Earth Science Regents | Earth Science Regents Exam Info | NYS Earth Science Regents Overview

Links contained throughout this document are located here for quick access: Earth Science Regents Review Site, Lab Practical Overiew, Earth Science Core Curriculum, Earth Science Reference Tables, Translated Earth Science Reference Tables, Old Earth Science Exams, Translated Earth Science Examinations

The Earth Science Regents is the culminating exam for students taking regents earth science.  This course is typically offered to students in grades 8-10 (depending on location and if they are on a honor/advanced track).  Most students take the exam in June, however tests are offered in August and January as well. Students will take a lab practical prior to their Earth Science Regents exam which typically accounts for 15% of their grade.  The NYS Earth Science Regents is based off material from the Earth Science Core Curriculum.

In order to do well on the regents exam students must be proficient with many skills.  The items below are a few of the key factors the earth science regents expects students to understand.

*Students should use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.
*Students should access, generate, process, and transfer information, using appropriate technologies.
*Students should understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning.
*Students should be able to apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.
*Students should understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

The Earth Science Regents exam tests these key ideas during the exam. The items below are summaries of what students are expected to know for the regents exam.

The Earth and celestial phenomena can be described by principles of relative motion and perspective.

*Explain complex phenomena, such as tides, variations in day length, solar insolation, apparent motion of the planets, and annual traverse of the constellations.
*Describe current theories about the origin of the universe and solar system.

Many of the phenomena that we observe on Earth involve interactions among components of air, water, and land.

*Use the concepts of density and heat energy to explain observations of weather patterns, seasonal changes, and the movements of Earth’s plates.
*Explain how incoming solar radiation, ocean currents, and land masses affect weather and climate.

Matter is made up of particles whose properties determine the observable characteristics of matter and its reactivity.

*Explain the properties of materials in terms of the arrangement and properties of the atoms that compose them.

Teachers are allowed a great deal of freedom when determing what order to teach the topics for the Earth Science Regents.  An example below is one way a teacher could order the curriculm for the regents.


• Terrestrial Coordinates (Latitude/Longitude)
• Earth’s Motions (Rotation/Revolution)
• Seasons (Insolation)
• Solar System
• Deep Space

Meteorology and Weather

• Weather Variables (Temperature, Moisture, Pressure, Wind)
• The Atmosphere (Measurements & Structure)
• Weather Systems (Air Masses, Fronts, and Cyclones)
• Weather Forecasting
• Weather Hazards Climate
• Insolation
• Geographic Factors
• The Water Cycle
• Human Influence (Global Warming, Heat Island, etc.)


• Weathering, Erosion, & Deposition
• Landscapes/Topo Maps
• Minerals & Rocks
• Plate Tectonics
• Earth History
• Minerals & Rocks
• Plate Tectonics
• Weathering, Erosion, & Deposition
• Landscapes/Topo Maps
• Earth History
• Plate Tectonics
• Minerals & Rocks
• Weathering, Erosion, & Deposition
• Landscapes/Topo Maps
• Earth History

A key resource for the exam is the Earth Science Reference Tables commonly referred to as the ESRT. Students must truly understand and master this document. Translated Earth Science Reference Tables.

One of the best methods for reviewing for the Earth Science Regents is by completing old regent exams.  There are many key topics and questions which essentially repeat from exams.  If students are familiar with these exams and questions, they stand a much better chance of doing well on the regents.  New York State offers an archive of all old exams located here Science Regents Examinations: Physical Setting/Earth Science

The NYS Earth Science Regents exam is offered in several languages (provided it is requested from the state).  An archive of those exams is located here: Translated Earth Science Examinations.

The author of this document is an Earth Science teacher and has created a free site devoted to preparing for the NYS Earth Science Regents.  You are on the site now but can gain direct access by clicking here.