The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra I, Literature, and Biology. They are not attached to a particular grade level in the high school, but instead taken, like a final exam, when the course is completed.
The Keystone Exams are designed to measure the state's Common Core Standards in those three subject areas. The Pennsylvania State Department of Education states that the standards are aligned toward college and workplace success.
Similar to the PSSAs, the Keystone Exams are scored using the terminology of advanced, proficient, basic, and below basic. Passing the Keystone exams is a key part of meeting the state's graduation requirements. The Keystone exams also meet the federal accountability criteria of The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for the high school level.