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Lower Merion School District



The District administers a variety of assessments to monitor and support student achievement. Assessments may be utilized specifically for academic placement; some are state-mandated; some are part of a District-wide assessment initiative, and others are required for college admission. The District uses a comprehensive student information system to track individual results throughout a student's school career and develop strategies to ensure student success.



Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)
The DIBELS literacy assessment will be given in grades K through five. Students will only be tested individually during the "testing windows" as indicated. Additional information will be provided to parents/guardians by the schools.

Reading Records
Reading Records are given in grades one and two, three times per year. Kindergarten students are tested in January and June only. Reading fluency and comprehension tests are administered on a one-on-one basis.


Degrees in Reading Power (DRP)
Comprehension tests of nonfiction text will be given in grades two through seven. Students in grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 will take the Advanced DRP comprehension tests that incorporate higher-order thinking skills. Test dates appear on the District calendar.

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)
The District administers PSSA Mathematics and PSSA Reading tests in grades three through eight, the PSSA Writing test in grades five and eight, and the PSSA Science test in grades four and eight. Students in grade twelve will have the opportunity to earn a proficient rating on their PSSA if they have not already done so. Specific information regarding the PSSA tests will be sent to parents prior to each of the tests.

Writing Assessment
This is a diagnostic assessment tool to help determine students' writing abilities and estimate the amount of support students are likely to need during writing instruction. Kindergarten students are assessed mid and end-of-year. Students in grades one through five are administered a District-wide writing prompt three times a year. Students in grades six through eleven are administered a District-wide prompt two times a year. Students in grade twelve are administered a District-wide prompt one time per year. Teachers use the domains of PA Writing Rubric to score the students' writing.


Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The test is administered to all LMSD eleventh graders in October as practice for the SAT. The District uses PSAT results to help prepare students for college admission testing in their junior and senior years. The test also serves as the qualifying exam for National Merit scholarship opportunities. The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills.

The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute writing test. ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. For more information, visit

The SAT is a product of the College Board that tests the subject matter learned by students in high school and how well they apply that knowledge—the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in college. The SAT is a globally-recognized college admission test taken by most LMSD students during their junior or senior year of high school. For more information, visit

Advanced Placement (AP)
AP examinations are administered each year in May and represent the culmination of a rigorous, college-level (AP) course. AP exams test students' ability to perform at a college level. Students that score well on the test may earn college placement and credit. AP courses utilize college-level curricula developed by the College Board for high schools.

Keystone Exams
Keystone Exams are end-of-year assessments that will be administered in three areas: Algebra 1, Biology and Literature. To view more information regarding the Keystone Exams on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website, click here.

Richard Marta
Supervisor K-12 Counseling, Testing and Holistic Supports 
Phone: 610-645-1903
301 E. Montgomery Ave., Ardmore, PA 19003

Important Documents