(AP)-- New York’s high school graduation rate rose slightly last year after the pandemic forced the cancellation of final exams normally required for a diploma.

Education officials said Wednesday that it's difficult to know how much of an impact canceling the stringent Regents exams had on the Class of 2021.

But they say the increase in the overall graduation rate to 86.1% is in line with an upward trend seen over the past several years.

The rate is up 1.3 percentage points over last year.

Students typically have to pass at least four Regents exams to graduate.

But amid COVID-19 disruptions, officials said it was enough that they passed the courses.

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