Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Ace Every Regents Exam

How to Ace Every Regents

Article by Jeremy Karson, Kweller Prep Intern

The New York State Regents Examinations can be a major obstacle for students to overcome. Passing these standardized tests is typically required for graduation, and they serve as important indications of a student’s progress and success. However, many students struggle on these exams unnecessarily. Here is a list of tips (both general and specified) about the best and most efficient ways to prepare for these examinations. If you follow them, you are sure to see a boost in your score.
For Further information please contact the team at Kweller Test Prep.

We offer private tutoring and regents crash courses in every subject the weekend before each test.

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There are 16 Regents Exams offered. Links to past tests, solutions, and scoring keys for all exams can be found here: http://www.nysedregents.org/
·         Integrated Algebra
·         Geometry
·         Algebra 2/Trigonometry
Social Studies:
·         Global History and Geography
·         United States History and Government
·         Chemistry*
·         Earth Science*
·         Living Environment
·         Physics*
Languages Other than English:
·         French
·         German
·         Hebrew
·         Italian
·         Latin
·         Spanish
English Language Arts:
·         Comprehensive English
* - The star indicates that a reference table is given on the exam. All reference tables can be viewed here: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/reftable/home.html
Note: Most regents examinations are offered 3 times a year: in June, January, and August. June is the most common time for students to take regents exams.
Students can earn different types of diplomas based on the number of regents they take, and their scores on these exams. This information is listed below, and can also be found here: http://www.hesc.ny.gov/content.nsf/SFC/Regents_Requirements
Requirements for a New York State Regents Diploma:
Passing grades (65+) in:
·         Comprehensive English
·         Any Mathematics regents exam
·         Global History
·         U.S. History
·         Any Science regents exam
Requirements for a New York State Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation:
Passing grades (65+) in:
·         Comprehensive English
·         Integrated Algebra
·         Geometry
·         Algebra 2/Trigonometry
·         Global History
·         U.S. History
·         Living Environment
·         Chemistry or Physics or Earth Science
·         Any Foreign Language regents exam
“With Honors”:
Either the regular or the advanced regents diploma is given “with honors” if the average of the student’s scores on all required regents exams is 90 or higher.
General Tips
·         Pay attention in class! It’s easier to learn a subject in a year than the week before the test. However, if this doesn’t work…
·         Buy a review book! Barron’s works well. Our hero Frances Kweller says that it is best to start from the back of the book. *Kweller Prep offers Regents Crash Courses as well!!
·         ***Take at least four practice exams, and go over each one in detail. EVERY PAST REGENTS EXAM FROM THE PAST TEN YEARS IS EASILY FOUND ONLINE! For each test, know what you got right, what you got wrong, and why. If you can’t figure out why a certain answer is right, get help from a review book, tutor, or classmate. Don’t stop until you feel confident that you can correctly answer every question on all four exams. If you do this, I guarantee you will get a high score. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BULLET POINT!!!
·         For tests with short answers: SHOW A LOT OF WORK. Not showing work is a really stupid reason that a lot of people lose a lot of points. Don’t make this mistake!
·         For tests with essays: Focus primarily on general essay-writing techniques. Introduction, conclusion, topic sentences, sentence structure, grammar, spelling, legibility… these are the components that will make or break your essay score. On the global history, U.S. history, and English regents exams, the essay questions are either extremely open-ended or all the relevant information will be given to you. Therefore, writing ability becomes far more important than specific knowledge for the essays, which make up a large portion of your overall score.
·         To reiterate: LEARN TO WRITE WELL! This will help you at every stage of your life, so you might as well get good at it now.
·         For tests with reference tables: Be familiar with the reference tables! The vast majority of questions can be answered with information taken directly from the table. Read over the whole table the night before your exam, and understand what each section/table/chart signifies. That being said, don’t take time trying to memorize the information in the reference table, as it is provided on the test.
·         Main tip: Understand the significance of the periodic table. Ionization energies, bonding, redox… almost all of that good stuff they ask about on the Chemistry regents exam can be explained using this table. Understanding this one page can teach you most of what you need for this exam!
Earth Science:
·         Main tip: I never took this exam, so it is hard for me to give any real advice. But perhaps that is good advice in itself: even an Advanced Regents Diploma can be attained without taking every Regents exam.
·         Main tip: Understand the relationships amongst variables in an equation. Know the meaning of a direct relationship, inverse relationship, direct square relationship, and inverse square relationship. You should also what the graphs of these four relationships look like.
Living Environment:
·         Main tip: This is the one science regents exam in which you will not get a reference table. This makes practice tests and studying all the more important. One key thing to note is that a large portion of the test is on the environment, a topic that is often covered quickly and late in the school year. This is a good area to spend some extra studying time.
Global HistoryMain tip: In most schools, the material of this exam is covered in both ninth and tenth grade. While this allows you to get a deeper understanding of the material, it also ma

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