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Is the Algebra 2 Regents exam hard?
The difficulty of the Algebra 2 Regents exam really depends on your goal for taking it.
If you are taking the Algebra 2 exam in order to satisfy the graduation requirements for a Regents diploma, you need to answer 33% of the questions on the exam correctly to pass.
If you are attempting to graduate with honors, you would need to correctly answer at or near 88% of the questions in order to achieve the requisite score.
Over the last five years, the Algebra 2 exam has actually become slightly more difficult to pass. From June of 2016 through 2019, a passing grade required a raw score of 25, or a 29%. In 2020 the passing raw score was raised by three points to 28 (33%).
The requirements to graduate with honors have remained unchanged. Since June 2016, a student needs to achieve an average score of 90 or higher on all Regents exams to graduate with honors.
The question below, “How are Algebra 2 Regents graded?” provides more insight into the grading process for the exam.
Are Algebra 2 Regents exams timed? How long are they?
The Algebra 2 Regents test is timed. The total amount of time allowed for the test is three hours. Many students do not take the entire three hours to complete the test. It is important to know that students who complete the test early may not leave the testing room until the three hours have elapsed.
You can find more information on how the Algebra 2 Regents test is administered in the test guide provided by the New York State Department of Education here.
How are Algebra 2 Regents graded?
Each Regents Algebra 2 exam is graded by a minimum of three mathematics teachers. Teachers may not score the papers of their own students.
The Algebra 2 exam consists of four sections: one multiple choice section and three constructed response sections.
- Part I, the multiple choice section, consists of 24 questions, with each question worth 2 credits for a total possible score of 48.
- Part II contains 8 questions worth 2 credits each, for a maximum possible score of 16.
- Part III consists of 4 questions worth 4 credits each, for a total possible score of 16.
- Part IV contains 1 question worth 6 total credits.
Altogether, the exam allows a maximum of 86 credits. Your score on the four sections makes up your raw score, which is then converted to a final grade using state-issued conversion charts. This final exam score is your scale score.
Your scale score is then converted into your performance level using the same state-issued conversion charts. In order to receive a Regents diploma, you must score a performance level of 3 or higher. To receive a Local Diploma you must receive a performance level score of 2 or higher.
The format of the Regents Algebra 2 exam is very similar to that of the Algebra 1 exam. Both consist of 4 parts with the same number of questions per part. The maximum credits for each part are also the same.
As of the January 2020 conversion chart, the following scores were needed to reach the various performance levels:
Minimum Raw Score | Minimum Scale Score | Performance Level |
67 | 85 | 5 |
48 | 78 | 4 |
28 | 65 | 3 |
21 | 55 | 2 |
How do Algebra 2 Regents exams work?
The New York State Department of Education requires that all high school students in the state take a series of Regents exams to demonstrate their level of mastery in a variety of subjects. The Regents math exams are designed to test students’ knowledge and understanding of the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for Mathematics. The Regents Algebra 2 exam is one of three Regents math exams. This exam consists of 37 questions that are based on the learning standards defined by the state department of education.
The Algebra 2 test was designed with input from licensed New York teachers. Over 75% of the exam covers the concepts of algebra and functions. The number systems and quantities make up a small portion of the exam (5% to 12%) and statistics and probabilities make up around 20% of the exam.
Your score on the Regents Algebra 2 test will be released on your high school transcript and in your NYC Schools account. Your school will also have the option to display all student’s Regent exams scores of just the highest exam score in each exam subject.
Regent exam scores are important for high school graduation requirements, but can also be used to evaluate teacher performance and school quality.
How many math Regents exams do you need to take to graduate high school?
As long as you score at a performance level 3 or higher (or 2 or higher in the case of a Local Diploma), you only need to take the Regents Algebra 2 exam once. Technically, you only need to pass one Regents math exam with a score of 3 or higher, so if you passed the Algebra I or Geometry exam, you are not required to take the Algebra 2 exam.
An Advanced Regents diploma requires the student to pass all three Regents math exams (Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2) with a scale score of 65 or higher. You can learn more about the Algebra 1 Regents exam here and the Geometry Regents exam here.
To add an honors designation to any Regents diploma, the student must have scored an average scale score of 90 or higher on all of the exams required for that Regents diploma.
The state of NY requires students to pass a total of five Regents exams in various subjects in order to complete the requirements for high school graduation. You can find more information about the requirements for each type of diploma at the NYC Department of Education’s Graduation Requirements page.
What happens if you fail an Algebra 2 Regents?
If you fail the Regents Algebra 2 exam, you can retake the exam when it is administered again. Each Regents exam is offered three times per year, in January, June and August. You should use the intervening months to review the content before you retake the test.
If you have already taken and passed the Algebra 1 or Geometry Regents test, you can use that test to satisfy your graduation requirement rather than retaking the Algebra 2 Regents test.
If you do plan to use the Algebra 2 Regents test to satisfy the math requirement for graduation, you will need to score a 65 or higher when you retake the test. There is no limit to how often you can retake the test to achieve the desired score. Even if you receive a 65, you can retake the test to get an even higher score if you want to graduate with honors.
What is the purpose of the Algebra 2 Regents exam?
The purpose of the Algebra 2 Regents exam is to assess students’ knowledge and ability relative to the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) for Mathematics. Their standards for Algebra 2 knowledge are taken from the PARCC Model Content Framework for Algebra 2.
The Algebra 2 Regents test assesses students’ knowledge in the following four categories:
- Number & Quantity: the Real Number System; Quantities; and the Complex Number System
- Algebra: Seeing Structure in Expressions; Arithmetic with Polynomials and Rational Expressions; Creating Equations; and Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities
- Functions: Interpreting Functions; Building Functions; Linear, Quadratic and Exponential Models; and Trigonometric Functions
- Statistics & Probability: Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data; Making Inferences and Justifying Conclusions; and Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability.
In their curriculum overview, the New York State Department of Education provides a detailed summary of the skills each student should have mastery over in each of these four categories.
The skills covered in the Algebra 2 Regents test build on past work with linear, quadratic, and exponential functions to include polynomial, rational and radical functions. Through their ability to solve complex equations, students begin to understand math as a logical subject that can help them make sense of complex situations in the future.
When do you typically take Algebra 2 Regents?
The New York Department of Education has designed a three-year mathematics curriculum for New York high school students. Most students will take Algebra I. Typically this occurs in the 9th or 10th grade.
After successful completion of Algebra I, students will typically move on to Geometry, usually in the 10th or 11th grade.
Once they have passed the Regents test for Geometry, they will move on to Algebra II.
The typical timeline for this progression puts students in the 11th or 12th grade year when taking Algebra II. This timeline is only meant to serve as a general guide. Depending on the student, the courses can be taken earlier or later than this timeline suggests.
When is Regents Week? What are the typical start dates?
The Regents tests are administered in January, June and August of each year, coinciding with the end of approximately 150 instructional days (or 30 instructional days in the case of the August exam). The January exam period is four days, the June exam period is nine days, and the August exam period is two days.
The 2020 exam schedule is as follows:
- Tuesday, January 21st through Friday, January 24th (The Algebra 2 exam is currently scheduled for Thursday, January 23rd at 1:15 PM)
- Wednesday, June 17th through Friday, June 25th (The Algebra 2 exam is currently scheduled for Tuesday, June 23rd at 9:15 AM)
- Thursday, August 13th and Friday, August 14th (The Algebra 2 exam is currently scheduled for Thursday, August 13th at 12:30 PM)
The January Algebra 2 exam has fallen on the third day of testing for the last three years.
The June Algebra 2 exam has always fallen on the fourth day of testing, with the exception of the January 2020 exam, which was on the fifth day of testing (due to the addition of a new exam in the middle of the testing schedule).
In the August testing schedule, the Algebra 2 exam has been given on the last day of testing for the last two years.
For the most up to date information on the Regents testing schedules, visit NYSED’s Office of State Assessment website. There you can also find the test dates for the 2020-2021 school year.
Which states have Algebra 2 Regents exams?
Many states require proficiency exams for Algebra 2. However, the Regents test is unique to the state of New York and is administered by the New York State Department of Education.
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