Test Info: NYS Regents Exams

New York State Regents Exams

The New York State Regents Exams are mandatory achievement exams for NYS public high school students. Each exam is developed and administered under the authority of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. For a high school diploma, students are required to pass five exams: Integrated Algebra (or Math A), Global History and Geography, U.S. History and Government, Comprehensive English, and one of the science Regents Exams (usually Biology/Living Environment or Earth Science), each with a score of 65 or higher. For an Advanced Regents Diploma, students are also required to pass an additional science, an additional math, and a foreign language Regents Exam.

Most of the Regents Exams contain two main sections: a multiple-choice section usually consisting of between 30 and 50 questions and a free-response section in either essay or short-answer (problem solving) format. Most of the exams are 3 hours long. The exceptions include the Comprehensive English Exam, which consists of two separate 3-hour exam periods, usually on two consecutive days, each section combining multiple-choice questions and an essay (except for the final section, which is essay only), the Earth Science Exam, which consists of a 3-hour written exam and an approximately 40-minute long laboratory section (usually scheduled up to two weeks prior to the written exam), and several of the foreign language exams, which consist of an oral section scheduled just prior to or in the days before the 3-hour written exam.

Students typically take Regents courses and Regents Exams in grades 8 to 12. Regents scores are based on the percentage of questions answered correctly and are not scaled based on nor affected by the performance of other students taking the same exam. Regents Exam scores are recorded on a student’s permanent transcript, and they are usually an important factor in the evaluation of applicants for the State University of New York (SUNY) colleges.

  • Find the latest updates on the NYS Regents Exams here.

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