How to Pass the Algebra 1 Regents Exam
This ultimate guide to passing your Algebra 1 Regents exam will help you understand how the exam works, how the questions are structured, and how to study so that you can not only pass the Algebra 1 Regents, but score a 90 or above.
The Algebra 1 Regents Exam measures a student’s understanding of the Common Core Learning Standards for Algebra 1. The exam requires that students show an understanding of mathematical concepts, use prior knowledge and prerequisite skills, and solve real world problems using tools and formulas.
What topics are covered on the Algebra 1 Regents and which ones are the most important?
Not all algebra topics and learning standards are represented equally on the regents exam. The graphics below (via EngageNY.org) share a blueprint that details which topics are represented most on the Algebra 1 Regents exam.
You can use this blueprint to help you prepare for the exam more strategically.
Notice that understanding topics related to Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities (50-56% of the exam) are represented much more than topics related to Statistics and Probability (only 5-10% of the exam).
While you should never skip any of the exam topics while preparing, you can use this information to prioritize what topics you plan on studying the most.
Pro Tip: If you are short on studying time, try focusing most of your attention on understanding topics related to Algebra (expressions, equations, and inequalities) (50-56% of the exam) and Functions (32-38% of the exam). By mastering these two strands alone, you will likely be able to pass the exam easily.
How Long is the Algebra 1 Regents Exam?
The Algebra 1 Regents exam lasts for three hours, although finishing the exam in less than three hours is common. However, students should not expect to be allowed to leave the testing site before the three hour deadline has been met.
What is the format of the Algebra 1 Regents Exam?
The Algebra 1 regents contains four parts including both multiple-choice questions and constructed response questions.
Part I contains 24 multiple choice questions, while Parts II, III, and IV contain constructed response questions.
How many questions are on the Algebra 1 Regents Exam?
There are a total of 37 questions on the Algebra 1 Regents Exam. However, all of the questions are not weighted the same. See the chart below (via EngageNY.org) for more information on the breakdown.
How many questions do you need to get correct to pass the Algebra 1 Regents?
As of January 2018, students are required to earn 30 total credits to get a passing score of 65. For example, by answering 15 multiple choice questions correct (2 credits each), you would earn a passing score.
What can I bring with me to the Algebra 1 Regents?
Students are permitted to use a graphing calculator on all sections of the Algebra 1 Regents exam. Students will also be given access to a straightedge (ruler) for the entire duration of the exam.
Your school/testing site is responsible for supplying these materials to you.
Pro Tip: Understanding how to use these tools is crucial to passing the algebra 1 regents exam.
What about the Algebra 1 Regents Reference Sheet?
All students will be supplied with a reference sheet. You can download the Algebra 1 Regents Reference Sheet for free by clicking here.
5 Tips for Passing the Algebra 1 Regents Exam
1.) Review Past Algebra 1 Regents Exams
Every Algebra 1 Regents exam (with corresponding answer key and model answers) from the past several years are available for free online. You can practice taking these exams at home to assess your readiness and determine areas of weakness that you can focus on while studying.
Practicing these old exams is great way to familiarize yourself with the format of the exam, what kind of questions will be asked, and what your responses need to look like.
Here are links to the most recent Algebra 1 Regents Exams (past algebra 1 regents answers are included):
2.) Know Your Reference Sheet
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the reference sheet before the exam and know what information and formulas are included on it (as well as which ones are not).
This information is valuable because you do not have to memorize the formulas on the reference sheet since they will already be given to you.
Pro Tip: If there is anything that you have memorized for the exam, write it down on your reference sheet as soon as the test begins. By transferring the information to paper, you are freeing up valuable mental energy that you can put towards the exam questions.
3.) Break Up Your Studying
Cramming for an exam like the Algebra 1 Regents is not a good idea. For more information, check out this BBC article Why Cramming for Tests Often Fails.
Instead, you should space out your studying over several weeks leading up to exam day. In addition to working on past exam questions, you should review your Algebra 1 notes, practice problems, quizzes and tests as well.
One of the benefits of spacing out your studying is that it will give you opportunities to ask your Algebra 1 teacher for help before or after school. If you wait until the last minute to study, you will not have this option.
4.) Take Advantage of Free Resources
There is no shortage of helpful, free resources to help you prepare for the Algebra Regents.
By taking advantage of these free online resources, you will can give yourself plenty of practice and exposure to the topics that will be covered on the regents exam.
Pro Tip: When you come across a practice question that you are struggling to solve, write down whatever questions you may have and flag the question until you can share it with your teacher or tutor the next time they are available.
5.) Understand The Big Topics
If you are looking to not only pass the Algebra 1 Regents, but score a 90 or above, then you need to be sure that you have a strong understanding of the more difficult topics on the exam.
If your goal is a high score on the regents, then you will need to focus a good amount of energy and study time on understanding expressions, equations, and inequalities as well as functions.
Here are a few free video lessons on these topics if you could use some extra practice:
Are you looking for help with passing the Algebra 2 Regents and Geometry Regents? Click the links below to access our other free guides:
Have any questions or ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
By Anthony Persico