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Earning a high school diploma is foremost in the minds of young high school students. Being eligible for earning this coveted diploma is not all that easy. Most US states have laid down certain requirements apart from completion of the required high school curriculum for being eligible for earning a high school diploma. In most cases this additional requirement is in the form of a graduation examination. The Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) has been instituted by the state of Alabama as one of the requirements for grant of a high school diploma to students graduating from high schools in Alabama. It is mandatory to pass the AHSGE for earning your high school diploma.
The Significance of Passing the AHSGE
The AHSGE is an evaluation of your skills and knowledge in subject areas that form the core of the curriculum followed in the high schools across Alabama. The AHSGE test content has been designed in such a way that one needs to be proficient with the subjects taught as a part of the high school curriculum in order to meet the passing requirements of the AHSGE. As the AHSGE is a standardized exam conducted across the state, the high schools are also under pressure to impart quality education in the schools so that their students are able to pass the AHSGE and are able to earn their high school diplomas. Therefore, passing the AHSGE not only benefits the test-takers, but the Department of Education also, as the high schools are now forced to raise their educational standards to the level that is required to pass the AHSGE.
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Passing the AHSGE is a proof of the competence of the test-taker in understanding and applying the knowledge that he is expected to have assimilated while carrying out his high school studies. AHSGE addresses the complaints received from the educational institutions and employers who claimed that despite having high school diplomas adults are not competent enough to carry out the duties assigned to them as these adults do not have the basic knowledge and skills that a high school graduate should ideally possess. Educational institutions and employers will be convinced of the capabilities of their students or employees once they demonstrate that they have the requisite skills as endorsed by their AHSGE results. Both the students taking the AHSGE and the institutions utilizing the high school diplomas can now be assured that the test-taker meets the skills and knowledge level that is required of a high school graduate.
Understanding the AHSGE Passing Requirements
It is a well known fact that one cannot hope to pass a test like AHSGE without first studying for it. A lesser known fact is that it is equally important to understand the passing requirements for the AHSGE. You should make an endeavor to find out the scores you will need to achieve in order to pass the AHSGE. Being aware of the AHSGE passing scores and scoring system will help you to
- set an aim for yourself
- plan your AHSGE prep in such a way that you are able to achieve the passing scores
- avoid making mistakes that could lead to your not being able to meet the passing requirements
Hence, before commencing your AHSGE test prep, make it a point to visit the official website of the Department of Education of the state of Alabama, www.alsde.edu/html/home.asp. This link will provide you with useful information regarding the requirements for grant of a high school diploma and taking the AHSGE. Your high school student advisors will also be able to provide you with useful information regarding taking the AHSGE.
The AHSGE Passing Scores
The test content of AHSGE is divided into 5 subject area tests. All subject area tests consist of multiple-choice questions. Your answers to the questions will contribute towards the scaled scores for each test.
- Reading Test: Your reading skills in understanding, interpreting and analyzing reading materials will be evaluated by this test. The reading materials provided to you will be in the form of prose, poetry, articles, editorials etc. You will be presented with 84 questions. The passing score for the Reading test is 563.
- Language Test: The Language test will evaluate you for your abilities to expresses yourself in written form and your knowledge of grammar and language mechanics. You will be presented with 100 questions and you will need to score 560 in order to pass this test.
- Math Test: Your skills and knowledge of Algebra I and Geometry will be evaluated by this test. The total number of questions asked will be 100, out of which 75 percent of the questions will be from Algebra I and the remaining will be from pre-Geometry (prior to Algebra I). The passing score for the Math test is 477.
- Science Test: You will be assessed for your knowledge of Biology and Physical Science by the Science test. There will be a total of 100 questions. 70 percent of the questions will be drawn from the subject area of Biology and the remaining will be from Physical Science (prior to biology). You need to score 491 in order to pass the Science test.
- Social Studies Test: The Social Studies test is an assessment of your knowledge of the history of the United States. You will be presented with 100 questions and you will have to score 509 in order to pass this test.
Scoring High in AHSGE
Once you are aware of the scores that need to be attained for passing the AHSGE, the next obvious step is to be aware of the strategies and techniques for achieving the passing scores. Simply cramming up the content given in the high school books will not serve your purpose. Keep the following aspects in mind and you are sure to score high in AHSGE:
- Study the given answer options carefully. Do not choose the answer option hastily. The AHSGE is not timed and hence, you can take time to analyze the answer options and choose the option that you feel is correct.
- You will be able to take the AHSGE upto six times during your high school career starting from the spring of your 10th grade. As you are aware of the time when you can take the AHSGE for the first time, plan your studies for taking the AHSGE accordingly. Studying for the AHSGE just before the test date will jeopardize your chances of scoring high in the AHSGE. Plan your studies well in advance.
- Take the related subject area test immediately after you have completed or are about to complete the required course at high school. The content will be fresh in your mind and you will be able to do well in the test.
- A list of important formulae will be provided with the mathematics test booklet for the Math test. You can refer to this list for solving related problems. However, make sure that you discuss with your teacher at high school to find out the types of formulae that will be included in the list. You may still have to memorize certain formulae and concepts.
The AHSGE Student LabelYou will receive your AHSGE results in the form of an individual student label from your local school. The state Department of Education sends two copies of this student label to your high school after about 6 weeks from your AHSGE test date. One of the copies is handed over to you by your school and the other is placed on your cumulative folder. The student label contains a ‘Pass’ or a ‘Fail’ against each of the subject areas that you have tested for. Before you can take a retest, you will need to take remedial action in the form of additional tutoring or prep classes to improve your skills and knowledge in the subject areas in which you have failed. You need to retest only for those subject areas in which you have failed.
Always remember that good AHSGE scores are standing in your way to earning a high school diploma from the state of Alabama. Therefore, you have to tackle the AHSGE with careful planning and dedicated studies. You cannot afford to leave your performance in AHSGE to chance. Prepare for the AHSGE with seriousness and enthusiasm and you will find that passing the AHSGE is not all that difficult!
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