Indiana Area Senior High School

2024 Keystones: How to prepare for success

By Gabi Isenberg

Keystones are rapidly approaching at IHS. By reviewing notes, worksheets, Quizlets, and materials from throughout the year, students can ensure they’ll be successful in their subject’s test. 2024 Keystones begin the week of May 13, so preparation should begin soon.

The stress of the looming Keystones can be a lot for underclassmen who haven’t experienced them before. Typically, the Algebra Keystone is taken in the 9th grade, while the Literature and Biology Keystones are typically administered in the 10th grade. However, because of some advanced placement programs, some students complete them earlier. Sophomore Paige Fisanich shared, “I took my Algebra Keystone in 8th grade and my Biology one in 9th. I will take my final one this year. To prepare, I did study guides teachers provided to me and reviewed them.” 

Teachers who instruct tested subjects often provide resources for students to prepare for the tests. Algebra teacher Mr. Todd Myers commented, “Throughout the year, I give students Keystone-type questions that are related to the material we are learning at the time. PDE [Pennsylvania Department of Education] releases previous test questions so I use those. I have been teaching Algebra for a long time so I have gathered a lot of Keystone questions over the years. The LINKIT tests that we give also expose students to Keystone-type problems.” The best way to prepare for the Keystones is to utilize the resources teachers make available. Reviewing all of the material from the year will ensure that the information is fresh in students’ minds. 

[Photo Credit: Gabi Isenberg] “ELA teacher Miss Black prepares a Keystone-style question for her English 10 students.”

Almost every student at IHS is required to take the Keystone tests in Algebra, Biology, and Literature. These tests assess your knowledge of three important subjects that are crucial to scenarios in the real world. On the Keystones, scores are marked as ‘below basic,’ ‘basic,’ ‘proficient,’ or ‘advanced.’ These scores provide a pathway for graduation. Students who score proficient on all three exams meet the requirements for the ‘proficiency’ pathway. Other pathways that involved the Keystone tests include the composite score, alternate assessment, and evidence-based pathways. For more in-depth information on these pathways, visit the guidance office’s website. 

While Keystones seem overwhelming and stressful, there are many ways to prepare and review so students can succeed. Reviewing notes and worksheets and using sources from teachers are the best paths to achieving the best scores possible. 

Gabrielle Isenberg
Associate Editor

Gabi Isenberg is a sophomore and second-year reporter for the High Arrow. In her free time she enjoys swimming on the IHS and YMCA swim teams, playing piano, and reading. She hopes to report accurate information for the IHS community.

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