Frequently asked questions about the
U.S. History and Government Regents Exam



What is the U.S. History and Government Regents?

The U.S. History and Government Regents is generally given at the end of 11th grade and covers one year of study in U.S. history and government. You must pass this exam in order to receive a New York State Regents diploma.

When do I take the U.S. History and Government Regents exam?

Generally, the U.S. History and Government Regents exam is given at the end of the 11th grade and is administered in January, June and August of each year.
Click here to see the latest NYS Regents exam schedule.

How is the U.S. History and Government Regents exam set up?

The U.S. History and Government Regents exam is divided into three parts with a three-hour time limit to complete.

Part I - 50 standard multiple-choice questions with four answer choices. The suggested time for completion of Part I is 50 minutes. A separate answer sheet for Part I is provided and should be located at the back of the question booklet.
Part II - One thematic essay question. This essay must be well organized, include an introduction, several paragraphs addressing a given task, and a conclusion.
Part III A - Seven short answer questions, each accompanied by a document. You are required to answer all of the questions using the information supplied in the matching document.
Part III B - Document Based Essay. You are required to write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs addressing a given task, and a conclusion, using evidence from at least four of the accompanying documents to support your response.

What do I need to bring to the test?

Not many materials or tools are needed for the U.S. History and Government Regents exam. You should have at least two blue or black ink pens to write your answers.

How is the U.S. History and Government Regents exam scored?

Both the thematic essay and document-based question essay are accompanied by a scoring rubric that explains how each will be graded. The weight of each part is as follows:


  Weight of Total Score









What topics are covered on the U.S. History and Government Regents exam?

Constitutional Foundations
Unit 1: The Foundation of American Society- A study of the historical foundations, the Constitutional Convention, Bill of Rights, basic democratic structure and constitutional principles
Unit 2: The Constitution Tested - A study on the impact on sectional differences, states' rights vs. slavery, the Abolitionist Movement and the Civil War
Unit 3: The Reconstructed Nation - A study of the Reconstruction plans, industrialization of the North, the New South, the end of Reconstruction and political realignment after the war
Unit 4: Rise of Industry, Business and Labor - A study of the changes in business organization, major areas of growth in the economy, major entrepreneurs, business and government practices and the unionization of labor
Unit 5: Adjusting Society to Industrialism - A study of urban growth and problems, Social Darwinism, arts and literature, the changing patterns of immigration, The Last Frontier and the Agrarian Protest
The Progressive Movement
Unit 6: Reform in America - A study on the progress of social and economic form, Progressivism and government action, Woodrow Wilson and "New Freedom" and the Women's Suffrage Amendment
Unit 7: Foreign Policy - A study of emerging global involvement, the Spanish American War, acquisition of the Philippines, interventions in Latin America, WWI, wartime Constitutional issues and the search for peace Prosperity and Depression
Unit 8: War and Prosperity (1917 to 1929) - A study on the return to "normalcy"/ Laissez Faire, business boom of the 1920's, problems on the farm, mass consumption/changing values and the literary scene
Unit 9: The Great Depression - A study on the onset of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, controversial aspects of the New Deal and the culture of the depression
Age of Global Crisis
Unit 10: Peace in Peril (1933-1950) - A study on the aggression of Japan, Italy and Germany, U.S. isolation and neutrality, the beginning of WWII, the Atomic Bomb and Korematsu v U.S. (1944)
Unit 11: Problems with Peace - A study of Truman's "Fair Deal", two-term presidential limit, the UN and Human Rights, European Containment Policy, U.S. Policy in Asia and Latin America and McCarthyism
The World in Uncertain Times (1950-present)
Unit 12: A Postindustrial World and a Global Age - A study of the changes within the U.S.
Unit 13: The late 1940's and 1950's - A study of the Eisenhower years, civil rights and the people of the U.S.
Unit 14: Decade of Change (the 1960's) - A study of Kennedy's New Frontier and foreign policy, civil rights movement, rights of the handicapped, Johnson's Great Society, women's rights/fight for equality, expanding rights of the accused
Unit 15: Limits of Power: Turmoil (1965-1972) - A study on the Vietnam War and impact on American society and the War Powers Act of 1973
Unit 16: Trend Toward Conservatism (1972-1985) - A study on Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and the "New Federalism", new Immigration policy, exercising power in the Caribbean, U.S. and Soviet relations and Iran-Contra
Unit 17: Approaching the Next Century (1986-present) - A study of domestic issues, foreign policy, economic and political issues

How do I review for the U.S. History and Government Regents exam?

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