Regents Exams: What New York Families Need to Know


The Regents Examinations are a series of standardized tests given to high school students in New York. New York requires all high school students to pass standardized tests to meet graduation requirements. While Enlightium Academy does not require its students to take the Regents, it is a method of testing available to high school students in New York that allows students to meet the minimum requirements needed for graduation.

Below we answer common questions about the Regents exams. Still, your family should visit and and speak to your local school district superintendent for more in-depth information about the exams, resources, and options available to your student.

When does my student need to take the Regents?

The Regents are typically taken during grades 9–12, although students in 8th grade have the option to take them if they are enrolled in advanced courses.

What subjects do the exams cover?

As of June 2019, the following areas of study and their specific subjects are:

  • English
    • English Language Arts 
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra I
    • Geometry
    • Algebra II
  • Science
    • Living Environment
    • Physical Setting/Chemistry
    • Physical Setting/Earth Science
    • Physical Setting/Physics
  • Social Studies
    • Transition examination in Global History and Geography–grade 10
    • Global History and Geography II
    • United States History and Government

What types of questions are on the exams, and are there study materials available? 

Each test is subject-specific and consists of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. There are many online study resources for the Regents exams. Test samples are available from the New York Office of State Assessment and study materials are available for purchase online.

How many exams must a student take?

If a high school student takes the Regents, they are often required to take and pass a minimum of five exams in order to graduate. There is usually one test for each of the subject areas, including an additional exam from one of the subjects. Your school district superintendent will be able to provide more specific information about requirements, testing options, and exceptions.

When do students take the exams?

Testing takes place three times a year in January, June, and August. The schedule can be found here. Please note that not all subjects are offered during every testing period.

Are Regents offered to middle school students?

Yes, because students in grade 8 have the option to take high school courses. One way to earn credit for these advanced courses is by passing the corresponding Regents exams, which would be counted as a transfer credit for high school. If a student passes a Regents exam in the 8th grade, they do not have to retake it in high school.

What is the difference between a Regents Diploma and a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation?

The Regents Diploma is earned by passing the five minimum required exams, while the Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation is given to students who pass 7-8 Regents exams. Colleges and universities may take into consideration whether a student has a Regents Diploma or a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation and may give preference to students with Advanced Designation.

What happens if a student fails any of the Regents exams?

Even if a student fails a test or tests, they are allowed to retake the exams until they achieve a score of 65 or higher. 

For any other questions about online private homeschooling, please call (866) 488-4818, or visit Enlightium Academy is an accredited alternative online education option for educating your child from home. Enlightium Academy is a private Christian school that offers a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher-supported, and affordable education. Enlightium Academy meets all accreditation and state education requirements for all fifty states, while neither using the state curriculum or Common Core.


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