Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)
The annual Pennsylvania System School Assessment is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment which provides students, parents, educators and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance related to the attainment of proficiency of the academic standards. These standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science and Technology identify what a student should know and be able to do at varying grade levels. School districts possess the freedom to design curriculum and instruction to ensure that students meet or exceed the standards' expectations.
Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 is assessed in English Language Arts and Math. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 4 and 8 is assessed in science.
Individual student scores, provided only to their respective schools, can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning.
In compliance with §4.51(a)(4) of the PA School Code the State Board of Education approved, "specific criteria for advanced, proficient, basic and below basic levels of performance."
To request to modify the PSSA testing schedule: If a school entity is currently in conflict with the 2023-2024 testing schedule for the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) due to religious observances or other dates of cultural significance, assistance is available. Schools with students seeking accommodations are permitted to delay the administration of the English Language Arts test until the make-up window, which concludes May 10, 2024. Those chief school administrators wishing to take advantage of this scheduling flexibility, or who would benefit from a consultation with the Department of Education on this topic, should email
firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on future schedules, please visit
PSSA Testing Windows.
Getting Ready for State Assessments
District Assessment Coordinator Training
The training for Spring 2024 will only be via PowerPoint and not a live webinar.
District Assessment Coordinators Training of School Assessment Coordinators
To assist DACs in the training of SACs, we developed the attached PowerPoint. Using this document is not required by PDE but rather is offered as a way to save time for DACs as preparation for state testing begins. Since the document contains the PDE logo, please adhere to the following guidelines as you use this document.
District Assessment Coordinators Training of School Assessment Coordinators (PowerPoint)
- You may edit the slides on pages 1, 9 and 10.& These contain information specific to your LEA.
- No other slides should be edited.
School Assessment Coordinator Training of All Involved with Test Administration
To assist SACs in the training of all involved with test administration, we developed the attached PowerPoint. Using this document is not required by PDE but rather is offered as a way to save time for SACs as preparation for state testing begins. Since the document contains the PDE logo, please adhere to the following guidelines as you use this document.
School Assessment Coordinators Training of All Individuals Involved with Test Administration (PowerPoint)
- You may edit the slides on pages 1, 12, 13, 24, 25, and 27. These contain information specific to your LEA.
- No other slides should be edited.
- Additionally, if you are only administering the PSSA assessments, you may delete the slides for Keystone Exams and vice-versa.