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Exit Exams: State Requires Passage of Exit Exam for High School Graduation

Why does it matter? States, schools and districts benefit when standards are taken seriously based on the same high expectations and the same basis of evaluation for all students. Additionally, students benefit when schools are held accountable for meeting student needs.


  • 22 states currently use exit exams as a component of their graduation requirements.
  • By 2012, four more states will use exit exams:
  • Arkansas- beginning school year 2009-2010
  • Maryland- beginning with the class of 2009
  • Oklahoma- beginning with the class of 2012
  • Washington- beginning with the class of 2008

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Sources for all data points are available through this link.

    Last updated June 25, 2007

    Research conducted by Michael Colasanti. Please contact Jennifer Dounay Zinth at 303.292.3689 or with comments or questions about this database.
  • Does state require passage of exit exam for high school graduation?
    Alabama Yes, the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE)
    Alaska Yes, the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam (HSGQE)

    American Samoa No
    Arizona Yes, Arizona's Instrument ot Measure Standards (AIMS)
    Arkansas Yes, the Arkansas Comprehensive Assessment Program (eff. 2009-2010 school year)
    California Yes, the California High School Exit Examination (CHSEE)
    Colorado No
    Connecticut No
    Delaware No
    District of Columbia No
    Florida Yes, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)
    Georgia Yes, the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT)
    Hawaii No
    Idaho Yes, the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT)
    Illinois No
    Indiana Yes, the Graduation Qualifying Examination (GQE). Beginning with the class of 2012, students will be required to pass end-of-course assessments instead of the GQE.
    Iowa No
    Kansas No
    Kentucky No
    Louisiana Yes, the Graduation Exit Examination (GEE)
    Maine No
    Maryland Yes, the Maryland High School Assessment (HSA), beginning with the class of 2009
    Massachusetts Yes, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)
    Michigan No
    Minnesota Yes, the Basic Skills Tests (eff. through class of 2009) and the Graduation Required Assessment for Diploma (eff. class of 2010)
    Mississippi Yes, the Mississippi Subject Area Testing Program (SATP)
    Missouri No
    Montana No
    Nebraska No
    Nevada Yes, the High School Proficiency Examination (HSPE)
    New Hampshire No
    New Jersey Yes, the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA)
    New Mexico Yes, the New Mexico High School Competency Examination (NMHSCE)
    New York Yes, the Regents Examinations.
    North Carolina Yes, the North Carolina High School Competency Tests and end-of-instruction exams.
    North Dakota No
    Ohio Yes, the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT)
    Oklahoma Yes, the End-of-Instruction Exams (EOI), effective with the class of 2012.
    Oregon No
    Pennsylvania No
    Puerto Rico No
    Rhode Island No
    South Carolina Yes, the High School Assessment Program (HSAP)
    South Dakota No
    Tennessee Yes, the Gateway Examinations
    Texas Yes, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)
    Utah No
    Vermont No
    Virgin Islands No
    Virginia Yes, the Standards of Learning exams (SOL)
    Washington Yes, the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL)
    West Virginia No
    Wisconsin No
    Wyoming No

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