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English Language Arts Resources

2017-2018 Test Design

During the development of the 2018 tests, the average total test difficulty did not change from previous years.  The equating procedure used for the PSSA adjusts for the difference to the test blueprint, making sure score meaning does not change.
The status of the Text Dependent Analysis (TDA) confirms Pennsylvania’s commitment to the importance of writing in preparation for College and Career Readiness.  It is important to remember that the ELA test continues to assess the writing and language standards.  Many of The writing standards are assessed in the Conventions of Standard English (Language) multiple-choice items and the TDA prompt.

2018 Item and Scoring Samplers

2017 Item and Scoring Samplers

Change in Test Design

Beginning with tests taken in the 2017-2018 school year, the English Language Arts PCS-based PSSA will no longer include a mode-specific writing prompt.  This Item and Scoring Sampler contains items representative of the tests administered during the 2016-2017 school year.  The writing prompt in this sampler is provided as an instructional resource.  The writing prompt and all resources for the writing prompt in this item sampler are for instructional purposes.  The 2018 ELA PSSA test will not include a mode-specific writing prompt.

2016 Item and Scoring Samplers  

The following files are American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant documents that can be accessed by software programs for disabled users; therefore the handwritten student responses have been transcribed into typed responses for this purpose. The content is the same in both documents.

2015 Item and Scoring Samplers

Text Dependent Analysis Scoring Guidelines

Instructional Resource for Writing