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Living Environment Regents: Everything You Need to Know

Living Environment Regents: Everything You Need to Know

The Living Environment Regents Exam is a chance for students to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts in life science.

Lisa Speransky
Lisa Speransky
Test Prep
College Admissions
Pre-Test Checklist

If you’re a high school student in New York state, you’ll need to pass several Regents exams to earn your high school diploma. There are currently ten Regents Exams, and determining which you’ll take is a key part of your graduation strategy. Regents tests are an important way to gauge comprehension, and can be used to boost college applications. The Living Environment Regents Exam is a chance for students to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts in life science. If you’re considering making it one of your tests, here’s what you need to know.

What is the Living Environment Regents?

The Living Environment Regents Exam is a test administered to students who have taken living environment science coursework and completed the 1200 minute lab work requirement. Students in New York State must take and pass Regents examinations in order to graduate, and Regents tests can be used to support college applications.

When is the NYS Living Environment Regents in 2024?

The Living Environment Regents exam for the 2023-2024 school year will be given when students have completed their living environment coursework.

Living Environment Regents exam dates in 2024 are:

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2024
  • Friday, June 14, 2024
  • Tuesday, August 20, 2024.

How long is the Living Environment Regents?

Students are given 3 hours to take the Living Environment Regents test. There are no time limits on individual sections, so it is up to each student to pace themselves as they take the exam.

What topics are in the Living Environment Regents?

Living Environment Regents tests student comprehension across seven subsections, which they call “Key Ideas.” The seven Key Ideas are:

  1. Living vs. Nonliving Things
    Questions related to this key idea ask students to demonstrate their knowledge of how both living and nonliving things relate to each other, to their environment, how they stay alive, and how they reproduce. Concepts include ecosystems, population diversity, the human body and its various systems (circulatory, reproductive, etc), and one-celled organisms.
  2. Genetics and DNA
    For this key idea students will need to understand the structure and function of genetic material and how traits are passed from parent to offspring. Questions may also include how technology is changing the influence humans have on their own genes.
  3. Evolution
    The third key idea is more focused than some of the others in that it focuses solely on evolution. Students will be expected to understand how organisms change over time as well as in their lifetime and the concepts of natural selection and extinction.
  4. Reproduction, Growth, and Aging
    The fourth key idea expands on the knowledge needed for key idea two, and expects students to know how both sexual and asexual organisms reproduce and are affected by hormones and gene expression. A knowledge of human male and female reproductive systems is also needed.
  5. Homeostasis
    For Key Idea Five students will need to understand what homeostasis is and how it works. They will also need to be able to articulate how basic biochemical processes (ATP, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, etc) maintain homeostasis and explain disease as a failure of homeostasis.
  6. Ecology
    The sixth key idea states that “Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment." Students must demonstrate an understanding of the factors that limit population growth and survival, why diversity in species and habitats is crucial, and how environments change, including the impact of climate change.
  7. Human Impact on the Environment
    The final key concept pertains to the role humans play - often negatively - on their environment. Students should understand the human impact on finite resources and ecological systems, and the effects of industrialization.

Living Environment Regents Exam Structure

The Living Environment Regents exam is broken into five sections. Some sections are all multiple choice, while others contain both multiple choice and open answer questions. Open answer questions may be fill-in-the-blank prompts or short answer questions where students will write longer explanations of their answers.

The test sections are as follows:

  • Part A: 30 multiple choice questions
  • Part B-1: 13 multiple choice questions
  • Part B-2: 12 multiple choice and open response questions
  • Part C: 17 open response questions
  • Part D: 13 multiple choice and open response questions

Living Environment Regents Scores

How is the Living Environment Regents scored?

The exam is scored on a scale, meaning that you will receive more points for correctly answering more difficult questions than you will for answering easier questions. You are also not penalized for a wrong answer, making a guess is always better than leaving a question blank. A score of 65 or over is needed to pass the Living Environment Regents.

What is a good Living Environment Regents score?

A score of 65 or over is needed to pass the Living Environment Regents. But students who want to demonstrate mastery of living environment course material should aim for a score of 85 or above; this is referred to as “passing with distinction”.

How can students pass the Living Environment Regents?

Students can expect to pass the Living Environment Regents by correctly answering the questions and knowing the subject material. One of the best ways to ensure a good score is to be able to answer the more difficult test questions correctly, as the weighted grading system awards higher points to these questions. Being able to provide sufficient explanation on open answer questions is also important. Ivy Tutors can help with material review, pacing, and test anxiety to make sure students feel well equipped to handle each section of the exam.

What happens if you fail the Living Environment Regents?

If you fail the Living Environment Regents, you can take it again during the next examination period. You are able to take Regents exams until you pass them, but since the exam periods only come three times a year, it’s best to pass on the first try.

Living Environment Regents Exam Day Rules

What can you bring for the Living Environment Regents?

On the day of Living Environment Regents, students will need to bring a four function or scientific calculator. Other than that, students should bring pens and pencils they are comfortable using to answer multiple choice and any short answer questions.

How to Succeed in Living Environment Regents: Three Tips

  1. Attend Class
    Sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct one. Since the Living Environment Regents exam is designed to test your understanding of the living environment course material, attending class, taking the appropriate notes, and asking questions as needed is the foundation of doing well on the exam. Your teacher is also likely to share tips and key information for the test during class.
  2. Practice with Old-Tests
    The New York State Education Department posts all past tests online as PDFs. Since these are actual questions asked on actual Regents exams they’re not only the best possible source of information regarding what you can expect in terms of subject matter, they also show you exactly what to anticipate in terms of format. You can use them as study material or as actual practice tests.
  3. Prepare with Extra Study
    If you still have them, go back through assignments, quizzes and tests from your course work to determine the areas in which you struggled so that you can optimize your study time. Also make sure to review anything you haven’t studied recently; you don’t want to assume you’ll do well on a section of a test simply because past you did.

Like any test, knowing the material is the most important part of passing it. Regents exams have one other challenge, however: pacing. There are 85 exam questions to complete, and in order to leave time to check your work, you’ll need to complete each question in two minutes or less. Some students find themselves getting caught up on certain questions or scrambling to finish. If this is a concern to you, Ivy Tutors are adept at helping students accurately and effectively pace themselves so they can finish testing with ample time to check their work.

Our science tutors come from schools with strong STEM programs, so students at all levels of scientific study can expect to exceed their learning goals. Our students start exam day feeling prepared and confident, which helps alleviate test anxiety and leads to high scores. If you’re struggling to prepare for the upcoming test, you’re not alone. Our Regents exam tutors are ready to help you develop the strong science skills needed to excel at the Living Environment Regents exam.


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