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Questions and Answers


Questions
1)  What does PSSA stand for?
2)  What is the PSSA test?
3)  What is the purpose of the PSSA?
4)  Which grades take the PSSA test?
5)  What do the scores mean that the students can get?
6)  What are accomadations?
7)  Does passing the PSSA affect graduation?
 
Answers
1)  Q What does PSSA stand for?
A
The Pennsylvania State Standardized Assessment.
2)  Q What is the PSSA test?
A
The PSSA test is a series of standarized tests created by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Currently, students are tested on Reading, Math, Writing and Science.
3)  Q What is the purpose of the PSSA?
A
The PSSA is a test on the core standards that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States No Child Left Behind Law feel students should know. This test helps school districts, educators, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and others check to see what students can do and what needs to be done to help them improve. The No Child Left Behind Law expects that all students must be 100% proficient on the test by 2014.
4)  Q Which grades take the PSSA test?
A
Currently, grades 3-8 and grade 11 take the Reading and Math Tests; grades 5, 8 and 11 take the Writing test; grades 4, 8 and 11 take the Science test.
5)  Q What do the scores mean that the students can get?
A
There are four different possible scores that students can get, advanced, proficient, below basic and basic. Advanced means that student displays more than enough understanding of the skills being tested. Proficient means that the student is able to correctly complete the skills on the test. Below basic means the student can complete some of the skills. Basic means that students skills and understanding of the material are poor.
6)  Q What are accomadations?
A
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has very strict rules for giving the PSSA tests. To help students do their best on the PSSA the Department of Education has provided several tools that can help students achieve their best on the test. For example, students are allowed to use highlighters for the test. For more information check out the Accommodations page.
7)  Q Does passing the PSSA affect graduation?
A
Yes, you must be proficient or higher in order to receive your high school diplomat and graduate from high school. If you do not get a score of proficient or higher you can re-take the PSSA test in 12th grade or you must be able to demonstrate your ability with the skills in which the PSSA tests.