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 social studies can substitute those passing scores for a maximum of four of the five corresponding Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™) subtests: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.
The following table details which passed Regents Examinations will be allowed in place of the corresponding TASC™ subtests.
HSE Subject Area Credit
Any English language arts Examination
TASC™ Reading and Writing
Any Mathematics Regents Examination
Any Science Regents Examination
Any Social Studies Regents Examination
TASC™ 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 an 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: For New York State residents, there are now four distinct pathways to obtaining a HSE diploma, as detailed below:
- HSE Exam
In New York State, the HSE exam is called the Test Assessing Secondary Completion, also known as the TASC™ test. No other HSE exams are authorized in New York State. Prior to 2014, the GED® exam was used for this purpose. For more information on the TASC™ test, visit the HSE TASC™ website.
- 24 College Credits
Candidates must be enrolled in a college program leading to a degree and have earned 24 credits in certain specified subjects. For more information about the College Credit Program visit the College Credit and Out-of-State Testing website.
- National External Diploma Program (NEDP)
The NEDP is a flexible, self-directed web-based program, overseen by approved agencies, where participants demonstrate mastery of required skills via a series of performance tasks completed online at home and through in-office visits and competency progress reports. Participants receive guidance and support from certified NEDP academic advisors. For information about the NEDP, visit the National External Diploma Program website.
- 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 the Regents-High School Equivalency Exam Pathway website.
- HSE Exam
- Question: What is the TASC™ test?
Answer: The TASC™ test is the only approved HSE exam in New York State. It has five subtests: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. To qualify for an HSE diploma, testers must receive a score of 500 or higher on each subtest. The entire TASC™ test (all five subtests) takes about 9 hours to complete, and is usually taken by candidates over two days. It is only available by applying in advance to an official testing center. For more information about the TASC™, visit the HSE TASC™ website.
- Question: What is the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway?
Answer: Starting April 25, 2018, NYSED provides an additional pathway to earn a New York State HSE diploma by allowing eligible candidates to use passing scores on certain Regents Examinations in place of corresponding TASC™ subtests. Passing scores must be earned in all five subject areas (reading, writing, math, science, and social studies), and a minimum of one TASC™ subtest must be passed.
- Question: Which Regents Examinations can be used in lieu of TASC™ subtests?
Answer: Passing scores on any Regents Examination in one of the four core subjects (English, mathematics, science, and social studies), taken at any time in the past or future, may be used in place of passing scores on TASC™ subtests to help qualify for an HSE diploma. Any mathematics, science, or social studies Regents Examination score will be accepted in lieu of the TASC™ subtest in the corresponding content area. Any English Language Arts or English Regents Examination will be accepted in place of the TASC™ subtests for both reading and writing.
- 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 pass at least one TASC™ subtest to earn an HSE diploma. Such candidates may take any TASC™ subtest or subtests they choose. Taking more than one subtest may increase the candidate’s chances of earning a HSE diploma.
- 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 TASC™ subtests 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 TASC Test™ sub test?
Answer: Yes. All students who have an IEP have access to the 55 low pass safety net and may use Regents examination scores in that range in lieu of a TASC Test™ subtest.
- 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 TASC Test™ sub 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 TASC Test™ sub 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 examination 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 TASC Test™ subtest?
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, in order to use such scores in lieu of a TASC™ subtest. Students must submit documentation from their high school that such an appeal was granted.
- Question: May a student with a disability use the compensatory option score range of 45-54 on a Regents examination in lieu of a TASC™ subtest?
- 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 “R Application” which needs to be completed (by the applicant as well as the school district) to use passing Regents Examination scores in lieu of passing TASC™ subtest scores towards 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 R Application?
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 the Attachment R application for the candidate.
- Question: Can a candidate who has never taken the TASC™ test submit an R Application?
Answer: Yes. An Attachment R can be submitted at any time; however, age and eligibility rules to take the TASC™ test still apply and not all people will qualify based on these rules. NYSED will mail candidates their HSE transcript six to eight weeks after receiving a completed Attachment R from the candidate’s authorizing school district.
- Question: Can a candidate submit an R Application after having taken the TASC™ test?
Answer: Yes. An R Application can be submitted at any time.
- Question: What happens once the candidate has filled out the candidate portion of R Application and given it to their last high school attended to fill out and submit?
Answer: The candidate must mail or drop off the R Application to the guidance staff at the last high school the candidate attended. The high school staff are responsible for completing the Attachment R and mailing it to the HSE Office at NYSED. It will take NYSED six to eight weeks to process, after which an HSE transcript showing the subject areas where credit was received, will be mailed to the candidate. If candidates have not received their HSE transcripts from NYSED after eight weeks, they can email the NYSED HSE Office to inquire about their application at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Most emails are answered within 1-2 business days.
Age and Eligibility Requirements
- Question: Does a person have to be a resident of New York State to submit an R Application?
Answer: Yes. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements for age, identity and New York State residency as part of their applications for TASC™ testing. To review New York State HSE eligibility requirements, please visit the Application Process and Eligibility Requirements website.
- 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 R Application to apply passing Regents Examination scores towards meeting the HSE diploma requirements. However, this candidate will not qualify for an HSE diploma until passing at least one TASC™ subtest. In addition, the candidate must meet all eligibility requirements in order to take the TASC™ test. To review New York State HSE eligibility requirements, visit the Application Process and Eligibility Requirements website.
- 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 officially exit school, a student must have reached the MCSAA. It can be 16 or 17 years of age, depending on the school district of residence at the time of exiting from high school. Test takers must have reached the MCSAA and be officially exited from school prior to taking the TASC™ test. Therefore, the MCSAA applies to test takers using the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway.
- Question: Do applicants for the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway have to meet the MCSSA before submitting an R Application?
Answer: Candidates may submit an R Application before reaching the MCSAA; doing so will inform the candidate which TASC™ subtests the candidate needs to take and pass to earn a HSE diploma. However, the candidate may not take the TASC™ test or receive a HSE diploma before reaching the MCSAA.
Requesting High School Transcripts and Official Records
- Question: How does a candidate request an official record of Regents Examination scores (official high school transcript) from his or her high school?
Answer: The candidate must fill out R Application and mail or drop off to the New York State high school last attended. The school will complete Attachment R and send it, along with a copy of the candidate’s official transcript including all Regents Examination scores, to NYSED.
- Question: What should a candidate do to submit the R Application and obtain an official high school transcript if the last NYS high school attended was a New York City public high school that has since closed?
Answer: To submit the R Application candidates who last attended a closed New York City high school should call the New York City Department of Education at: 718-935-2399 (Select option #4, then option #2, and then option #1 to speak to a representative).
- Question: What should candidates do to submit the R Application and obtain an official high school transcript if the last high school attended is outside of New York City, and 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 private schools that have closed in NYS, candidates should call the NYSED Office of Religious and Independent Schools (SORIS) at: 518-473-8202.
- Question: If a candidate has passing Regents Examination scores in ELA, science, social studies, and mathematics but did not have sufficient credits to earn a high school diploma, will the candidate need to take the TASC™ test to qualify for an HSE diploma?
Answer: Passing scores for one Regents Examination in each of the four core subject areas may be used in place of any four of the five TASC™ subtests. The candidate still needs to take and pass at least one TASC™ subtest to earn an HSE diploma. Candidates may choose any of the five subtests to take, and may choose to take more than one TASC™ subtest to increase the chances of passing at least one of the subject areas.
- 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 TASC™ subtests to help qualify for an HSE diploma. Candidates who wish to have their college credits evaluated to see if they qualify for an HSE diploma should visit the College Credit and Out-of-State Testing website for more information regarding the College Credit pathway.
- Question: Can a candidate combine passing GED® test scores with passing Regents Examination scores and passing TASC™ subtest scores to qualify for an HSE diploma?
Answer: GED® test scores earned before 2002 cannot be used in place of any TASC™ subtests. Passing scores from the GED® 2002 Series (exams taken in 2002–2013, and in 2004–2013 for Spanish or French Language) are considered “grandfathered” examinations by NYSED and can be used for HSE subject area credit. For more information on grandfathered GED® exams, visit the HSE TASC™ website.