Ohio Graduation Tests FAQs

Current law requires students who first enrolled in grade 9 before July 1, 2014, to take and pass the Ohio Graduation Tests for Ohio high school diplomas. At this time, these students primarily are those who are in the class of 2017 or 12th-graders in the 2016-2017 school year. Due to legislative changes, these are the last cohort of students who must pass all five parts of the Ohio Graduation Tests to receive high school diplomas. For all other students, please refer to the webpage: Ohio's Graduation Requirements. 

General Questions

New Testing Options for Students Required to Take the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT)


General Questions

    What are the purposes of the Ohio Graduation Tests?

    The purposes of the OGT are to:

    • Ensure that students who receive a high school diploma demonstrate at least high school levels of achievement;
    • Measure the level of reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies skills expected of students at the end of the 10th grade;
    • Meet federal requirement for high school testing.

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    What time of year do students take the OGT?

    The OGT is for students who entered into 9th grade before July 1, 2014, and who still need to take and pass one or more subjects of the OGT. These are administered fall, spring and optional summer. 

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    What happens if students don’t pass the tests the first time?

    Students who do not pass one or more tests on their first attempt will retake the tests they need to pass.

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    Who develops the OGT?

    Ohio teachers and other educators, parents, representatives of the business community and other citizens are involved with Ohio Department of Education staff and its testing contractor in developing questions for the OGT. The law requiring Ohio Graduation Tests clearly states that parents, classroom teachers, other school personnel and administrators must be involved in developing the tests.

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    How do we know the Ohio Graduation Tests are fair?

    A Content Advisory Committee, made up of parents, educators and others, reviews all test questions. Another committee, the Fairness Sensitivity Review Committee, has been trained to review questions to ensure that the questions are not biased in any way. This group, also comprised of parents, educators and others, ensures that test questions are fair and do not promote or inquire as to an individual’s moral or social values or beliefs. Committee members represent a broad base of diverse backgrounds, organizations and school districts. Each of the committees review questions prior to field testing and again after field testing where data on the question performance are available. Questions must be accepted by both committees prior to the question appearing on any test for which a student is held accountable.

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    How many questions are on the Ohio Graduation Tests?

    The reading, mathematics, science, and social studies tests consist of 32 multiple-choice items and six open-ended items.  The writing test consists of ten multiple-choice items, one short answer item, and two writing prompts. 

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    How long will students have to take the tests?

    Students have up to two and one-half hours to take each of the tests.

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    Are the Ohio Graduation Tests strictly multiple-choice questions?

    The OGT includes questions other than multiple-choice questions. Students have to write responses to some questions.

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    Are there other ways for students to receive a diploma if they don’t pass the OGT?

     There are other ways for students to receive a diploma if they don’t pass the OGT. Additional information on OGT Options and Alternative Pathway for a Diploma can be found here.  

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    Do exceptional children and English language learners have to pass the OGT?

    Students whose Individual Education Plan (IEP) excuses them from the consequence of having to pass the OGT may be awarded a diploma. However, federal law (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2002) requires every student to take the OGT or an alternate assessment. English language leraners, (those students whose primary language is not English) also must achieve the specified scores on the OGT in order to be awarded a diploma.

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    What happens to students who need a different type of test because of their Individual Education Plan (IEP)?

    Students who have an IEP that requires a different test can take an alternate assessment of the OGT.

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    Do charter school students and those in Schools for the Blind and Deaf have to take the OGT?

    Chartered nonpublic school students and students in Schools for the Blind and the Deaf must pass the OGT or satisfy the alternative conditions set by the state to receive a high school diploma.

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    What happens to students who have met all of the curriculum requirements for graduation but do not pass the OGT before their intended date of graduation?

    Students who have met all of the curriculum requirements for graduation but have not passed all required parts of the OGT before their intended date of graduation will not graduate with their classmates. School districts decide locally whether or not students may participate in graduation ceremonies.

    Students may continue to take the OGT until they pass all required parts, which would then allow them to earn their diplomas. The first opportunity to take the test after their senior year would be in June during the summer administration of the OGT. Students should contact a school district well in advance of the test dates to learn of the requirements to sit for the test. Students who are eligible may test during any of the testing opportunities throughout the school year – March, June and October. Click here for test dates.

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New Testing Options for Students Required to Take the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT)

    Can a student use his/her high school course grade for a course prior to the new Ohio’s State Tests being available?

    No, this is only applicable to students in the graduating classes of 2018 and beyond.

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    Can a student use scores obtained prior to Jan. 1, 2016?

    Yes, students may use scores from tests taken prior to Jan. 1, 2016, as part of this new option. This would include the state end-of-course tests, ACT/SAT, applicable College Credit Plus course grades, or applicable Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests.

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    Where can I find information about the new Ohio’s State Tests?

    Information about Ohio’s State Tests is here.

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    If a student takes one of Ohio’s State Tests during the spring testing, will they receive the results in time for graduation?

    No, the results from Ohio’s State Tests will not be available to districts until mid- to late- June.

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Last Modified: 8/11/2016 3:01:35 PM