More About Regents Exams

The term ‘regents’ simply means a group of mandatory High School Examinations recognized  by the New York State Education Department. 

These examinations are planned and administered by the Board of Regents under the New York State University.  These examinations are necessary for a high school student to get his or her diploma.



They also give an indication about the mental readiness and knowledge level of the student for joining college studies. This group of examinations covers many subjects, few of them are mandatory and others are optional, especially for getting the advanced diploma. Ever since the regents were introduced they have become hugely popular and thus have been adapted by other states in the US too.

The examination question patterns are usually prepared by a group of top New York teachers who meet together in a conference regularly. The questions are set after months of careful studies and research by these teachers. This essentially is the main reason for the regents to be considered as a quality control system of the New York State higher education department for its student community. Quality is administered not just in setting the questions but also in the strict administration of the examinations as well.

When the regents were first introduced students were tested only on five subjects. Today however things have changed and many new contemporary subjects have also been introduced. The core subjects of the regents’ examinations include comprehensive English, History, Science, social studies and mathematics.

Mathematics includes integrated algebra, trigonometry, geometry etc. Social studies cover US history, Government, Global history and geography. Science includes Chemistry, biology, physics, living environment and earth science. Another popular area of examination is the ‘foreign languages’ which covers French, Hebrew, Latin, Germany, Italian and Spanish.

The examinations usually have multiple choice questions, essay writing questions and even questions to test the listening skills of the students. A student requires a score of 65 and above to be awarded the high school diploma in the regents’ examinations.


Regents’ examinations are usually held in the months of January, June and August every year. The examinations are of three hours duration. However English, foreign languages and earth science subjects usually are given flexible timings. In case a student wishes to take an advanced regents diploma, then he or she must have to pass a second series of the science, mathematics and foreign languages examinations.



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