I would like to congratulate every one of you for achieving this important milestone and pushing through the first semester of this academic year. Hopefully, your classes have been going well. In this article I will address a preliminary academic requirement for graduation: standardized exams. And no, I am not talking about SATs or AP Exams (which are usually taken in March and May, respectively). I am writing about the NYS Regents exams.
Now, let us address the importance of these exams. Many students degrade the Regents as “irrelevant” tests that “do not matter;” however, they are making a great mistake in such assumptions. City and state colleges, for instance, take Regents scores into consideration not only when assessing an applicant for admission, but also for class placement! Do you want to take high school classes while in college simply because you did not try your best on the Regents? Or would you rather take the time which is provided to you—and use it wisely—to think each question through, and breathe free as you are placed in the college-level course that you ought to be in? The choice is yours.
I hope that this article will provide not only advice, but also essential information about the structure of the Regents exams and will aid you in preparing for them.
For those of you who have not taken Regents in the past, these exams last three hours and assess students' knowledge in the following subject areas: English, mathematics, social studies, and science (though there are also the Languages Other Than English (LOTE), or World Language Assessment exams, which are administered in the summer). Although Regents exams last three hours, you can leave the exam when you finish if at least 90 minutes have elapsed since the start of the test.
Reminders for exam day
First and foremost, you need to bring your Madison ID, number 2 pencils, pens, and an eraser. You should also consider bringing water and snacks (i.e., a chocolate bar or mints). If you are taking a math exam, you also need to bring a calculator (make sure to replace its batteries or charge it), a compass if you are taking the geometry exam. Finally, arrive early so that you have that safety cushion for any scanning delays and or enduring problems!
The exams themselves are composed of both multiple-choice and short-answer sections—Arrangements vary by subject. Do not forget to bubble in the answer sheet for your multiple-choice answers! Also, remember that there is no penalty for guessing, so if you are feeling lost, make an educated guess—eliminate two answers that are clearly wrong and choose one of the options left.
English Language Arts: Tuesday, January 24 at 9:15 A.M.
Algebra I: Wednesday, January 25 at 1:15 P.M.
Algebra II: Thursday, January 26 at 1:15 P.M.
Geometry: Wednesday, January 25 at 9:15 A.M.
Living Environment: Tuesday, January 24 at 9:15 A.M.
Physical Setting/Physics: Wednesday, January 25 at 1:15 A.M.
Physical Setting/Chemistry: Friday, January 27 at 9:15 A.M.
Physical Setting/Earth Science: Friday, January 27 at 9:15 A.M.
Good luck to everyone. The semester is almost over, so let’s finish it off strong! Remember, CUNYs and SUNYs will look at your Regents scores to determine class placement, so aim for a grade above 80%! As one of my teachers once said, “if you don’t finish off strong, you finish wrong.” Let’s take her advice and finish our semesters on a positive note (and with solid grades).