Passing the Algebra 2 Regents exam is an important goal for many New York students. Students who pass the Algebra 2 Regents exam have a clear understanding of the exam’s format, topics, and expectations.
In this helpful post, we’ll cover the format of the exam, the timing of the test, the most important dates, as well as provide a list of the best resources to use as you prepare to pass the exam.
What We Review
Algebra 2 Regents Exam Essentials
What’s the format of Algebra 2 Regents?
The Algebra 2 Regents exam includes 24 multiple choice questions and 13 constructed response questions. The multiple choice questions have 4 answer options and students must select the one correct answer. The constructed response questions are “open ended” meaning students are given a blank page to write out and explain their thinking.
Each question on the Algebra 2 Regents exam is worth a specific number of credits on the test.
Every multiple choice question is worth 2 credits. The constructed response questions are worth either 2, 4, or 6 credits depending on which part of the exam the question is in. There are four different parts on the Algebra 2 Regents exam. See a preview of each part of the exam in the section below called “What do Algebra 2 Regents questions look like?“.
When you take the Algebra 2 Regents exam, you’ll use pencil, pen, and paper – the exam is not available to be taken on a computer.
What topics are covered on the Algebra 2 Regents test?
The Algebra 2 Regents exam covers dozens of different topics that can be grouped into four broad conceptual categories. Here are those four conceptual categories listed by their percent of the test:
- Algebra (35%-44% of the exam)
- Functions (30%-40% of the exam)
- (14%-21% of the exam)
- (5%-12% of the exam)
Let’s dive deeper into each one of these four conceptual categories. Below are some guiding questions about concepts you should understand and skills you should master in the Algebra category. The comprehensive guiding questions are based on New York State math standards from the Algebra 2 Regents test guide.
Pro Tip: for a detailed study guide using the topics below, checkout Albert’s official Algebra 2 Regents Study Plan.
Category #1: Algebra
The Algebra category accounts for 35%-44% of the Algebra 2 Regents exam. Algebra is the most important conceptual category for you to master in order to pass the Algebra 2 Regents exam.
Concepts You Should Understand:
- Can you describe a finite geometric series?
- Do you understand the Remainder Theorem?
- Can you identify zeros of polynomials when suitable factorizations are available?
- Can you prove polynomial identities?
- Can you explain each step in solving a simple equation?
- Can you construct a viable argument to justify a solution method?
- Can you define the terms focus and directrix in the context of a parabola?
Skills You Should Master:
- Can you use the structure of an expression to identify ways to rewrite it?
- Can you factor a quadratic expression to reveal the zeros of a function?
- Can you complete the square in a quadratic expression to reveal the maximum or minimum value of the function it defines?
- Can you derive the formula for the sum of a finite geometric series and use the formula to solve problems?
- Can you apply the Remainder Theorem to solve problems?
- Can you use the zeros of polynomials to construct a rough graph of the function defined by the polynomial?
- Can you use polynomial identities to describe numerical relationships?
- Can you rewrite simple rational expressions in different forms using inspection, long division, or a computer algebra system?
- Can you create equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems?
- Can you solve simple rational and radical equations in one variable?
- Can you give examples showing how extraneous solutions may arise from simple rational and radical equations?
- Can you solve quadratic equations in one variable (using completing the square or inspection)?
- Can you solve systems of linear equations exactly and approximately?
- Can you solve a simple system consisting of a linear equation and a quadratic equation in two variables algebraically and graphically?
- Can you explain how to find the solution(s) to two graphs that intersect?
- Can you derive the equation of a parabola given a focus and directrix?
Category #2: Functions
The Functions category accounts for 30%-40% of the Algebra 2 Regents exam. Functions is the second most important conceptual category for you to master in order to pass the Algebra 2 Regents exam.
There are many similarities between the Functions category and the Algebra category, so students often review the Algebra and Functions categories together.
Concepts You Should Understand:
- Do you recognize that sequences are functions whose domain is a subset of integers?
- Can you interpret key features of graphs and tables in terms of the relationship between two quantities?
- Can you interpret the average rate of change of a function over a specified interval?
- Can you identify the percent rate of change in functions and classify them as representing either exponential growth or decay?
- Can you compare properties of two functions represented in different ways (such as algebraically, graphically, numerically in tables, or by verbal descriptions)?
- Are you able to identify the effect on a transformed graph for specific k values?
- Can you identify whether a function is odd or even from its graph?
- Given a real-life context, can you interpret the parameters in a linear or exponential function?
- Do you understand radian measurements of angle?
- Can you explain the unit circle?
- Can you prove the Pythagorean identity sin^2 { (\theta)} + cos^2 {(\theta)} = 1 and use it to solve problems?
Skills You Should Master:
- Can you sketch graphs of a function based on verbal description of a relationship between two quantities?
- Given a graph of a function, can you find the intercepts, intervals where the function is increasing, decreasing, positive, or negative, the relative maximums and minimums, symmetries, and end behavior?
- Can you calculate the average rate of change of a function presented symbolically or as a table over a specified interval?
- Can you estimate a function’s rate of change from a graph?
- Can you graph polynomial functions, identifying zeros and showing end behavior?
- Can you graph exponential and logarithmic functions, showing intercepts and end behavior?
- Can you graph trigonometric functions, showing period, midline, and amplitude?
- Can you use the properties of exponents to interpret expressions for exponential functions?
- Given a relationship between two quantities, can you determine an explicit expression, a recursive process, or steps for calculation from a context?
- Can you combine standard function types using arithmetic operations?
- Can you write arithmetic and geometric sequences both recursively and with an explicit formula?
- Can you translate between arithmetic and geometric forms of sequences?
- Can you find the k value of a function given the original and transformed graphs?
- Can you solve an equation of them form f(x) = c for a simple function f that has an inverse and write an expression for the inverse?
- Can you construct linear and exponential (including sequences) functions given a graph, a description of the relationship, or two input-output pairs?
- Can you solve exponential equations using logarithms?
- Can you evaluate logarithms?
- Can you select trigonometric functions to model periodic phenomena with specific amplitude, frequency, and midline?
Category #3: Statistics & Probability
The Statistics & Probability category accounts for 14%-21% of the Algebra 2 Regents exam. This category is the third most important conceptual category for you to master in order to pass the Algebra 2 Regents exam.
Concepts You Should Understand:
- Can you describe what standard deviation means?
- Can you recognize that some data sets are not appropriate for fitting to a normal curve?
- Do you understand statistics as a process for making inferences based on a random sample?
- Can you decide if a specific model is consistent with results from a given data-generation process?
- Can you recognize the purposes of and differences among sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies?
- Can you compare two treatments using data from a randomized experiment?
- Can you evaluate reports based on data?
- Can you describe events as subsets of a sample space?
- Can you describe what is required for two events to be statistically independent?
- Do you understand conditional probability?
- Can you explain conditional probability and independence in everyday language?
Skills You Should Master:
- Can you use the mean and standard deviation of a data set to fit it to a normal distribution and estimate population percentages?
- Can you use calculators, spreadsheets, and tables to estimate areas under the normal curve?
- Can you use functions (especially linear, quadratic, and exponential) fitted to data to solve problems in a real-world context?
- Can you use data from a sample survey to estimate population mean or proportion?
- Can you develop a margin of error through the use of simulations?
- Can you use two-way frequency tables to answer statistical questions?
- Can you find the conditional probability of A given B?
- Can you apply the Addition Rule of statistics and interpret the answer in terms of the model?
Category #4: Number & Quantity
The Number & Quantity category accounts for 5%-12% of the Algebra 2 Regents exam. This category is the fourth most important conceptual category for you to master in order to pass the Algebra 2 Regents exam.
Students taking the Algebra 2 Regents exam are generally not asked many questions in this category, but mastering the topics in Number & Quantity will help you maximize every point possible on your final exam score.
Concepts You Should Understand:
- Can you explain how rational exponents work?
- Can you define appropriate quantities for descriptive modeling?
- Do you recognize the complex number i and can you write complex numbers if the correct form?
Skills You Should Master:
- Can you rewrite expressions involving radicals and rational exponents using the properties of exponents?
- Can you add, subtract, and multiple complex numbers?
- Can you solve quadratic equations with real coefficients that have complex solutions?
The table below shows a full summary of all topics:
Source: Algebra 2 Regents Test Guide
So, what’s the bottom line?
There are a wide range of topics covered on the Algebra 2 Regents exam and the majority of these topics can be found in two conceptual categories (Algebra and Functions).
How many questions does Algebra 2 Regents have?
Just like the Algebra 1 Regents exam, the Algebra 2 Regents exam has 37 total questions split into 4 different parts. The first part of the exam is all multiple choice while the final 3 parts are all constructed responses. The exam has 24 multiple choice questions and 13 student-constructed response questions. Each question is worth a specific number of points (called “credits”).
See below for an overview of each part on the Algebra 2 Regents exam:
Exam Section | Question Type | Partial Credit Possible? | Number of Questions | Credits per Question | Total Credits |
Part I | Multiple Choice | No | 24 | 2 | 48 |
Part II | Constructed Response (short) | Yes | 8 | 2 | 16 |
Part III | Constructed Response (medium) | Yes | 4 | 4 | 16 |
Part IV | Constructed Response (long) | Yes | 1 | 6 | 6 |
TOTAL | – | – | 37 | – | 86 |
Hungry for even more info about the test? Checkout our FAQ page about the Algebra 2 Regents exam.
What do Algebra 2 Regents questions look like?
Part I: Multiple Choice
Part I of the Algebra 2 Regents exam is where all of the multiple choice questions are asked. Multiple choice questions include 4 different answer options and should take you about 2-3 minutes each to complete. All multiple choice questions on the Algebra 2 Regents exam have exactly 1 correct answer.
You will earn full credit for a correct answer (2 credits) or no credit for incorrect answers (0 credits). There is no partial credit earned on multiple choice questions.
In total, there are 24 multiple choice questions in Part I, each worth 2 credits.
Here’s an official example of a Part I question:
Source: Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #1
Part II: Constructed Response
There are 8 short constructed-response answers on Part 2 of the Algebra 2 Regents exam. This means you are provided a question prompt and an empty answer area in which to write, draw, and explain each answer. You can earn partial credit for these questions.
For all questions in this Part II, a correct numerical answer with no work shown will receive only 1 credit. Each constructed responses question in Part II is relatively short (Part II typically does not include multi-part prompts) and worth 2 credits each.
Here’s an official example of a Part II question:
Source: Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #25
Part III: Constructed Response
Part III begins the multi-part constructed response questions for the Algebra 2 Regents exam. These 4 questions typically include multi-part prompts where you complete at least two different tasks within the same question. You can receive partial credit for answering one task correctly and the other incorrectly.
For all questions in Part III, a correct numerical answer with no work shown will receive only 1 credit. Each question in Part III is worth a maximum of 4 credits.
Here’s an official example of a Part III question:
Source: Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #33
Part IV: Constructed Response
The final part of the Algebra 2 Regents exam, Part IV, generally includes the most difficult question on the entire exam. The one question in Part IV includes at least 3 different tasks at a relatively high level of difficulty. But, fear not! We have tips and tricksto help you get full credit on every question.
On Part IV, a correct numerical answer with no work shown will receive only 1 credit. The Part IV question is worth 6 points, the most points of any question on the exam.
Here’s an official example of a Part IV question:
Source: Regents Algebra 2 Exam, August 2019, Question #37
Quick tip: For Parts II, III, and IV of the Algebra 2 Regents exam, a zero-credit response is completely incorrect, irrelevant, or incoherent or is a correct response that was obtained by an obviously incorrect procedure. This means you should always show as much correct work as possible on your constructed response questions!
How long is the Algebra 2 Regents exam?
You are given a total of three hours to complete all parts of the Algebra 2 Regents exam. There are no official time periods required for each part of the exam, so you can use the three hours however you’d like.
Assuming you want to use the entire three hours of test time, here are some suggestions on how long to spend on each question of the exam:
Exam Section | Question Type | Number of Questions | Minutes Per Question | Total Minutes |
Part I | Multiple Choice | 24 | 3 | 72 |
Part II | Constructed Response (short) | 8 | 5 | 40 |
Part III | Constructed Response (medium) | 4 | 12 | 48 |
Part IV | Constructed Response (long) | 1 | 20 | 20 |
TOTAL | — | 37 | 180 |
Note that the timings in the table above should only be considered suggestions. You can adjust these suggestions to whatever will work best for your needs.
Pro tip: Albert offers exclusive full-length Algebra 2 Regents practice exams to build your confidence before test day!
What can you bring to the Algebra 2 Regents test?
Wondering what to pack for the Algebra 2 Regents exam? We’ve compiled a list of what to bring — and what to leave behind — to set you up to ace the test. Pack your bag the night before the exam so you can wake up feeling confident to take on the day.
The Essential Algebra 2 Regents Packing List:
- Sharpened #2 pencils: You’ll need pencils to bubble in your answers for the multiple choice questions in Part I of the exam and for drawings and diagrams in Parts II, III, and IV of the exam. Mechanical or standard are fine!
- Black or blue pens: Show your work for the Constructed Response Questions (other than drawings and graphs) in blue or black pen.
- Eraser: Pack a high quality eraser to avoid smudge marks losing you points!
- Graphing calculator: Check out our graphing calculator tips and tricks to best use your graphing calculator for the exam. Read the official graphing calculator guidelines from the New York State Education Department for information of which calculators to use.
- Extra batteries: Most graphing calculators use 4 standard AAA batteries. Bring an extra set just in case!
- Ruler: This will come in handy for showing your work and creating graphs in Parts II, III, and IV of the exam.
- Watch: Pace yourself to make sure you have enough time to tackle each part of the exam.
- Student identification: Some schools require students to confirm their identities with a student identification card or test invitation. Check with your testing facility to make sure you have the correct documents for test day.
- Snack: Never underestimate the power of brain food!
What NOT to bring to the Regents Algebra 2 Exam:
- Cell phones and other electronic devices: Read up on the cell phone policy in the Directions for Administering Regents Examinations.
- Algebra 2 Regents review packets: You’ll be given the official Common Core High School Math Reference Sheet for the exam, so leave other cheat sheets at home.
- Scrap paper: Your Algebra 2 Regents exam packet comes with scrap paper for working out problems, so no need to bring your own.
What reference sheets are given for Algebra 2 Regents?
Great news: you have access to the Algebra 2 Regents reference sheet for the entire exam. That means you don’t need to spend time memorizing the formula for the volume of a cone or the conversion rate between miles and kilometers.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to study! You need to know how to put these formulas into action on the Algebra 2 Regents exam.
What to Know Cold for the Algebra 2 Regents Exam
- Can you identify the radius and diameter of a circle or sphere?
- What’s the difference between the base and height of a triangle or parallelogram?
- How can you find the common ratio or common difference of a sequence?
- Which form should an equation be in to use the quadratic formula?
- What values make up a, b, and c in the Pythagorean Theorem?
If you can answer these questions with ease, you’re well positioned to use the Regents mathematics reference sheet and ace the exam!
If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, you’ve got some studying to do. Fortunately, we created an Algebra 2 Regents reference sheet study guide to show you when and how to use the formulas you’ll be given.
How many questions do you need to get right to pass the Algebra 2 Regents test?
There are multiple aspects to your Algebra 2 Regents score: your raw score, your scale score, and your performance level. It can get a little confusing, so check out our Algebra 2 Regents FAQ for more details on exam scoring.
Your Algebra 2 Regents Raw Score
Your raw score is the number of actual credits you earned on the exam. Remember, the Algebra 2 Regents exam is made up of four distinct parts where questions are worth a different number of credits:
- Part I: 24 MCQs, each worth 2 credits
- Part II: 8 CRQs, each worth 2 credits
- Part III: 4 CRQs, each worth 4 credits
- Part IV: 1 CRQ worth 6 credits
So, there are 86 total credits on the exam. If you earned 40 of those credits, your raw score would be 40.
Your Algebra 2 Regents Scale Score
But what Algebra 2 Regents raw score do you need to pass the exam?
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Whether or not you pass the Algebra 2 Regents actually comes from your scale score, which is based on a curve that changes each year.
You can check out released Algebra 2 Regents conversion charts for an idea of how raw scores translate into scale scores:
- January 2020 Algebra 2 Score Conversion Chart
- August 2019 Algebra 2 Score Conversion Chart
- June 2019 Algebra 2 Score Conversion Chart
To pass the Algebra 2 Regents exam, you need to obtain a scale score of 65 points. From the past few administrations of the Algebra 2 Regents, that means you would have to get a raw score of around 26-28 points.
Your Algebra 2 Regents Performance Level
Now let’s get to the performance levels. The New York State Education Department takes students’ scale scores to evaluate their overall performance level:
Performance Level | Scale Score | Description |
5 | 85-100 | Exceeds Common Core expectations |
4 | 78-84 | Meets Common Core expectations |
3 | 65-77 | Partially meets Common Core expectations; meets NYS graduation requirements |
2 | 55-64 | Does not meet Common Core expectations or NYS graduation requirements |
1 | 0-54 | Does not demonstrate knowledge and skills needed for Level 2 |
Passing the Algebra 2 Regents exam means that you’ve reached a Performance Level 3. If you obtain a performance level of 1 or 2, you did not pass the exam. If you get a 4 or 5, you’ve gone above and beyond!
You can read more about the performance level descriptors and how they were established on this page from EngageNY.
Algebra 2 Regents Diploma with Honors
Feeling really confident about your Algebra 2 Regents skills? Why not try to achieve the Regents Diploma with Honors!
To earn this prestigious award, you need to average at least 90% on your ELA, math, science, social studies, and pathway Regents exams. For the Algebra 2 Regents, students must earn at least 78 of the 86 possible credits to obtain a 90%.
To see how you might do, try out our free Algebra 2 Regents score calculator.
How do you find out your Algebra 2 Regents score? When do scores release?
Where to Find Your Algebra 2 Regents Score
Your Algebra 2 Regents exam score will be released to you by your school or the school at which you took the Regents exam.
Some schools choose to display exam scores via an online student portal. For example, New York City public schools allow students to see their Regents scores in their NYC Schools Accounts.
Algebra 2 Regents scores will also appear on a student’s high school transcript.
For specifics on where to find your Regents exam score, talk to your teachers, guidance counselor, or school administration.
When You’ll Get Your Algebra 2 Regents Score
The time it takes to receive your Algebra 2 Regents exam score depends on your school as well. To help you understand why it can take time to receive your Regents score, check out the NYSED Directions for Administering Regents Examinations.
After you turn in your test, at least three different teachers must score Parts II, III, and IV of the exam to make sure your CRQ scores are accurate. Plus, a random sample of machine-scored answer sheets must be verified by hand as well.
Once all exams have been scored, school administration starts sharing exam scores with students and their families.
The best way to get information about the timeline for your Algebra 2 Regents exam score is to ask your teacher or administrator. Only they know the specifics of how your school handles the tests.
Can you retake the Algebra 2 Regents exam?
Not satisfied with your Algebra 2 Regents score? Worried about what happens if you fail the Regents Algebra 2 exam?
Fear not — you can always retake the Algebra 2 Regents exam.
Some schools don’t offer the Regents examination at all three opportunities in January, June, and August. Additionally, your school might have rules against letting you retake an exam that you’ve already passed to try to boost your score.
In these cases, talk to a teacher, administrator, or guidance counselor for advice. You can register to retake the exam at another school or testing facility.
And the best news is that your highest Algebra 2 Regents exam score — not your most recent score — will be counted on your transcript. Check out our FREE 30-day Algebra 2 Regents study plan to maximize your next Regents score!
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Important Dates to Remember for Algebra 2 Regents Exam (+ downloadable)
When is the Algebra 2 Regents Exam? Complete Schedule
The New York Department of Education administers Regents exams three times a year, typically in January, June, and August. Knowing this is important because this means you actually have three opportunities to score as high as you can in a school year: once at the beginning of the year, at the midpoint, and at the end of a standard academic calendar.
The Algebra 2 Regents exam is typically an earlier exam in the Regents testing schedule. We reviewed the last five years of Regents testing going back to 2016 and found two testing patterns:
- The Algebra 2 Regents exam most commonly falls after the Algebra 1 Regents exam is given. Students recently took the Algebra 2 Regents exam at 1:15 PM on Thursday, January 22, 2020. Your next opportunity for the math test will be 9:15 AM on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
- The August test date for the Algebra 2 Regents exam is scheduled for 12:30 PM on Thursday, August 13th, 2020. Looking back the last five years, the Algebra 2 exam has consistently been set on the first testing day of the two-day August Regents testing schedule.
Looking ahead, New York has already set the 2021 Regents testing windows as January 26-January 29th, June 16-June 25, and August 12-13.
If trends follow, that means the Algebra 2 Regents exams will likely be scheduled for:
- 1:15 PM on January 28, 2021
- 9:15 AM on June 29, 2021
- 12:30 PM on August 12th, 2021
Check back on this page though as we’ll update when we know more.
Here’s a table of the Regents Algebra 2 exam schedule:
Exam Cycle | What Day is it? | What Time is the Test? |
2020 Cycle 1 | January 22nd, 2020 | 1:15 PM |
2020 Cycle 2 | June 23rd, 2020 | 9:15 AM |
2020 Cycle 3 | August 13th, 2020 | 12:30 PM |
2021 Cycle 1 | January 28th, 2021 | 1:15 PM |
2021 Cycle 2 | June 29th, 2021 | 9:15 AM |
2021 Cycle 3 | August 12th, 2021 | 12:30 PM |
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Algebra 2 Regents Review Notes and Practice
What are Popular Algebra 2 Regents Teacher Notes and Resources?
Want to build your own Algebra 2 Regents review packet? We’ve searched far and wide for the best Algebra 2 Regents review, notes, and practice. Check out our favorites:
MrKrauseMath.com: This teacher-created site links to released Algebra 2 Regents exams as well as detailed video overviews of the solutions. The site also includes general Algebra 2 practice to review specific skills and topics.
- Use this site for: Extensive solution videos to released Algebra 2 Regents problems. Mr. Krause has videos not only for released exams, but also for his “homemade” topic review questions.
- Don’t use this site if: You’re in a time crunch. Mr. Krause’s resources and videos are extremely detailed, which means they tend to be lengthy.
Rochester City School District: This page includes a detailed Algebra 2 course overview crafted by a New York teacher. Check out the Regents-aligned notes, homework pages, review worksheets, and videos for targeted Algebra 2 practice.
- Use this site for: Targeted practice of specific Algebra 2 topics and skills. This page breaks down the Algebra 2 course into 5 units, each with many lessons. If you already know your strengths and weaknesses, you’re in the right place.
- Don’t use this site if: You’re looking for a broader Algebra 2 Regents review. The practice resources on this page are very specific, so if you don’t already know which skills you need additional practice in, this isn’t your best bet.
PBS: PBS published a series of videos featuring New York State teachers going step-by-step through Algebra 2 Regents questions. The site also includes brief video recaps of Algebra 2 topics like Right Triangle Trigonometry, Probability & Statistics, and Modeling.
- Use this site for: Narrative, step-by-step video breakdowns of Algebra 2 Regents questions and topics. These videos are great for students who need some extra support finding entry points into questions.
- Don’t use this site if: You need hands-on practice. This site includes video explanations of topics, but lacks practice questions for students to try on their own.
Finally, if you found this resource helpful, you’ll also like our Algebra 2 Regents Study Tips or our 30-day Algebra 2 Regents study guide.
ULTIMATE NYS Algebra 2 Regents Review: This downloadable review packet from TeachersPayTeachers covers 20 of the most frequently assessed topics on the Algebra 2 Regents exam.
- Use this site for: Repeated review of high-frequency topics. If you want plenty of opportunities to try your hand at Algebra 2 Regents questions, this is a good purchase.
- Don’t use this site if: You need detailed explanations for your practice questions. This resource includes worksheets and handouts, but doesn’t walk students through solving problems.
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Need help preparing for your Algebra 2 Regents exam?
Albert has a number of Algebra 2 Regents practice tests for you to practice with!
Unique from other Regents prep sites, Albert not only provides access to some of the previously released Regents tests, but also includes original New York Algebra 2 Regents practice questions. Create your free account today.
Start your Regents test prep here
Finally, if you found this resource helpful, you’ll also like our Algebra 2 Regents Study Tips or our 30-day Algebra 2 Regents study guide.