A Brief Overview of High School Exit Exams

A high school exit exam is an assessment that learners must pass to complete a course, be promoted to the next grade level, or receive a diploma. Many states utilize high school exit exams as a way to maintain graduation standards in public high schools. In these states, exit exams are mandated for all public school learners, and you must pass them to earn your high school diploma. It may sound scary, but they are not all that bad. This article will detail what exit exams are and what they are like.

These exams usually include a math section and an English language arts section that integrates reading and writing skills. Some include science and social studies sections. Often states have a series of standardized exams administered throughout high school rather than just one. These are often called “end-of-course exams” because learners are required to take them upon completion of specific high school courses in various core subjects. Some states require learners to pass a set of end-of-course exams in addition to a comprehensive exit exam.

Exit exams are popular because they prove that a state’s high school learners meet educational standards. They are also sources of information about education quality at different high schools. Exit exam results can influence educational policy decisions at the state and national levels.

Of course, some dispute the merits of exit exams, arguing that they impose unnecessary stress on learners and are essentially meaningless assessments. These naysayers might make some good points about the dangers of placing too much value on exit exams, but most learners still have to come to terms with the realities of testing requirements.

With the recent implementation of the new Common Core Standards, many changes are happening with these tests. Some states are moving towards making exit exams more challenging to align with curriculum benchmarks.

To find out how your state’s high school exit exams operate, visit the website for your state’s department of education, which handles educational testing.

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