Living Environment (Biology) Regents FAQ

Q. Do I need the Living Environment Regents to graduate? What is a passing grade?A. In order to graduate with a regents diploma from a New York State public school (and from some private schools), students must pass at least one science regents exam. This does not have to be the Living Environment Regents- the Chemistry, Physics, or Earth Science Regents will also fulfill this requirement. However, to get an Advanced Regents Diploma, students need to pass at least two science Regents Exams, and one of them must be the Living Environment Regents.A passing score for any Regents Exam is 65% (as of 2011).Q. What qualifications do your Living Environment Regents tutors have?A. All of our tutors are very experienced educators. As of the summer of 2011, our biology tutors have an average of 9 years experience teaching biology. Their degrees range from a BS in Biology to an MD.Q. How should I prepare for the Living Environment Regents? When should I take it?A. Students normally take the Living Environment Regents in the spring of the year that they take high school biology. Of course, the best preparation for this exam is being a good student. In other words, paying attention and asking questions in biology class, completing all homework assignments with thought and care, and studying for regular class exams are all very important. We also recommend that all students take at least one full-length practice test before taking the Living Environment Regents.Sometimes tutoring can be very helpful in preparing for the LE Regents. For example, if a student is stuck in a poorly taught biology class or if either the student or teacher misses an unusual number of school days, tutoring can help bridge the gap. Tutoring can also be very beneficial to students who must work through learning disabilities or who just have trouble relating to the subject matter.Q. What test taking tips and tricks can you offer?A. The Living Environment Regents is not a particularly “tricky” test. That is, the questions are generally quite straight-forward and do not require special techniques to be answered in a reasonable amount of time. (It is very different from the SAT in this respect.) However, there are still some techniques that can be helpful.As on all tests with multiple choice questions, it can be very useful to use the process of elimination. In other words, if you are not sure of an answer, eliminate the answer choices that you know are bad before doing anything else.Keep an eye out for information given in one question that might help you answer another question.The LE Regents has questions that involve reading and drawing graphs, so it is important for all students to make sure they have brushed up their skills in that area.Q. Are there any resources you recommend for students to use for independent study?A. Yes. The Regents Exams and Answers published by Barron’s is a very good resource for all of the Regents Exams. It contains past exams, answers, and answer explanations.Q. Is there a Biology Regents? If so, is it different from the Living Environment Regents?A. There is no Biology Regents. The Living Environment Regents is sometimes referred to as the Biology Regents, but that is not its formal name.Q. How does the Living Environment Regents differ from the SAT Subject Test in Biology?A. The SAT Subject Test in Biology and The LE Regents generally deal with the same topics. However, the SAT Subject Test in Biology is written at a higher level and is considerably more difficult than The LE Regents. A class designed to prepare students for The LE Regents will not necessarily prepare students for the SAT Subject Test in Biology.Q. What skills and information do I need to have mastered to do well on the Living Environment Regents?A. The test is based on what students are expected to learn in an introductory high school biology class. Topics include genetics, evolution, ecology, microbiology, and the effect of humans on the living environment.Q. What is the format of the Living Environment Regents?A. The Living Environment Regents consists of a mix of multiple choice and short answer (free response) questions. The test is 3 hours long- most students find that they have more than enough time. Questions ask students to remember information they have learned about biology, analyze data they are given, understand reading passages about biology, and represent information about biological phenomena.

Health Issues and a Clean Environment

The term clean environment is somewhat vague and can be interpreted in many ways. A clean environment is not only necessary for aesthetic pleasure, but is essential in sustaining human health as well. The most widely known health impacts of the environment can be attributed to factors like pollution, climate change, ozone depletion, land degradation and the obvious loss of biodiversity. It is such factors that bring about the correlation between health issues and a clean environment.Why look at environment and health?There is increasing awareness that our health and the environment in which we live are closely linked, and in 2006 the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 24% of the global burden of disease was due to modifiable environmental factors. This growing awareness is reflected in recent health and environmental initiatives from governments and other organizations.A lot has been said about the health issues brought about by poor indoor and outdoor quality, lack of sanitation, the use of hazardous chemicals and poor water quality as well. These are all factors that directly affect human health and are as a result of our poor efforts at maintaining and creating a clean environment.Many blame the sorry state of the environment on the growing population, the projected increase from 6.8 billion to 9.2 billion by the 2050 means that we should expect worse days to come. This link between resource utilization and population is easy to follow, but is largely due to our lifestyles.There is simply too much carbon dioxide production and this is all easily traced from sources, such as cars, detergents, pesticides, manufacturing and of course, the receding water levels.Health and the EnvironmentWhile there are efforts to improve the environment, it is still shocking that preventable ailments and premature deaths still occur globally due an unclean environment and here’s proof:
3 million children lose their lives every year due to diarrhea, which is brought about by unclean water and poor sanitation
Malaria still claims close to 3 million lives yearly
Acute poisoning from pesticides affects between 3.5 and 5 million people in developing countries
About 4 million children lose their lives to respiratory infections many of which are linked to poor indoor and outdoor air quality
While it’s clear that many of these health issues affect those in developing countries, environmental threats are everywhere and industrialization is now the major threat to a clean environment. Industrial pollution is now the leading cause of air pollution and toxic waste. In fact, statistics show that respiratory conditions, such as asthma, are becoming more prevalent in the developed world mainly due to environmental factors.Environmental conditions that affect human health are manageable and even preventable with better environmental care and practices. A clean environment is not just the responsibility of your government, but falls upon us all. There are many advantages to having a clean environment and some of these include:
Less communicable diseases
Enhanced quality of life
Better food quality
Clean energy for future generations and more
Health and the environment affect us all, but it is the poor who are most affected and especially the children and women. While the health effects that have been brought about by global changes are quite easy to identify, many of us ignore them unless we are directly infected or affected.Human health has always undergone threats from natural phenomena like draught, fire, flooding and others. This is however, being worsened by poor environmental management. Remember that good health and a clean environment coexist.By Clifford Woods