom practice and assessment, and our extensive library of programs designed exclusively for Pennsylvania educators and students. You can even start your FREE trial of Study Island today!