2009-04-22 / Local News

800 Cherokee County students taking exit exam this week

By SCOTT POWELL Ledger Staff Writer spowell@gaffneyledger.com

More than 800 county high school students are taking an important test this week on their journey towards high school graduation.

The latest exit exam testing period began Tuesday, April 21, and ends Thursday, April 23.

Makeup testing for the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) will be available to county students through May 1.

State law requires each public school student earn 24 high school credits and pass an exit exam to receive a South Carolina high school diploma. In addition, the federal No Child Left Behind law requires all high school students be tested on their knowledge of the state's curriculum standards.

The state's exit exam meets the requirements of both laws, district testing coordinator Kathy Phillips said.

"The HSAP assesses selected South Carolina academic standards in English language arts and mathematics that students have had an opportunity to learn by the end of the tenth grade," Phillips said. "This is an achievement test designed to make sure students are prepared when they graduate high school."

There are no time limits on the exit exam.

The English test covers students knowledge in the areas of reading, writing and research. It consists of multiple choice, short answer questions and one essay type question.

The math test has questions on algebra, geometry and measurements, probability and numbers and operations. There are math problems where students have to show their work and explain their answers.

The South Carolina Department of Education has asked that parents and students be reminded of the policy on use of electronic imaging and photography devices during testing.

Students may not bring into the testing location any electronic or other device that can be used for communications, timing, or imaging, Phillips said. These devices include but are not limited to, cell phones, pagers, beepers, headphones, stopwatches, electronic translators, hand-held devices, or any electronic imaging or photographic device.

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