Standardized Assessment Requirement for School Selection

About the Assessment Requirement

Students applying to criteria-based schools in the 2023-24 School Selection process are required to submit PSSA scores or scores from an approved alternative assessment.

  • For students applying to 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades, all schools will accept the best assessment scores from the previous two school years (SY2021-2022 and SY2022-2023).
  • For students applying to 5th grade, schools will only use the previous year’s assessment scores.
  • For students applying to 11th and 12th grades, standardized assessment scores are not required.

PSSA Percentiles

Use the charts linked below to convert PSSA ELA and Math scores to percentiles. When converting scores, please ensure that you are looking at the correct school year, grade, and subject for each score.

If a score spans more than one percentile on the chart, the highest percentile listed for that test score is the correct conversion. For example, in 2022-23, a Grade 7 Math score of 877 would correspond with the 53rd percentile.

PSSA percentile calculations are based on local scores.

Approved Alternative Assessments

Reading/ELA and Math scores from the following standardized assessments will be accepted for student applicants who do not have PSSA scores from 2021-22 or 2022-23. To qualify, assessments must have been taken for the grade level the student was enrolled in at the time the test was taken.

  • California Achievement Test (CAT)
  • Educational Records Bureau – Comprehensive Testing Program (ERB-CTP)
  • Education Records Bureau – Independent Schools Entrance Exam (ERB-ISEE)
  • IOWA Test of Basic Skills
  • Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA)
  • Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
  • State standardized assessment for a state other than Pennsylvania
  • TerraNova

Any version of the listed tests will be accepted, as long as the test’s norming guidelines are followed when it is scored, and as long as the score provides a national percentile ranking per subject assessed.

The required national or state percentile ranks for each criteria-based school can be found in the School Criteria tab on the School Selection home page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which PSSA score reports will be accepted?

A digital copy of either the PSSA Parent Letter (1 page) or PSSA Student Report (3 pages)* will be accepted.

All uploaded PSSA score reports must be clear, legible, and complete digital copies that show the student applicant’s name, test date, tested grade level, and English Language Arts and Mathematics scores for verification. Uploaded reports that do not contain all of this information will be deemed invalid for determining eligibility to criteria-based schools.

*Note: If you are submitting a PSSA Student Report, please ensure that you are uploading all three pages (Page 1 with student applicant name and test date, Page 2 with English Language Arts scores, and Page 3 with Mathematics scores).

When submitting PSSA scores, do applicants need to enter PSSA percentiles in the online application?

Applicants will not need to enter PSSA percentiles on the application when submitting scores and uploading score reports. Applicants will enter just the scale score and grade level tested for each year. The District will convert each PSSA scale score into the associated percentile after the application window has closed.

Are applicants required to submit two years of assessment results?

While applicants have the opportunity to submit two years of ELA/Reading and Math assessment scores in order to meet the assessment criteria, they are only required to submit one year. If only one year of results is available, or if an applicant prefers to submit just one year, this still satisfies the assessment requirement, and final eligibility will be determined based on ELA/Reading and Math percentiles for just that year.

If an applicant who is eligible to waive one criteria is choosing to waive the assessment requirement, do they still need to submit assessment results?

Yes, the applicant must still submit assessment results. A student cannot waive an assessment unless they have participated in the assessment and follow the protocol of including the results in the application. Thus, if a student is applying to criteria-based schools, they will need to submit PSSA or approved alternative assessment scores, even if they are planning to waive the assessment requirement.

I am submitting an Alternative Assessment, and there are a few different scores on my report that are related to Reading and Math. Which percentiles should I enter on the application?

Find your assessment in the list below to identify which exact Reading and Math scores from that test should be submitted.


  • Reading National Percentile/Stanine
  • Mathematics National Percentile/Stanine
  • Note: Some TerraNova scores are recorded with the national percentile and the grade equivalent (example: 89-7). The first number (89) is the national percentile.


  • For the complete CAT:
    • Reading Composite Percentile Rank
    • Mathematics Composite Percentile Rank
  • For the shorter CAT:
    • Reading Comprehension Percentile
    • Mathematics Concepts & Applications Percentile


  • Reading Comprehension National Norm Group %ile Rank
  • Mathematics 1&2 National Norm Group %ile Rank


  • Reading Comprehension Percentile Rank
  • Mathematics Achievement Percentile Rank


  • Mathematics NPR (only the “Mathematics” NPR, not the “Math Total” NPR)
  • Reading NPR (only the “Reading” NPR, not the “Reading Total” NPR)


  • Reading Percentile
  • Quantitative Percentile

I am submitting standardized test scores from another state; how do I know what my percentiles are?

The School Selection Assessment Team can help you determine how your state’s scoring system translates to the assessment percentile criteria. Contact us via the School Selection contact form. Select “Standardized Assessment” as the topic.