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Requirements for Graduation - State and District

New Jersey High School Assessment:


Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness


The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers - a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. These computer- based K-12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs.

PARCC assessments have replaced the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) that was required for all high school juniors in past years. It is important to note that PARCC assessments will be given throughout a student's high school career, as the required English and Math courses are taken and completed (e.g. English I, II, III and Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II).

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:

  1. Achieving passing scores on high-level PARCC assessments;
  2. Achieving certain scores on alternative assessments such as the SAT, ACT, or Accuplacer; or
  3. 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:

  1. Pass the ELA 10 and Algebra 1 assessments; or
  2. 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.

NJDOE Portfolio Appeal
For students who do not meet the above competencies.

End of Course State Examination in Biology I

All students taking the first-level Biology course are required to take this test at the end of the year. First-level Biology courses include: General Biology, Biology I and Honors Biology I.

South Brunswick High School students must earn 125 credits, of which 105 must come from the following required courses:

Course Requirements

English I, II, III, IV

4 years / 20 credits

Social Studies

3 years / 15 credits (Government & Economics/ U.S. History/Global Studies)


1 year (3.75 credits / 1.25 credits) for each year of high school; typically

PE 9/Adolescent Issues

PE 10/Driver Education

PE 11/Adult Issues

PE 12/Senior Health.


3 years / 15 credits


3 years / 15 credits (a Physical Science, a Biological Science, and any other Lab Science)

World Language

2 years / 10 credits (of the same language)

Fine Arts

1 year / 5 credits

21st Century Skills

1 year / 5 credits

Personal Financial Management

1 Semester/2.5 Credits

Early Graduation

Completion of the minimum credit requirements for graduation in less than four years is possible if planned early in the student’s high school career. A student should declare this intention prior to the end of sophomore year. The student's counselor will meet with the student and the parents and help in weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the decision. The final decision for a student’s early graduation rests with the principal after a close review of graduation credits.

Students must meet all graduation requirements, including the completion of 125 credits, in order to participate in the school’s graduation ceremony.