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New Jersey High School Graduation Assessment Requirements

Updated May 2017

See printable version of this page. Please note that there are links in the document to PDFs on the New Jersey Department of Education website that may not be accessible. If you are unable to access these PDFs, please call 973-509-4010 for more information.

On August 3, 2016, the State Board of Education approved updated state regulations for the high school graduation assessments requirements in both English language arts (ELA) and mathematics for the Classes of 2016 through 2021, and beyond. These new state regulations (N.J.A.C.6A:8-5.1) became effective on September 6, 2016.

The Classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019 – Students graduating as members of the Classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019 can meet graduation assessment requirements through any of these three pathways:

  • Achieving passing scores on high-level PARCC assessments;
  • Achieving certain scores on alternative assessments such as the SAT, ACT, or Accuplacer; or
  • The submission by the district of a student portfolio through the Department’s portfolio appeals process.

(Special Education students whose Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) specify an alternative way to demonstrate proficiencies will continue to follow the graduation requirements set forth in their IEPs.)

The Class of 2020 – Students in the Class of 2020 can demonstrate graduation assessment proficiency through the same three pathways as those in the Classes of 2017 through 2019, provided that students in the Class of 2020 take all PARCC assessments associated with the high-school level courses for which they were eligible* and receive valid scores, as of the September 6, 2016 effective date of the amendments were adopted by the State Board of Education. 

The Class of 2021 and Beyond – Starting with the Class of 2021, students will only have two pathways to meet the high school graduation assessments requirements: 

  • Pass the ELA 10 and Algebra 1 assessments; or
  • The submission by the district of a student portfolio through the Department’s portfolio appeals process, assuming the student has taken all PARCC assessments associated with the high-school level courses for which they were eligible* and receives valid scores.

Each school year the NJDOE will determine the proficiency level needed on the assessments to meet the requirements.

It is important to note that our students have always been able to meet graduation requirements through an alternative assessment or pathway to graduation throughout New Jersey’s forty-year history with a statewide assessment program, and will continue to be able to do so.

In this document, you will find charts containing the list of assessment requirements in both ELA and mathematics for the high school graduation Classes of 2017 through 2021.

Note: * “Eligible” is defined as a student who is enrolled in a high-school level course for which there is a PARCC test and receives a valid score. This includes all of these courses: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, ELA 9, ELA 10, and ELA 11.

ELA and Math Assessment Requirements for the Class of 2017

Three Pathways Available English Language Arts (ELA) Mathematics
First Pathway
Take and pass  a PARCC test
PARCC ELA Grade 9 >= 750 (Level 4)
or  
PARCC ELA Grade 10 >=750 (Level 4)
or
PARCC ELA Grade 11 >= 725 (Level 3)
PARCC Algebra I >= 750 (Level 4) 
or
PARCC Geometry >= 725 (Level 3) 
or
PARCC Algebra II >= 725 (Level 3)

Second Pathway
Take and pass one of the alternative assessments

SAT Critical Reading (taken before 3/1/16) >= 400 
or
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section  (taken 3/1/16 or later) >= 450 
or
SAT Reading Test (taken 3/1/16 or later) >= 22 
or
ACT Reading or ACT PLAN Reading* >= 16 
or
Accuplacer WritePlacer >= 6 
or
Accuplacer WritePlacer ESL >= 4 
or
PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading  (taken before 10/1/15) >= 40 
or
PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading  (taken 10/1/15 or later) >= 22 
or
ACT Aspire Reading* >= 422 
or
ASVAB-AFQT Composite >= 31
SAT Math (taken before 3/1/16) >= 400 
or
SAT Math Section (taken 3/1/16 or later) >= 440 
or
SAT Math Test (taken 3/1/16 or later) >= 22 
or
ACT or ACT PLAN* Math >= 16 
or
Accuplacer Elementary Algebra >= 76 
or
PSAT10 Math
or
PSAT/NMSQT Math  (taken before 10/1/15) >= 40 
or
PSAT10 Math or PSAT/NMSQT Math  (taken 10/1/15 or later) >= 22 
or
ACT Aspire Math* >= 422 
or
ASVAB-AFQT Composite >= 31

Third Pathway
Portfolio appeals

Meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal for ELA

Meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal for Math

Note: * Test is no longer administered but can be used for the graduating year.

ELA and Math Assessment Requirements for the Class of 2018 and 2019

Three Pathways Available English Language Arts (ELA) Mathematics

First Pathway
Take and pass  a PARCC test

PARCC ELA Grade 9 >= 750 (Level 4)
or  
PARCC ELA Grade 10 >=750 (Level 4)
or
PARCC ELA Grade 11 >= 725 (Level 3)
PARCC Algebra I >= 750 (Level 4) 
or
PARCC Geometry >= 725 (Level 3) 
or
PARCC Algebra II >= 725 (Level 3)

Second Pathway
Take and pass one of the alternative assessments

SAT Critical Reading (taken before 3/1/16)
or
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section (taken 3/1/16 or later)
or
SAT Reading Test (taken 3/1/16 or later)
or
ACT Reading or ACT PLAN Reading* 
or
Accuplacer WritePlacer or Accuplacer WritePlacer ESL
or
PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading  (taken before 10/1/15)
or
PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading  (taken 10/1/15 or later)
or
ACT Aspire Reading*
or
ASVAB-AFQT Composite
SAT Math (taken before 3/1/16)
or
SAT Math Section (taken 3/1/16 or later)
or
SAT Math Test (taken 3/1/16 or later)
or
ACT or ACT PLAN* Math or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra
or
PSAT10 Math or PSAT/NMSQT Math  (taken before 10/1/15) 
or
PSAT10 Math or PSAT/NMSQT Math (taken 10/1/15 or later)
or
ACT Aspire Math*
or
ASVAB-AFQT Composite  

Third Pathway
Portfolio appeals

Meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal for ELA

Meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal for Math

ELA and Math Assessment Requirements for the Class of 2020

Three Pathways Available English Language Arts (ELA) Mathematics
First Pathway
Take and pass  a PARCC test
PARCC ELA Grade 9
or  
PARCC ELA Grade 10
or
PARCC ELA Grade 11
PARCC Algebra I***
or
PARCC Geometry
or
PARCC Algebra II

Second Pathway
Take and pass one of the alternative assessments

This Pathway is only available if a student takes all PARCC tests associated with the high-school level courses for which they were eligible and receive  valid scores*

SAT Reading Test
or
ACT Reading or ACT PLAN Reading** 
or
Accuplacer WritePlacer
or
Accuplacer WritePlacer ESL
or
PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading 
or
ACT Aspire Reading**
or ASVAB-AFQT Composite
SAT Math Test
or
ACT or ACT PLAN Math**
or
Accuplacer Elementary Algebra
or
PSAT10 Math or PSAT/NMSQT Math 
or
ACT Aspire Math**
or
ASVAB-AFQT Composite  

Third Pathway
Portfolio appeals

This Pathway is only available if a student takes all PARCC tests associated with the high-school level courses for which they were eligible and receive  valid scores*

Meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal for ELA

Meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal for Math

Note: * “Eligible” is defined as a student who is enrolled in a high-school level course for which there is a PARCC test and receives a valid score. This includes all of these courses: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, ELA 9, ELA 10, and ELA 11. ** Test is no longer administered but can be used for the graduating year. *** The NJDOE is providing flexibility to meet the math assessment requirement for students in the Classes of 2020 and 2021 who completed an Algebra I course prior to the September 6, 2016 effective date of the new high school assessment regulations.

ELA and Math Assessment Requirements for the Class of 2021

Two Pathways Available English Language Arts (ELA) Mathematics
First  Pathway  Take and Pass PARCC ELA Grade 10 Take and Pass PARCC Algebra I**
Second Pathway

This Pathway is only available if a student takes all PARCC tests associated with the high-school level courses for which they were eligible*
Meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal for ELA Meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal for Math

Note: * “Eligible” is defined as a student who is enrolled in a high-school level course for which there is a PARCC test and receive a valid score. This includes all of these courses: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, ELA 9, ELA 10, and ELA 11. ** The NJDOE is providing flexibility to meet the math assessment requirement for students in the Classes of 2020 and 2021 who completed an Algebra I course prior to the September 6, 2016 effective date of the new high school assessment regulations.

Updated: 9/26/2017