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State Assessment (PSSA) Information Guide


State Assessment Information Guide

Every classroom teacher and building administrator should visit the PDE website to receive current information regarding the PSSA.  The starting point is the Assessment Home Page on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

On the Assessment Home Page, you'll find up-to-date information for teachers and administrators.  Three of the most important subsections are:

Assessment Anchors

These are written to clarify and focus the Academic Standards and provide framework for constructing test items to assess achievement of the Standards.  These are not intended to be a district’s curriculum.

While at this site be certain to check the Grade Level Glossaries.  Notice the grade-level glossaries are cumulative, i.e., a term in the third grade glossary may not be in the fifth grade glossary, but the fifth graders are expected to be knowledgeable with that term.

Resource Materials

Here you will find the Mathematics Assessment Handbook, the Item Sampler with scoring explanations, and the formula sheets provided for various grade levels.

The Mathematics Assessment Handbook provides a great deal of information regarding the structure and administration of the PSSA.  All is important but give particular attention to page 8 “Categories of Content”; page 11 “test dates and time”; and page 13 “Test blue print.”

The Item and Scoring Sampler booklets provide examples of items, both multiple-choice and open-ended, focusing on the Assessment Anchors. This is also where you will find scoring information for the open-ended items, with examples of student responses representing different scoring levels.

Reviewing these sections and participating in peer discussion will provide a solid basis for your PSSA experience.

You may also download the Common Core State Standards as a PDF document.