Regents Recap — January 2016: Reused Exams

Published by MrHonner on

I’ve looked at many New York State Math Regents exams over the years, and in that time I’ve definitely seen a few recycled problems appear on tests.  But I’ve never seen anything like what happened this past Regents cycle.

Most current high school students in New York are required to take the Common Core Algebra exam, which replaced the Integrated Algebra exam in 2014.  However, some students are still eligible to take the old Integrated Algebra exam, and so to accommodate those students, a special administration of the Integrated Algebra exam was offered this past February.

What was perhaps most “special” about the exam given in February, 2016 is that it was the exact same Integrated Algebra exam that was given in August, 2009.  The exact same, as in every single question on the February 2016 exam was identical to the corresponding question on the August, 2009 exam.

duplicate regents exam

It’s hard to believe that this was allowed to happen.  Yes, it takes a lot of effort to make a state exam, and this one likely doesn’t affect that many students.  But simply copying-and-pasting an old exam seems to undermine the state’s assertion that these high-stakes exams are critically important to education and should be taken very seriously by schools, teachers, students, and parents.

As of writing this, the state still has not made public the February, 2016 exam, which is quite unusual.  Perhaps they think it unnecessary, since they already published it 7 years ago.

To see for yourself, you can find copies of the exams posted at  here’s the February, 2016 exam, and here’s the August, 2009 exam.

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Categories: Testing


Joshua · April 16, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Looks like they also got lucky that question 4 still seems to be a plausible scenario, 7 years later.

    MrHonner · April 16, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Ha! I’m pretty sure they don’t care if the scenarios are plausible or not, as evidenced by the pay phone problem on last year’s exam.

      Elizabeth · May 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Perhaps they were trying to build student empathy for their parents by evoking their historical imaginations.

      Not that the problems we see on California tests are much better, if it’s any comfort…

      – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

        MrHonner · May 12, 2016 at 6:36 am

        If I had to guess, I’d say New York is probably better than average in terms of test quality.

        Are the California state exams made public?

JJ Rodríguez · April 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm

They’re trying to teach the module 7 arithmetic through the years…

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