SC End of Course Exams

If you have a high schooler that you are going to enroll back into a public school, you need to know about SC End of Course Exams. It’s one of the complications that can interfere with your homeschool credits transferring to the public school. Let’s try to walk thru this re-enrollment process as smoothly as we can!

Also, if you are using Option 1 (the school district) as your homeschool accountability, your student will also be required to take End of Course exams.

An end of course exam (or EOC) is a statewide final exam for courses that are considered "gateway" courses. Does your homeschooler need this exam?

Ideally, if you format your transcript, the school officials should be able to use that to place your students in appropriate courses that will complete their high school requirements.  However, some school officials are presuming that your home education is lacking in some way or don’t know enough about homeschooling.  I consider this part of the normalization process of homeschooling.

They sometimes try to impose policies that are not required of us in homeschool law. Some will ask for proof of “accredited” courses which isn’t a requirement for home education. Another policy that public schools sometimes try to impose on our homeschool credits is the End of Course exam.

What are End of Course Exams?

An end of course exam (or EOC) is a statewide final exam in SC Public Schools for courses that are considered “gateway” courses. The point of it is to ensure that students have sufficient mastery of the academic standards so they are ready for more advanced courses.

Most final exams are written by the individual teacher or by the curriculum company. But there’s four EOC exams: Algebra 1, English 1 (or English 2), Biology and US History/Constitution. No matter which school district or teacher, it’s the same exam in every classroom across the state.

The exam counts as 20% of the student’s final grade for the year. In order to earn a South Carolina High school diploma, the students are required to pass the courses in which the state’s end of course examinations are administered.

“The End of Course Examination Program (EOCEP) is a statewide assessment program of end of course tests for gateway courses awarded units of credit in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The EOCEP encourages instruction in the specific academic standards for the courses, encourages student achievement, and documents the level of students’ mastery of the academic standards.

To earn a South Carolina high school diploma, students are required to pass a high school credit course in science, and a high school credit course in United States history in which the state’s end of course examinations are administered. Currently these courses are Biology 1 (science) and United States History and Constitution (social studies).

Gateway courses in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies will be defined by the State Board of Education. EOCEP examination scores count 20 percent in the calculation of the student’s final grade in gateway courses. Defined gateway courses currently include the following courses or courses with other names and activity codes in which the same academic standards are taught: Algebra 1, Biology 1, English 1 (or English 2), and United States History and the Constitution.” Read the policy for yourself here.

Note: The EOC for English is switching from English 1 to English 2. It’s one or the other. But, I’ve not been able to find out a policy that clarifies which one will be required for students transferring back into public school.

What about Homeschoolers?

End of Course Exams are for the public schools. So, why does it matter to you as a homeschooler…and what do you need to do? For most of us, this doesn’t affect us. We don’t have to take standardized tests in order to graduate or get accepted for admissions. Even if we wanted to take these tests, homeschoolers under Option 2 and Option 3 are not allowed to access testing thru the school district.

The only homeschoolers who are required to do state-mandated testing is Option 1 (the ones who are using the school district as their accountability). However, when I chose option 1, I found out that the school district policy counted the EOC exam score as the entire grade for the course. If my daughter ever wanted to return to public school, she would likely have to retake these courses all over.

For a few of us who are considering the possibility of transferring your student back into a public school, this is where you *might* run into some problems.

Some students are transferring back into public school just fine. But, some school districts are requiring homeschool students to take the EOC exams. Even if the student has already done Algebra 2 and Geometry, it may still be “required” to take Algebra 1 EOC. If your student does have to do this, the school should calculate the score as 20% of the final grade they count on the transcript.

If you already know your student might want to transfer homeschool credits into public high school, here’s a few suggestions of what you might do:

  • Take the EOC courses at Virtual SC. This program is an accredited supplemental program for public, private, and home school students in South Carolina. These credits are readily acceptable for any public school. The courses include EOC exams.
  • Check out other schools and programs that will accept your homeschool credits. For example: Virtual Charter schools, Gray Collegiate, Middle College, Governor’s school, etc.
  • Provide alternative exam results. Many curriculum companies provide final exams that you could administer. It’s possible that these results can stand as proof that your student has adequately mastered the subject and demonstrates that you have covered the standards.
  • Get your association director to advocate with you. Sometimes the school official needs to speak office-to-office with someone else. Many association directors offer that kind of service.
  • Push back on their policies. It’s an overreach beyond what the homeschool law requires…ask the official to show you where this is required by law.
  • Advocate for the “best interest of the child”. Making a student repeat a course will be boring–and unnecessary. Assure them that the student is able to “keep up.”
  • Keep in mind that the school will list where the course was taken on their transcript. They are not taking credit for the quality of your course.

Public school transcript example. Note that it lists each school where the credit was earned.

I often wonder what the school does with transfer credits from private schools and out of state schools. These may not be accredited institutions nor included the EOCs either. As a home educator, you deserve to be treated with equivalent expectations. So, you might have to submit course descriptions and test results. But, you should not have to submit your curriculum, daily lesson plans or grade book for inspection by the school official.

Some school officials still have negative opinions of home education. We are still battling for our rights in the court of public opinion. This is the battle line for homeschool normalization. What you do will help set your child on the path to success. But, it also helps set those who come behind you on a path to success.

Have you transferred to Public School?
Let me know how did it go?

Read more about Honors Framework Guideline:
If your high schooler is transferring back to public school, you need to know about this Honors Framework Guideline from the Department of Education.

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About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!


  1. […] SC is accredited by the SC Department of Ed. The courses meet the diploma standard, including the End of Course Exam policy and the Honors Framework. Teachers are SC certified. Honors and AP courses are also […]

  2. […] came the spring tests. The high school tests worked a bit differently. There were state mandated end of course exams at that time for three of my daughter’s 9th grade courses: English, Algebra 1 and Physical […]

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