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Four Key Points Students Should Know About the New PSSA

  1. The PSSA administered in your class last spring may have seemed more difficult than the PSSAs you’ve taken in the past. That’s because the assessment measured the new standards of the PA Core. Pennsylvania adopted the PA Core in 2013 in order to help students, like you, be more prepared for college or the work force when you graduate from high school.
  2. Some material you’re learning in your classes is being taught much earlier than it used to be, and that can make the assessment harder. Plus, the new assessment included more problem solving, writing and critical thinking skills than on past assessments.
  3. There are four performance levels on the PSSA: Below Basic, Basic, Proficient and Advanced.  Because the test was harder, you may not have done as well as you have done in the past and that’s ok.  Teachers and parents know that the longer you are learning the new standards the better you will do.
  4. Your teachers and your schools are working very hard to develop a new curriculum aligned to the new PA Core, to help you do well not just on tests, but to help you be successful as you proceed in school and when you graduate.
7/23/15 PDE