Which Standardized Tests Does Each American State Require?

Below are highlights from the latest survey of testing plans. Scroll down to see the full results for 2019.

Which States Use PARCC or Smarter Balanced Standardized Tests?

Only ONE-THIRD of the states use the PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests.

  • Fifteen states and the District of Columbia will administer PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests in the spring of 2019. That’s five fewer than in 2016 and 2017.
  • Thirty-two states use tests they designed or bought.
  • Three states give hybrid tests. Two mix their own questions with items from the PARCC/New Meridian item bank, and one adds its own questions onto the full Smarter Balanced test.
  • Read more about the current state of common-core tests.



Which States Require Students to Take the SAT or ACT?

Requiring the ACT or SAT is HOLDING STEADY after a rise in popularity.

  • Twenty-five states require students to take the SAT or ACT, the same number as in 2016 and 2017. That number had been climbing steadily—from seven states a decade ago— as states looked for ways to encourage students to go to college.

Which States Require Exit Exams?

Requiring exit exams is HOLDING STEADY after a decline.

  • Thirteen states require students to pass a test to get a high school diploma, one more than in 2017. In some states, students can use projects or portfolios to meet this requirement. Exit exams used to be more popular: In 2002, more than half the states required them.

What tests are states requiring in 2018-19?

Below is a complete breakdown of results from our state survey.

State Name3-8 TestHigh School TestExit Exam?Notes
AlabamaScantronpre-ACT, ACT, ACT WorkKeysNo
AlaskaPerformance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools (PEAKS)PEAKSNo
ArizonaAZMeritAZMerit end-of-course exam or substitutesNoDistricts may substitute other tests, such as SAT, ACT, IB or AP, for high school AZMerit.
ArkansasACT AspireACT AspireNoAll districts must offer ACT, but students not required to participate.
CaliforniaSmarter BalancedSmarter BalancedNo
ColoradoMeasures of Academic Success (CMAS)PSAT, SATNoCMAS is a mix of questions developed by Colorado and by PARCC/New Meridian.
ConnecticutSmarter BalancedSATNo
DelawareSmarter BalancedPSAT, SATNo
District of ColumbiaPARCCPARCC, SATNo

Florida Standards Assessments (FSA)

FSAYesStudents must pass exit exams or achieve specified scores on ACT or SAT.
GeorgiaMilestonesGeorgia Milestones end-of-course examsNo
HawaiiSmarter BalancedSmarter Balanced, ACTNo
IdahoSmarter BalancedSmarter Balanced, SAT or ACTNo
IowaIowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP)ISASPNo
KansasKansas Assessment Program (KAP)KAPNo
KentuckyKentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP)K-PREP, ACTNo
LouisianaLouisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP)LEAP end-of-course testsYesLEAP is a mix of questions designed by Louisiana and by PARCC/New Meridian. Students may substitute WorkKeys for ACT.
MaineMaine Educational Assessment (MEA)SATNo
MassachusettsMassachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)MCASYes
MichiganMichigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP), PSATPSAT, SAT, ACT WorkKeysNoM-STEP includes Michigan-designed questions and the Smarter Balanced test.
MinnesotaMinnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)MCANo
MississippiMississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP)MAAP, ACTYesStudents must pass MAAP end-of-course exams, or use other options, including achieving specified scores on the ACT or grades in dual-credit courses.


Missouri Assessment Program (MAP)

MAP end-of-course testsNo
MontanaSmarter BalancedACTNo
NebraskaNebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS)ACTNo
NevadaSmarter BalancedACTNo
New HampshireNew Hampshire Statewide Assessment System (NHSAS), *Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) (some districts)SATNo*11 districts give NHSAS in grades 3-4 and 6-8, and use locally designed performance assessments (PACE) in other tested grades.
NewJerseyPARCCPARCCYesStudents must pass PARCC or use other options, including achieving specified scores on the ACT or SAT.
NewYorkNew York State AssessmentsRegents ExaminationsYes
North CarolinaEnd-of-Grade TestsNorth Carolina End-of-Course Tests, ACTNoWorkKeys required of students completing career-technical education courses of study.
NorthDakotaNorth Dakota State Assessment (NDSA)NDSANoStudents must take ACT or WorkKeys. Districts may substitute ACT for state high school test.
OhioOhio’s State TestsOST end-of-course exams, ACT or SATYesStudents must pass end-of-course exams, or achieve specified scores on other tests, such as ACT or SAT.

Oklahoma School Testing Program

ACT or SATNoDistricts choose between ACT and SAT.
OregonSmarter BalancedSmarter BalancedNo
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)Keystone end-of-course testsNo
Rhode IslandRhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS)PSAT, SATNo
South CarolinaSCReadyend-of-course tests, Ready to WorkNo
South DakotaSmarter BalancedSmarter BalancedNo
TennesseeTNReadyTNReady end-of-course tests, ACT or SATNoDistricts choose between ACT or SAT.

State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR)

STAAR end-of-course testsYes
UtahReadiness Improvement Success Empowerment (RISE)Utah Aspire Plus, ACTNoUtah Aspire Plus blends Utah-developed items and items from ACT Aspire.
VermontSmarter BalancedSmarter BalancedNo
VirginiaStandards of Learning (SOL)SOL end-of-course examsYesStudents must pass SOL exams or achieve specified scores on other tests, including ACT, SAT, AP or IB.
WashingtonSmarter BalancedSmarter BalancedYesStudents must pass Smarter Balanced, or use other options, including achieving specified scores on ACT, SAT, AP or IB.
West VirginiaWest Virginia General Summative AssessmentSATNo
WisconsinWisconsin ForwardACT Aspire, ACT, ACT WorkKeysNo
WyomingWyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress (WY-TOPP)WY-TOPP, ACTNo