• FAQs about the MS Earth Science Regents course

    What is the difference between the Earth Science course taken in the Middle School and the Earth Science course taken in the High School?

    There is no difference between the courses. In the Garden City School District the Earth Science Regents course is the first high school-level Science course the students take. Some students take the course in 8th grade and some in 9th grade. Both groups of students take the course that follows the same Regents-level curriculum; we do not offer Honors-level Earth Science.

    Is the grade for the Earth Science Regents course taken in the Middle School reported to colleges?

    Yes, the grade is reported to the colleges. The final grade for the course as well as the grade for the Earth Science Regents examination that culminates the course are recorded on the high school transcript and are counted into the student’s GPA which is then provided to colleges.

    Do students need to maintain a certain average to stay in the Earth Science course in the Middle School?

    Yes, students taking Earth Science in 8th grade must maintain an 85 average to remain in the class; students are moved to the Science 8 class if their grade falls below 85 for two consecutive quarters.

    Why regular attendance is so important in Regents Science classes?

    For admission to a Regents examination in science each student must complete the State-mandated 1200 minutes of hands-on laboratory with satisfactory laboratory reports. Students complete the lab activities in class; this is why regular class attendance is critically important for students enrolled in the Earth Science course.

    What information about the Earth Science Regents examination do I need to know?

    At the end of the year students take the Physical Setting: Earth Science Regents examination. This is their first Regents examination in Science; their grade will be recorded on the high school transcript.

    The test has two parts that are administered on two separate dates at the end of the year: the Laboratory Performance Test and the Written Test.

    Part 1: The Laboratory Performance Test

    The Laboratory Performance Test (Part D) is usually given about 2 weeks before the Written Test. It includes a number of hands-on tasks to be completed at separate stations. Examples of the stations used during previous examinations include Mineral and Rock Identification, Locating an Epicenter and Constructing and Analyzing an Asteroid’s Elliptical Orbit. Usually students have about 9 minutes to complete tasks at each station. Usually it is possible to accumulate a maximum of 16 points on the Performance test, which accounts for about 15% of the total examination grade (you can see Conversion Charts for past tests at http://www.nysedregents.org/earthscience/).  We offer make-up dates for the Performance test.

    Part 2: The Written Test

    The written portion of the Earth Science Regents usually represents 85 points of the total score and includes multiple-choice questions (Part A and Part B1) and constructed-response questions (Part B2 and Part C). Some questions may require the use of a calculator and 40-45% of questions require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables. Some questions specifically refer students to the reference tables, but in most cases students are expected to know what information is included in the reference table and where to find it.

    Students who missed the Written Part of the test FOR ANY REASON cannot make it up in June; they have to take the Written and Performance Parts of the test at a later date offered by the New York State (usually in August).

    You can see examples of the past tests at: http://www.nysedregents.org/earthscience/

    You can find a copy of the Earth Science Reference Tables at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/reftable/earthscience-rt/esrt2011-engr.pdf

    What to bring to the test?

    The students should bring a four-function or scientific calculator, pens (for written answers), pencils (for graphs and drawings) and a ruler to the test. The Earth Science Reference Tables will be provided during the exam.

    What happens if a student misses the test?

    If a student doesn’t take the Laboratory Performance Part of the test (and we offer make-up dates) the student will get 0 points for this part of the test but he/she will be allowed to take the Written Part. If the student misses the Written Part of the test (for any reason), he/she cannot get the credit for the course. Missing the test as a result of an unexcused absence will negatively affect the student’s grade for the year. There is no make-up for the Written Part of the test in June.

    Usually (but not always) there is a Regents examination in Earth Science at the end of August and in January but the students should speak with their guidance counselor about the dates and location of the examination.  Students must take both the Performance Part of the test (scheduled a few weeks before the Written Part) and the Written Part of the test during the re-take.

    Some students wish to retake the Regents exam in August to improve their score. Only the highest test score will be recorded in the transcript.

    What Regents Review Resources are available for students in addition to the materials provided in the classroom?

    Old Physical Setting: Earth Science Regents examinations, answer keys and conversion charts:


    Interactive Earth Science Regents practice tests


    Links to the Regents Review resources

    Ms. Kupferman’s site - http://www.gardencity.k12.ny.us/Page/6958

    Ms. McCartin’s site - http://www.gardencity.k12.ny.us/Page/6159

    Ms. Wolk’s site – http://www.gardencity.k12.ny.us/Page/4227