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Posted April 9, 2013

Some HS Students to Take End-of-Course Exams this Spring

The state-mandated tests will be given to students in English 11, U.S. history, biology and chemistry as a graduation requirement.

High school students in public and charter schools across New Mexico, including Albuquerque Public Schools, will take state-mandated end-of-course exams in some core classes for the first time this semester.

The exams will be administered in late April or early May in English 11, U.S. history, biology and chemistry. These tests will not take the place of finals, which underclassmen will take during the last week of school.

Seniors will not have to take the state-mandated end-of-year exams; however, they will take finals before graduation in May.

Students in the Class of 2014 and beyond are expected to pass the writing portion of the end-of-course exam in English as well as the history test in order to earn a high school diploma. Those subjects are not tested on the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment that now serves as the state’s exit exam.

In addition, passing scores on the end-of-course exams in science and eventually math could help students who fail the SBA still earn a high school diploma.

Beginning this year, students are required to pass the reading, math and science portions of the SBA in order to earn a high school diploma. They take the test during their sophomore and junior years, and can retake it as seniors if they fail any or all sections.

Should they fail the SBA after several attempts, students may be able to rely on passing grades on the end-of-course exams as an alternative means to earning their high school diploma.

Other alternative ways of getting the diploma, should students fail the SBA after repeated attempts, include earning specified scores on the ACT, PLAN, PSAT,  SAT, Accuplacer or AP exams.

The end-of-course exams were created based on state standards by the New Mexico Public Education Department with input from teachers in each core subject. The tests include multiple choice and short-answer questions and may be given online or by paper and pencil.

For more information on the state exit exam, visit

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