Table 5.5. State high school exit exams, by exam characteristics and state: 201112
State Type of high school
exit exam
  Subjects tested Year diplomas first
withheld based on
current exam
Grade level of
Grade test first
Alabama Comprehensive 1 Reading, language, math, biology, social studies 2001 11 10
Alaska Comprehensive   Reading, writing, math 2004 810 10
Arizona Comprehensive   Reading, writing, math 2006 10 10
Arkansas End-of-Course   Algebra I, English II (2015) 2010 Varies Varies
California Comprehensive   English/language arts, math 2006 English/ language arts (through grade 10), math (grades 67 and algebra I) 10
District of Columbia  
Florida Comprehensive 2 Reading, math 2003 10 10
Georgia Comprehensive 3 English/language arts, writing, math, science, social studies 1995 9-11 11
Idaho Comprehensive   Reading, language usage, math 2006 10 10
Indiana End-of-Course 4 Algebra I, English 10 2012 Varies Varies
Louisiana End-of-Course   Algebra I or geometry, English II or English III, biology or U.S. history 2014 Varies Varies
Maryland End-of-Course   English II, algebra/data analysis, biology 2009 10 Varies
Massachusetts Comprehensive and End-of-Course   Comprehensive exam in English/language arts and math; End-of-Course exam in biology, chemistry, introductory physics, or technology/engineering 2003 10, high school standards 10; 9 or 10, science
Minnesota Comprehensive   Reading, written composition, math 2010 High school standards 9, writing;10, reading;11, math
Mississippi End-of-Course   English II, writing, algebra I, biology I, U.S. history 2006 Aligned to course content Varies
Nevada Comprehensive   Reading, writing, math, science 2003 9-12 10
New Hampshire  
New Jersey Comprehensive   Language arts literacy, math 2003 9-11 11
New Mexico Comprehensive 5 Reading, math 2013 9-12 11
New York End-of-Course   English/language arts, math, science, social studies 2000 9-12 Varies
North Carolina  
North Dakota  
Ohio Comprehensive   Reading, writing, math, science, social studies 2007 10 10
Oklahoma End-of-Course   Algebra I, algebra II, geometry, English II, English III, biology I, U.S. history 2012 High school standards Varies
Oregon Comprehensive   Reading (2012), writing (2013), math (2014) 2012 Varies Varies
Rhode Island Comprehensive   Reading (2014), math (2014) 2014 9-10 11
South Carolina Comprehensive 6 English/language arts, math 2006 Through grade 10 10
South Dakota  
Texas Comprehensive 7 English/language arts, math, science, social studies 2005 Aligned to course content 11
Virginia End-of-Course   Reading, writing, algebra I, algebra II, geometry, biology, earth science, chemistry, world history to 1500, world history from 1500 to present, Virginia and U.S. history, world geography 2004 Aligned to course content Varies
Washington Comprehensive 8 Reading, writing 2011 10 10
West Virginia  
† Not applicable. State either does not have an exit exam, or administers an exit exam, but does not require students to pass the exam to graduate.
1 Alabama is transitioning from comprehensive exit exams to end-of-course exams for the graduating class of 2015; students will not need to pass the end-of-course exams to graduate. Subjects are yet to be determined.
2 Florida is phasing in end-of-course exams in algebra I, biology I, and geometry for the graduating class of 2015; students must pass these exams to graduate.
3 Beginning with the class of 2015, Georgia is phasing out its comprehensive exit exams in English/language arts, math, science, and social studies and will phase in end-of-course exams.
4 Indiana also administers an end-of-course exam in biology that is not required for graduation.
5 New Mexico collaborated with school districts to develop end-of-course exams that serve as final exams in writing, science, and social studies courses; districts set passing scores for graduation.
6 South Carolina administers end-of-course exams in science and U.S. history and the Constitution that are not required for graduation.
7 Texas is phasing in end-of-course exams in English I, II, III, algebra I and II, geometry, biology, chemistry, physics, world geography, world history, and U.S. history for the graduating class of 2015. Students must pass these exams to graduate.
8 Washington will transition to a combination of comprehensive and end-of-course exams for the class of 2013. Washington is phasing in end-of-course exams in algebra I, geometry and biology.
SOURCE: State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition, Center on Education Policy, 2012; State Profiles on Exit Exam Policies, Center on Education Policy, retrieved November 7, 2012 from Data Source.