Guidance » Act 158

Act 158

Act 158 of 2018 (Act 158) provides alternatives to Pennsylvania’s statewide requirement of attaining proficiency on the three end-of-course Keystone Exams (Algebra I, Literature, and Biology) in order for a student to achieve statewide graduation requirements. Effective with the graduating class of 2023, students have the option to demonstrate postsecondary preparedness through additional pathways that more fully illustrate college, career, and community readiness.



Keystone Proficient Pathway (click to view):

Students achieving a minimum scaled score of 1500 or better (or who qualify for non-numeric scores of Proficient) in each of the three Keystone Exams meet the Keystone Proficiency statewide requirements for high school graduation.




Keystone exam scale score ranges


Keystone Composite Pathway:

To qualify for the Keystone Composite Pathway, a student must have taken all three Keystone Exams and must have at least one Keystone Exam scaled (numeric) score of Proficient or Advanced, no Keystone Exam scaled (numeric) score of Below Basic, and the composite of the three scaled (numeric) scores must be 4452 or greater

On July 8, 2022, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 55 of 2022 (Act 55) into law. Act 55 of 2022 amends the Pennsylvania School Code to assist students in meeting statewide high school graduation requirements. Effective immediately, any student may graduate via the Keystone Composite Pathway provided the student:
  • Has one COVID- proficient indicator for a Keystone Exam during the spring of 2020 (pursuant to Act 136 of 2020);
  • Successfully passes the academic content associated with the course aligned to that COVID provident indicator; and
  • Achieves a Keystone Composite score of 2939 or greater for the other two Keystone Exams (calculated using the highest numerical scores attained by the student, neither of which may be Below Basic and at least one of which must be Proficient or Advanced)

CTE Concentrator, Alternative Assessment, and Evidence-Based Pathway: 


For the following three pathways, students must complete locally established grade-based requirements for academic content associated with each Keystone Exam in which the student does not have a numeric or non-numeric score of Proficient or Advanced. Additionally, students must meet other pathway-specific criteria. See the chart below for more specific examples of acceptable pieces of evidence.




Act 158 Pathway for Graduation 

Keystone Proficient Pathway

Proficient or Advanced

Algebra I

Proficient or Advanced


Proficient or Advanced


Keystone Composite Pathway

At least 1 Keystone score is Proficient or Advanced

No Score is Below Basic

3 test Composite Score is 4452 or higher  OR

 2 test Composite Score with one C-Proficient is 2939 or higher

CTE Concentrator, Alternative Assessment, and Evidence-Based Pathways

Meet local grade-based requirements for Keystone content in which the student is less than Proficient


Satisfy additional requirements from ONE of the following: 

Career & Technical Education- 1 piece of evidence

  • Industry-based competency certification
  • Likelihood of industry-based competency assessment success
  • Readiness for continued engagement in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Concentrator program of study

Alternative Assessment- 1 piece of evidence


  • Attainment of one alternative assessment score or better: 
  • Attainment of 3 or better on AP Exam (s) related to each Keystone content area in which less than Proficient
  • Successful completion of dual enrollment course(s) related to each Keystone content area in which less than Proficient
  • Successful completion of a pre-apprenticeship program such as CHIP, Career Study, Work Study, Gifted Mentorship
  • Acceptance into 4-year Institution of Higher Education (IHE) for college-level coursework

Evidence-Based- 3 pieces of evidence consistent with student goals

  • Attainment of 630 or better on any SAT Test 
  • Attainment of 3 or better on an AP Exam
  • Successful completion of any dual enrollment or postsecondary course
  • Industry-recognized credentialization
  • Acceptance into an other-than 4-year Instruction of Higher Education (IHE) for college-level coursework
  • Attainment of Proficient or Advanced on any Keystone Exam
  • Successful completion of a service-learning project
  • Letter guaranteeing full-time employment or military enlistment 
  • Completion of an internship, externship, or cooperative education program
  • Compliance with NCAA Division II academic requirements

Additional Pathway- Individualized Education Plan

  • A student with a disability who is unable to satisfy pathway requirements but who satisfactorily completes a special education program is granted a diploma under Title 22


More detailed information regarding the graduation pathways is available on the Department of Education Website. Additionally, a graduation pathway infographic is below. Contact your counselor with any questions.