PURPOSE: The Regents' Testing Program (RTP) was instituted in all System institutions to provide System-wide information on the status of student competence in the areas of reading and writing and a uniform means of identifying those students who fail to attain the minimum levels of competence in the areas of reading and writing. Passing the test became a requirement for graduation from undergraduate degree programs (associate and baccalaureate) in 1973. In 1987 the RTP policy was changed to exempt students earning career associate degrees.
DESCRIPTION: The test consists of two parts, reading and essay, and is administered each quarter at all System institutions. The reading part of the test is a 60-item, multiple choice test based on ten reading passages with five to eight questions about each passage. The questions are designed to assess vocabulary, comprehension, and analysis skills. The minimum passing score for the reading section is 61.
For the essay, students have one hour in which to choose and write on one of the two topics that are given. The completed essays are then distributed by the RTP office among six centers in the State, where three independent raters from System institutions score each essay on a four-point scale. The final score is the rating on which at least two of the three raters agree or the middle rating if there is no agreement. Thus, an essay is given a failing grade only if at least two of the three raters assign a failing grade.
REMEDIATION: Students who have earned 75 quarter hours of college-level credit and have not passed both parts of the test must take non-degree credit courses in remedial reading and/or writing until they have passed both parts of the test. If a student fails only one part of the test, he or she is required to repeat only that part. There is no limit on the number of times a student may take remediation or retake the test, although some institutions have policies allowing students to retake the test only when quantifiable progress has been made.
RESULTS: Because institutions vary in their policies concerning the Regents' Test, it is unwise to use the data on the next page to compare institutions.
|Historical Summary of % Passing Regents' Test|
Source: Director of Regents' Testing Program, Fall 1996 Regents' Testing Program Report of Results