Regents-HSE Exam Pathway: Frequently Asked Questions
On April 10, 2018, the New York State Board of Regents approved regulatory changes to provide a fourth pathway to earn a New York State High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma.
Individuals who have passed Regents Examinations in English language arts, mathematics, science, and/or social studies can substitute those passing scores for corresponding subject tests on the GED® Exam: RLA (reading and writing), math, science, and social studies.
The following table details which passed Regents Examinations will be allowed in place of the corresponding GED subject tests.
|Regents Exam||HSE Subject Area Credit|
Any English language arts Examination
GED® Reasoning Through Language Arts
Any Mathematics Regents Examination
Any Science Regents Examination
Any Social Studies Regents Examination
GED® Social Studies
This document contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Regents - HSE Exam Pathway. Questions are organized into the following categories:
- The Four Pathways to a High School Equivalency Diploma
- Application Process
- Age and Eligibility Requirements
- Requesting High School Transcripts and Official Records
The Four Pathways to a High School Equivalency Diploma
Question: How can a person who did not graduate from high school earn a HSE diploma?
Answer: There are four pathways for New York State residents to obtain a HSE diploma, as detailed below:
- HSE Exam
The New York State High School Equivalency (HSE) Office contracts with GEDTS to provide the current HSE exam. No other HSE exams are authorized in New York state. Scores prior to 2022 are maintained by the HSE Office.
- 24 College Credits
Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited college program in the United States leading to a degree and have earned 24 credits in certain specified subjects. For more information about the College Credit Program visit College Credit and Out-of-State Testing.
- National External Diploma Program (NEDP)
The NEDP is a web-based adult learning program enabling participants (clients) who meet basic educational criteria to master eight main competency areas through a self-directed educational opportunity. NEDP is offered by a variety of agencies around the state. Participants receive guidance and support from agency Advisors/Assessors. For information about the NEDP, visit National External Diploma Program.
- Regents - HSE Exam Pathway
Passing Regents Examination scores and passing TASC™ subtest scores can be combined to qualify for a HSE diploma. For more information about this pathway, please see the remainder of this document, and visit Regents-High School Equivalency Exam Pathway.
Question: What is the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway?
Answer: Beginning April 25, 2018, eligible candidates could earn a New York State HSE diploma by substituting passing Regents scores for corresponding HSE exam subject tests. Passing scores must be earned in all corresponding subject areas (RLA math, science, and social studies) and at least one HSE exam subject test must be taken and passed, even if otherwise all required credits had been earned through Regent’s credit.
Question: Which Regents Examinations can be used in lieu of HSE exam subject tests?
Answer: Passing scores on Regent’s exams in any of the four core subject areas (English, mathematics, science, and social studies) may be used toward an HSE diploma. Any qualified ELA, mathematics, science, or social studies Regent’s exam score will be accepted in lieu of the GED® subject credit in the corresponding content area.
Question: If a candidate passed Regents Examinations in all four core subject areas (English, mathematics, science, and social studies) does the candidate qualify for an HSE diploma?
Answer: Candidates who have passed Regents Examinations in all four core subject areas must still pass at least one GED® subject test to earn an HSE diploma. Such candidates may take any GED® subject they choose.
Question: Can Advanced Placement (AP®), International Baccalaureate® exams (IB), and other standardized assessments that have been approved as alternatives to Regents Examinations be used in lieu of GED® subject to qualify for a HSE diploma?
Answer: Yes. For a list of examinations that may also be used in lieu of HSE subtests, visit Department-Approved Alternative Examinations Acceptable for Meeting Requirements for a Local or Regents Diploma.
Question: Can Regents Competency Tests (RCTs) be used for the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway?
Answer: No; Regents Competency Tests cannot be used for the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway.
Question: Can Regents exams in Math, Science, & Social Studies taken in languages other than English be used for the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway?
Answer: Yes, passing Regents exam scores are acceptable regardless of the language in which they were taken. (The ELA Regents exam is only available in English.)
Question: May a student identified as having a disability with an Individual Education Program (IEP) use a passing score of 55-64 (a safety net score) on a Regents examination in lieu of a GED® subject test?
Answer: Yes. All students who have an IEP have access to the 55 low pass safety net and may use Regent’s exam scores in that range in lieu of a GED® subject test.
Question: May a student with a Section 504 accommodation plan who has been designated on such plan as “safety net eligible” use a passing score of 55-64 on a Regents examination in lieu of a GED® subject test?
Answer: Yes. A student with a Section 504 plan may utilize a score in the range of 55-64 in lieu of a passing score on a GED® subject test as long as the Section 504 plan designates the student as “safety net eligible”.
Question: May a student who is granted an appeal from their district or high school on a Regents exam that is within the appealable range, (60-64 for a general education student or 52-54 for a student with a disability, 55-59 for an English language learner on the English examination) use scores in the appealable range in lieu of a GED® subject test?
Answer: Yes however, scores in the appealable range are not automatically accepted. Students must have sought and been granted such an appeal by their district or high school, when they were enrolled, to use such scores in lieu of a GED® subject test. Documentation from the submitting high school of record must demonstrate that an appeal was granted.
Question: May a student with a disability use the compensatory option score range of 45-54 on a Regents exam in lieu of a GED subject test?
Question: Are the High School Equivalency Pathways the same as the New York State Pathways to Graduation?
Answer: No. The Pathways to Graduation are available to students who are still in school and working to achieve a high school diploma. The High School Equivalency Pathways are for people who have exited high school and are working to obtain a High School Equivalency diploma.
Question: How do I apply for the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway, and is there a fee?
Answer: NYSED has an application called Application R which needs to be completed by the applicant, as well as the high school of record, to submit passing Regents exam scores in lieu of passing GED® subject scores enroute to earning an HSE diploma. There is no fee to apply for the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway.
Question: What should a candidate do if s/he does not know their NYSSIS ID, which is requested in Section B of the Application R?
Answer: The NYSSIS ID is a unique student identification number assigned by NYSED to every student in New York State. A candidate is not expected to know their NYSSIS ID. The school will fill in this information when completing their portion of the Application R for the candidate.
Question: Can a candidate who has never taken the GED® test submit an Application R?
Answer: Yes. An Application R can be submitted at any time, however, age and eligibility rules to take the GED® Test still apply and not all people will qualify based on these rules.
Question: Can a candidate submit an Application R after having taken the GED® Test?
Answer: Yes. An Application R can be submitted at any time.
Question: What happens once the candidate has filled out the candidate portion of Application R and given it to their last high school attended to fill out and submit?
Answer: The candidate must mail or drop off the application to the guidance staff at the last high school the candidate attended. The high school staff are responsible for completing the Application R and mailing it to the HSE Office at NYSED. It will take NYSED six to ten weeks to process. The HSE Status Verification page on the HSE website can be used to determine which HSE sub-tests are still required.
Age and Eligibility Requirements
Question: Can a candidate who is 16 years old qualify for the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway?
Answer: A candidate who is 16 years old may submit the Application R to apply passing Regent’s exam scores towards meeting HSE diploma requirements. However, a candidate will not qualify for an HSE diploma until passing at least one GED Subject test. In addition, the candidate must meet all eligibility requirements to schedule the GED® Test. To review New York State HSE eligibility requirements, visit Taking the High School Equivalency (HSE) Exam.
Question: What is the maximum compulsory school attendance age (MCSAA) in New York State? Does it vary from school district to school district?
Answer: To legally withdraw from school, a student must have reached the MCSAA. MCSAA can be either 16 or 17 years of age depending on the school district. Test takers must have reached the MCSAA and be officially exited from school prior to scheduling a GED Subject test. Therefore, the MCSAA applies to test takers seeking to earn sub-test credits through the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway.
Question: Do applicants for the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway have to meet the MCSSA before submitting an Application R?
Answer: Candidates may submit an Application R before reaching the MCSAA. By doing so, the process will inform the candidate which GED subject test(s) the candidate needs to take and pass to earn a HSE diploma. However, the candidate may not take a GED® Test or receive an HSE diploma before reaching the MCSAA.
Requesting High School Transcripts and Official Record
Question: How does a candidate request an official record of Regents Exam scores (official high school transcript) from their high school?
Answer: The candidate must fill out Application R and mail it or drop it off to the New York State high school last attended. The school will complete and submit to NYSED, along with a copy of the candidate’s official transcript including all Regents exam scores. To request a transcript from a school within the NYC Department of Education, instructions can be found on the New York City Department of Education website, under Student Records and Transcripts.
Question: What should a candidate do to submit the Application R and obtain an official high school transcript if the last NYS high school attended has since closed?
Answer: For all closed public high schools outside of New York City, candidates should contact the public school district office where the closed high school was located. For closed schools in NYC, district offices can be found on the New York City Department of Education website, under District Leadership. For private schools that have closed in NYS, candidates should call the NYSED Office of Religious and Independent Schools (SORIS) at: 518-473-8202.
Question: Can a candidate combine passing Regents Examination scores with college credits to qualify for an HSE diploma?
Answer: No, Regents Examination scores can only be used in place of passing HSE exam sub-tests. Candidates who wish to have their college credits evaluated to see if they qualify for an HSE diploma should visit College Credit and Out-of-State Testing for more information regarding the College Credit pathway.
Question: Can a candidate combine passing Regent’s exam scores with passing GED scores from 2002 to 2013 (English series) and 2004 to 2013 (Spanish series) and/or with passing TASC sub-test scores (2014-2021) and current GED scores to qualify for an HSE diploma?
Answer: Yes. However, GED test scores earned before 2002 cannot be used in place of TASC sub-tests. Passing scores from the GED 2002 Series (exams taken in 2002–2013, and in 2003–2013 for Spanish or French Language) and TASC sub-test scores (exams taken in 2014 to 2021) are considered “grandfathered” examinations by NYSED and can be used for HSE subject area credit. For more information on grandfathered GED® exams, visit HSE TASC™.