Biology Keystone Exam

Study Guides

Students, Parents and Guardians,

Recently Pennsylvania instituted an end of year exam for Biology. This exam will be given in school in May. The test allows students, teachers and administrators to make sure that the content taught in high school classes meets the expectations of the testing company.

Although it is new to our state, state-wide end of year exams have been used successfully in many states. Here is a link to a test given in 2009 in Maryland, the state ranked #1 in US schools in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. California, New Jersey and New York are other states that give end of year tests as well.

Biology students will focus on Keystone vocabulary, selected activities, and specific learning goals to help them understand the material. They will work on activities of their choice, with help from their teachers, tutors and peers. As each set of vocabulary is mastered students will be assessed, then they will begin on the activities for the topic. Once a student masters both, they will be challenged with the high-level learning goals. At each level they will have in-class support, after school help, and tutoring options. With the exception of vocabulary and learning goal assessments, they will be able to complete their work with the help of their teacher.

Student grades will be based on professionalism in the classroom, completion of independent work, quality of group work (lab activities) and the number of correct answers on vocabulary and learning goal assessments.

If you have questions about the curriculum or what will be on the Keystone exam, see the links below.

Information for Parents and Guardians: Keystone Exam Information
Click here for information on the Biology Keystone Exam: Eligible Content, Sample Questions and Glossary
Click here to see what you should know to score in the Basic, Proficient or Advanced categories on the Biology Exam: Biology Performance Level Descriptors