If you have been a New York resident or more importantly a student who went to and graduated from a New York State school, you undoubtedly know of and have taken a New York State Regents Exam.

The Regents Exam was a concept first introduced to students in New York State Schools back in 1865 and was later officially authorized in 1876 and first official examinations were administered in 1878.

Since then the Regents Exams have acted as the ultimate tests that students in state schools have taken at various grade levels in order to graduate high school.

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Blake Borg

The Regents Exams tested a student's knowledge in many of the primary fields of education like Math, Science, History and English. Recent news however has revealed that New York State's own Department of Education is prepared for and planning to make some monumental changes that effectively would end the Regents Exams in New York State.

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The End of Regents Exams

According to multiple reports, New York State Department of Education officials met for their Board of Regents meeting on Monday, June 10, 2024.

The major plan presented at the meeting in simplest terms would mean that students would no longer need to pass or potentially not even have to take any of the Regents Exams in order to graduate high school.


In New York State, students have had the option of receiving different diplomas at graduation depending on the number of exams they passed.

Regents diplomas are granted to students who passed at least four (4) Regents Exams and the Advanced Regents diplomas are granted to students who've passed at least seven (7) Regents examinations.

Why the Change?

Major changes of this nature are obviously not things that are done spontaneously, but the question that always comes about with change like this is, why?

Well, the answer to that "why" begins back in 2019 when according to FOX 5, the Board of Regents appointed a commission made up of parents, students, educators, researchers and community leaders with the goal to determine "what a New York State should signify".


The push for changes to the Regents Exams or abandoning them entirely is something that has been going on for a while now.

According to the same report from FOX 5, in the Monday meeting, it was reported that the goal with the changes if approved, would be to...

...ensure that all New York State public school students receive the educational opportunities and supports they will need to succeed in school and beyond.


Future of New York State Exams

To be clear, the potential end to the necessity of Regents Exams would not mean that students in New York State would no longer not be tested but rather new tests would take their place.

In a follow-up by FOX 5, it appears that students could potentially be tested on various other subjects to demonstrate their knowledge in different areas of education. According to the report, those fields would be in subjects such as...

Education school test concept : Hands student holding pencil for testing exams writing answer sheet or exercise for taking fill in admission exam multiple carbon paper computer at university classroom
  • Critical thinking
  • Innovative problem-solving
  • Literacy across content areas
  • Cultural competences
  • Social-emotional competences
  • Effective communication
  • Status as a global citizen

Students would also have the ability to prove themselves by taking a variety of other classes as well. The overall idea presented is that this method would better encapsulate the idea of the "Portrait of a Graduate". Students who still desire to take the Regents Exams would still have that option.


Early Public Response

Not only do people ask questions when changes of this level are on the table but many people also freely give their opinions. These opinions also come from both supporters and critics alike.

Supporters of the potential changes according to the FOX 5 report argue that the Regents Exams don't indicate whether or not students are prepared for life after high school. Critics have argued that the exams are "less biased" way of determining a student's development instead of an assessment by a teacher.

Empty Classroom
Gilles Glod

Whether you're a supporter or critic of the new potential changes, they will NOT be going into effect anytime soon. According to the FOX 5 report, from July through October, the NYSED will be holding a series of public forums to further discuss and evaluate the potential changes before the presentation and vote in November. Even after voting, it could be years before the changes are put into effect.

Currently, New York is one of only 8 states that hold State Regents Exams. The remaining states are Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming.

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