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.