AHSGE - A Brief Overview

The Alabama High School Graduate Exam (AHSGE), administered by the Alabama Department of Education, is a test of academic knowledge of high school students in the Alabama state. All students need to pass this examination in order to obtain a high school diploma at the end of their school period. Hence, both the parents and the students of all Alabama high schools need to be well-informed about the details of the test. General information and updates about the test can be obtained from the official website of the Alabama Department of Education (www.alsde.edu).

The Test Content

AHSGE tests the competence level of students in five subject areas. Each area consists of specific tasks which you need to master in order to pass the test. The tasks, number of questions and the passing score differs from one subject to the other. Each subject test is detailed in the following information:

  • The Reading Test In the Reading section, you need to read and understand the given content which mostly consists of prose, poetry, essays, newspaper columns etc. It tests your ability to comprehend what is being stated in the content and to make appropriate inferences from the information provided.

  • The Language Test In the Language section, you need to perform tasks related to correct usage of grammar, punctuation and capitalization, sentence structure, appropriate choices of words and basic writing skills. It assesses your understanding of the language dynamics and vocabulary skills.

  • The Mathematics Test Algebra makes three-fourth part of the Mathematics test and the rest of the test portion is covered by Geometry. It evaluates your arithmetic skills in basic mathematical operations and their application in solving complicated equations.

  • The Science Test In the Science section, 70 percent of the questions are framed from Biology and 30 percent from Physical Sciences. It tests your knowledge of the biological concepts learned in your high school such as hereditary, evolution, cell biology, ecology etc.

  • The Social Studies Test History is the main subject area of the Social Studies section. It tests your knowledge and understanding about American History and the subsequent historical events up to the Second World War.

A sample question for each task of the subject tests is provided in what is referred to as the 'Item Specifications'. The item specifications of this test provided by the Alabama Department of Education can be obtained by following this web link:www.alsde.edu/html/sections/ - Publications - AHSGE Item Specs.

The number of questions in each subject test and their respective passing scores are tabulated as follows:


Number of Questions

Passing Score













Social Studies



The Test Duration

The  test is an untimed, multiple-choice examination. In general, the test lasts for approximately three hours. However, students can take their own time to complete the test. The test is conducted over a period of five days, with each day of the test allotted to one of the five subjects.

The Test-Taking

When do you take the test? AHSGE is not a one-time examination. From your 10th grade year to the 12th grade year, you get six opportunities to pass the tests which are conducted during:

  1. Spring - 10th Grade Year: You get a credit for a subject test if you pass that particular subject test in the first exam.

  2. Spring - 11th Grade Year: When you do not pass a subject test in the second exam, you can re-take it in the subsequent examinations.

  3. July - 11th Grade: Re-take of subject tests which you did not pass in the previous exams need to be taken in the third exam.

  4. September - 12th Grade: If you did not pass a subject test in the previous examinations, you get another opportunity to take the test through the fourth exam.

  5. December - 12th Grade: The fifth exam provides you yet another chance to obtain passing scores in the subject tests.

  6. March - 12th Grade: The sixth exam is the last opportunity before your high school term completion by which you are required to pass all the subject tests in order to graduate with a diploma.

Even though you complete all your required high school courses, if you do not pass in all the subject tests of AHSGE, you will not be offered the final high school diploma of the Alabama state. Therefore, you must understand the importance of this test and follow a sincere test preparation in order to earn your state high school diploma successfully.