According to the New York State (NYS), all public schools must administer the Regents Exams to allow students to graduate high school with a Regents Diploma. The Regents Exam consists of a set of individual tests in various subjects. They are standardized tests that assess the readiness of individuals to commence their college experience.
However, as it qualifies people for the next part of their academic life, many are anxious about taking it. As there are various subjects one can sit for, students often need clarification about how to pass their examinations successfully. Hence, this guide will run you through the multiple ways you can study to pass the Regents Exam.
What is the Regents Exam?
As previously mentioned, the Regents Exam does not consist of only one exam. Instead, it indicates a range of different subjects one can sit for. You can sit for the core subjects one takes in high school.
Like any other high school, an individual requires a specific amount of credit to graduate. However, in New York, you must fulfill the minimum requirement for the Regents Exam.
The minimum number of subject tests you should pass is five Regents exams. You often study for those during your last few years in high school, either through year-long or half-year classes. Regardless, graduation is only possible by completing these exams.
For many, the core subject tests are too simple. Hence, you can sit for advanced Regents tests and even an Honors one.
But who develops and administers the Regents tests? Well, that falls under the responsibility of the New York State Education Department (NYSED). However, designing the exam is a team effort. The board gathers proficient, high-achieving teachers qualified to develop the test for each subject.
After each teacher takes a subject, they draw an extensive knowledge map. This consists of all the fundamental skills and knowledge each student should possess at that stage of their academic career. Moreover, the exams are prepared three years in advance before the administration of the test.
So, what is the hardest Regents exam? Around 2012, the board considered allowing students to substitute the History and Geography exam for another mathematics or science test. It is the most failed Regents exam, which makes it the most difficult. That boils down to the extensive amount of memorization one needs to do.
When Should You Start Studying for Regents?
Do you want to learn how to study for the Regents exam? The first thing to note is that you should start learning at the beginning of the school year. Let us assume you started taking a geometry course that you will complete at the end of that semester. That means you should start preparing at the beginning of that term, as the exam will be right after you finish the course.
Hence, it would help if you started studying as soon as the class began. Being on top of the material ensures you do not cram last minute. The continuous revision also allows you to raise any potential questions as soon as you face them instead of panicking last minute.
But what are the best times and practices for preparing for your Regents exams? Below are some tips and tricks to get you started:
- Study daily since the very first day you take the course
- Aim to complete a Regents practice test each week. You can find a few of the best on the NYS Regents Education website. Please keep track of all your questions and address them with your instructor.
- Do not shy away from difficulties and ask for help when needed.
- Check the syllabus to ensure you are familiar with all the material before the exam.
What is the Passing Score for Regents Test?
The passing score is set to be 65, according to the NYSED. One must comprehend how the committee creates the exams to understand how this score is determined. A few teachers come together to form what is known as a “test map.” This mentions all the essential skills a student must attain and exhibit in the exam.
After, the questions written all address the “test map” skills. Before the committee spreads the exams nationwide, some exams go to various classrooms across New York and evaluated. Then, the committee will rank the questions according to difficulty. This prompts the committee to evaluate what questions translate into the minimum information threshold students should attain to pass with a 65.
Moreover, the committee uses the same process to evaluate what people need to pass with a score of 85. That is a distinction. In other words, the committee analyzes the questions to determine which ones are difficult and which are easier to solve. This allows the committee to create a scale from 0 to 100.
So, your score is a scaled one, not the raw grade. A scaled score is used because the state of New York now uses it to evaluate whether its students achieved the New York State Learning Standards. It provides a suitable method of comparing various students on the same scale, which considers the exam’s difficulty.
In a gist, the passing score for the Regents exam is 65.
Requirements for Regents Diploma
According to the NYC Department of Education, students can earn one of three diplomas. Those are the Regents diploma, the advanced Regents diploma, and a local one. There are minimum requirements to attain the Regents diploma, and those include the following:
Below are the subjects you should sit for to obtain the diploma.
- English Language Arts (ELA)
- Social Studies exam (U.S. History & Government, or Global History & Geography)
- Math exam (Algebra I, Algebra II, or Geometry)
- Science subject (Physics, Earth Science, Chemistry, or Living Environment)
- Additional Regents exam, which can be any of the tests that New York has approved
Aside from the specific subjects, you must take, there is a minimum number of credits you must fulfill throughout your high school journey. The total number of credits sums up to 44. Those are:
- English: 8 credits
- Social Studies: 8 credits (4 in Global History, 2 in U.S. History, 1 in Participation in Government, and 1 in Economics)
- Mathematics: 6 credits (2 in advanced math, such as Algebra II or Geometry)
- Science: 6 credits (2 in life sciences and 2 in physical sciences)
- World Languages: 2 credits
- Arts Education: 2 credits
- Physical Education: 1 credit for each year of high school
- Health Education: 1 credit
- Electives: 7 credits
Hence, the list above provides insight into how to pass the Regents exam. First, you should attain a score of 65 on each of the subject tests. Moreover, there are a few key subjects that you must sit for to earn your diploma.
What is the Best Way to Study for Regents? 3 Tips
The best way to study for Regents is to always be on top of the material. Ensure you follow the three simple learning, testing, and revising steps. We will further break this down into bits below.
Complete the Essential Steps
The very first thing to do is obtain the syllabus. You should keep track of all the lessons you should acquire throughout your study journey. Moreover, get the Regents study guide you need. You can find some of the best books by Barron’s Regents, with various extensive guides available.
The next step is to create your very own schedule. We encourage you to study each day after you return from classes. This allows you to retain all the information you have learned from the course. You can also craft some questions of your own when necessary.
Strict Yet Careful
Of course, you must be strict with yourself, as you must follow your study schedule. You will also often have a few exams to take around the same time, so a rigid plan allows you to study without much stress. This also allows you to avoid cramming later.
That said, make sure you wake up daily at the same time to build your routine. Also, some morning stretching, and workouts will help dissipate any stress. It is not all about cramming for your exam. Instead, it is about the balance one creates to keep their life neutral and planned out.
The Last Month Is a Marathon
The last month is when you take a practice Regents exam as often as possible. The New York State Library has a collection of all past Regents exams, which you can utilize as mock tests. Also, whenever you get a question wrong, pinpoint the topic and ensure you revise it extensively.
A few days before your exam is due, try not to stress yourself or study more. If you have prepared enough, this is the time to relax and ensure you are at peace.
Is Regents Exam Hard?
Since 2016, the state of New York has exhibited a spike in graduation percentages, with an additional 9.4% increase. This is because of several reasons, such as changed policies and the access to exemptions that students can exercise.
However, that does not address whether Regents exams are complicated, but it does so indirectly. Since various individuals opt for exemptions, which most people sitting for the Regents exam do, it reflects that high schoolers find the exams complicated.
Below is an analysis of the 2021-2022 Regents exam results that reflect how proficient students who sat for the exams are. Each includes the subject test, and the percentage reflects the number of skilled individuals:
- English Language Arts: 81%
- Algebra I: 66%
- Geometry: 53%
- Algebra II: 65%
- Living Environment: 74%
- Earth Science: 62%
- Chemistry: 60%
- Physics: 62%
- Global History & Geography II: 80%
According to this batch, geometry and the sciences are the most challenging test subjects. However, as mentioned before, Global History was considered the most difficult for all students. To avoid complications, ensure you find the Regents exam practice test online to equip yourself with all the information.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Study for the Regents Exam
Overall, the Regents exams are possible to pass. Instead, with adequate preparation, all students feel confident in their abilities. Remember that these tests will assess the specific knowledge you should acquire during the course. Hence, if you focus in class, plan your day, and continuously study, you will not have to fret about failing your exams!
Read this guide if you want to know what happens if you fail the Regents exam.
If you found this post helpful, you might want to check out our other high school study tips.