From the original five exams (algebra, Latin, American History, natural philosophy [science], natural geography), the State Education Department expanded the Regents Exams offerings to forty-two tests in 1879; tests were administered in November, February, and June.In 1901, Regents Exams were given in rhetoric, civics, economics, Caesar, Virgil, Xenophon, and physiology.The first Regents Examinations were administered in November 1866.
To graduate, students are required to have earned appropriate credits in a number of specific subjects by passing year-long or half-year courses, after which they must pass at least five Regents examinations in some of the subject areas.
For higher-achieving students, a Regents with Advanced designation and an Honors designation are also offered.
Students graduating in 2012 (who were 9th grade students in 2008) are the first cohort of students required to take all five Regents Exams with a passing score of 65 and obtain a Regents Diploma to graduate.
Previously, school districts had been permitted to offer a Local Diploma, with less stringent requirements than the Regents Diploma.
On May 16, 2011, in the face of an $8 million budget gap, the Board of Regents voted to reduce the number of tests administered.
The remaining foreign language exams (French, Italian, and Spanish) were eliminated, although districts may administer locally developed foreign language exams to let students attain a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation.
In New York State, Regents Examinations are statewide standardized examinations in core high school subjects.
Students are required to pass these exams in order to earn a Regents Diploma.
Students with moderate to severe disabilities who are deemed unable to pass the Regents exams can earn a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential The Regents Examinations are developed and administered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) under the authority of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.
Regents exams are prepared by a conference of selected New York teachers of each test's specific discipline who assemble a test map that highlights the skills and knowledge required from the specific discipline's learning standards.