Graduation Requirements and Assessment Update

  • Overview of Ohio’s Current Graduation Requirements for Students in Graduation Class of 2018 and Beyond

    The State of Ohio has new graduation requirements beginning with the Class of 2018 (sophomores during the 2015-2016 school year). There are two components of the new graduation requirements: credits earned through coursework and state required assessments. The credit component requires all students to successfully complete a minimum of 21 high school credits in specific subjects. The assessment component provides students three ways to be eligible for a high school diploma. Each student must meet one of these three options:
    • Earn a cumulative score of at least 18 points, using seven end-of-course state tests over four years of high school;
    • Earn scores in English language arts and mathematics on a national college admissions test or tests that indicate the student can do college-level work without needing to take remedial classes; or
    • Earn 12 points by attaining an industry-recognized credential or group of credentials in a single career field and achieving a designated workforce readiness score on WorkKeys, a nationally recognized job skills assessment.
    The end-of-course test point system will be the most common way that students will earn a diploma: therefore, it will be the primary focus of this newsletter. Additional resources are provided at the end of this newsletter that cover the other two options in more detail.

    In what courses do students take tests to receive points toward graduation?
    Students in the Class of 2018 (and beyond) earn points based upon their performance on the seven Ohio end-of-course (EOC) tests in English I, English II, Algebra I, Geometry, Biology (or Physical Science for students in the Class of 2018 only), American History, and American Government.
    How many ‘points’ does it take to meet the graduation requirement?
    A student earns 1 to 5 graduation points based upon his/her level of performance on each of the seven EOC tests. Graduation points are earned for the following performance levels:
    Test Score Performance Level to Graduation Points Conversion
    Advanced/Level 5 = 5 points  
    Accelerated/Level 4 = 4 points 
    Proficient/Level 3 = 3 points
    Basic/Level 2 = 2 points 
    Limited/Level 1 = 1 point
    While students have the potential to earn a total of 35 points, only 18 total points from all tests and subject areas are required. A student must earn at least 4 total points on English tests, 4 total points on math tests, and 6 total points on science and/or social studies tests. There is no additional, formal recognition for students that earn more than 18 points.

    Required Points Per Subject Area

    Subject Area

    End of Course (EOC)


    Total Minimum Points

    Per Subject Area


    English I

    English II

    4 points


    Algebra I


    4 points

    Science & Social Studies


    American History

    American Government

    6 points

    Any of the above

    Any of the above

    4 additional points from any of the tests above

    When can a student retake an end-of-course test if he/she did not receive an initial score that earned enough points to graduate?

    EOC tests will be given during the Fall 2015 test administration on December 1-4 to students in the Class of 2018 (sophomores during the 2015-2016 school year) and beyond who scored a 1 or 2 on tests previously taken. Students who received a 3 or 4 and feel they have an identified reason to retake the test are asked to first contact their school counselor to make arrangements to participate. Students who completed summer school courses for the subjects listed above will also participate in December 2015 testing.

    If a student earned transcripted high school credit for a course taken prior to the time the end-of-course tests were available, does the student have to take the end-of-course test now? If not, how will the student receive graduation points?

    No, students do not have to take EOC tests for courses taken prior to the time these tests were in place. For any high school student who earned transcripted high school credit in any tested courses before July 1, 2014, the student will receive graduation points based on his or her grade in the course. A student who took a high school course in middle school and did not receive transcripted high school credit is still required to take the end-of-course test. The following conversion chart indicates the number of graduation points a student will receive based on a transcripted letter grade received for high school courses taken prior to the availability of end-of-course tests in Spring 2015. Also, students taking College Credit Plus courses in these subjects will use the course grade, not end-of-course test points for graduation.

    Course Grade Conversion to Graduation Points                                             













    Are there other ways students can earn graduation points beyond taking Ohio’s end-of-course tests?

    Yes. Students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Biology, Physics 1 or 2: Algebra Based (Class of 2018 only), U.S. History, or U.S. Government and Politics may earn points by taking tests that are specially designed for these courses. They would not be required to take the state’s end-of-course test for these courses. This helps avoid double testing for the same subject.
    Other than using the option of earning graduation points from Ohio end-of-course tests, how can a student meet the assessment requirement for earning a diploma?

    This video below provides a general overview of the new options for students.
    Go to this link for the list of approved industry-recognized credentials that students in the Class of 2018 (and beyond) may use to qualify for high school graduation. It includes credentials tied to Ohio in-demand occupations. The Ohio Department of Education reviewed and included, as appropriate, credentials suggested by community stakeholders, including parents, schools and businesses. Students must earn 12 points through one or several credentials within a single career field AND achieve a workforce-readiness score on the WorkKeys assessment. The WorkKeys assessment has three sections: reading, applied mathematics and locating information. Students in the Classes of 2018 and 2019 must earn a total of 13 points across the three WorkKeys sections; students in Classes of 2020 and beyond must earn a total of 14 points. Students must also earn at least three points on each section of the test.

    Another way to meet the assessment requirement is to score at a “remediation free” level on a recognized college admissions test. Scores that indicate that a student is achieving at an “remediation free” level have been established by the College Board for SAT and the American College Testing Program for ACT. The Ohio Department of Education has not yet determined the test that will be used for this assessment option. ODE will make the selection of the college admission test(s) for students to take in their junior year (starting in 2017) and will set the score needed on the test(s) to qualify for a diploma for students who use this option.