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Frequently Asked Questions

It’s normal to have a lot of questions about taking the high school equivalency test and finishing your diploma. If you don’t see the answers you need, visit Test Info or call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-389-6874. We’re always ready to help, 24/7.
  • Q.Why should I get my high school diploma?
    A.There are many advantages of earning a high school equivalency diploma, from finally completing a major goal to being able to help your children with their homework.

    It might seem hard to finish your high school diploma, but it can make all the difference in your life and for your family. Click here for four of the top reasons why finishing your diploma makes sense.
  • Q.How do I know if I’m ready?
    A.If you’re reading this, you’re ready. Thousands of centers all over the U.S. are waiting to help you finish your diploma. Best of all, many of the centers are completely free.

    Yes, you might have to juggle class and studying with work, kids and other responsibilities. Just remember — almost everyone who has earned a high school equivalency diploma (over 19 million adults) had to go through the same thing. You will have support. No one gets a diploma alone.
  • Q.How do I get started?
    A.To get started, use the ZIP code finder to find free adult education classes near you. Either way, the path toward your high school equivalency diploma starts here.
  • Q.Will I need to prepare for the test alone?
    A.No one gets a diploma alone. When the time is right, your teachers will help you take some practice tests so you know exactly what to expect from the real thing.
  • Q.Can I take the actual tests online from home?
    A.No. The high school equivalency tests can only be taken in person at an authorized testing center. If you see a test on the Internet that claims to be a certified high school equivalency test and does not require you to take the test at an official testing center, it is not a legitimate program.
  • Q.Which test do I take?
    A.There are three different high school equivalency tests, but they will all provide you with the same credential. Depending on where you live, you will need to take either the GED,® HiSET® or TASCTM test to get your high school equivalency credential and finish your diploma. You can learn more about the different test info here. No matter which test your state uses, your local adult education center will be well prepared to guide you through the process and prepare you to take the test. The best way to get started is to use the ZIP code finder and connect with your local center. They’ll know all about which tests are offered in your area.
  • Q.What is the GED® test?
    A.The GED® test is a four-subject high school equivalency test that measures skills required by high schools and requested by colleges and employers. The four subjects are Science, Social Studies, Mathematical Reasoning, and Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA). After you pass the GED® test, your diploma or credential will be issued by your state, and you’ll receive a GED® transcript that you can use to apply to college, start a training program or get a better job.

    The GED® test takes about 7 hours and 30 minutes. You must get a score of at least 145 on each test part to pass the GED® test and earn your high school diploma. You may also earn an Honors score if you receive a score of 165 or more on a test part.

    • Below Passing: 100–144
    • Passing Score: 145–164
    • Honors Passing Score: 165–200
  • Q.I have to take the entire GED® test over if I do not get a passing test score?
    A.You can take one test subject at a time, and only retake the subjects in which you didn't get at least a score of 145. GED® Testing Service helps you pay for two retakes per subject, so retaking is easier than ever. If after three tries you still have not passed the test subject, you must wait 60 days to test again.

    Your state may have other policies on studying before you retake the test, so it's important to check your state's policies on the website.
  • Q.What is the HiSET® test?
    A.The HiSET® test is a five-subject high school equivalency exam that measures the academic knowledge relative to that of a high school graduate. The exam covers five content areas: Language Arts — Reading, Language Arts — Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. Depending on where you live, the exam may be taken at a testing center on a computer or as a paper test. In order to pass the HiSET,® you must achieve a scaled score of at least 8 out of 20 on each individual subject, achieve a score of at least 2 out of 6 on the Language Arts — Writing section, and achieve a total scaled score of at least 45 out of 100 on all five sections. A score of at least 15 out of 20 on any individual subject indicates college and career readiness, meaning you scored at the 75th percentile of all graduating high school students. After you pass the HiSET,® you’ll receive your high school equivalency credential from your state.

    In the event that you do not pass one or more of the test sections, you’ll have the opportunity to retake the HiSET® test. With your test fee, you’ll get two free retests within a year of registering.

    Your state may have its own policies about the HiSET® test, and you can check your state’s requirements on the HiSET® website.
  • Q.How much does the test cost?
    A.The cost of the high school equivalency test varies from state to state. The price you will pay is set by your state. In some cases, the test may be free. Connect with your local adult education center by entering your ZIP code here or visit your state’s adult education website to check your state’s testing policies.
  • Q.How much do prep classes cost?
    A.Classes are often free. Through grants and fundraising, centers are often able to offer adult education classes at no cost to members of their local community. Search for your local center in the ZIP code search to find the one closest to you.
  • Q.Are there scholarships available?
    A.There are free classes to help you prepare for the test, but depending on what state you’re in, the test may have a cost. Your local adult education center can help you determine whether there will be a cost for taking the test.
  • Q.How long does the process take?
    A.The process will take a different amount of time for each person, depending on what level you’re starting from and how much time you spend studying.
  • Q.How long do I have to study before I’ll be ready to take the test?
    A.The length of time that you have to study for the test will vary from person to person. Your local center can help you put together a plan and timeline for taking the test.
  • Q.How can I help someone in my life finish their high school diploma?
    A.When someone decides to finish their high school education and earn their diploma, they will need the support of those around them. Studying for the test can take time and patience. Support and help from friends, family and coworkers can go a long way to help someone on their journey to completing their diploma. Give encouragement, help with chores, offer to babysit or pick up children from school, or help them study. No one gets their diploma alone.
  • Q.What if I don’t pass the test the first time?
    A.Don’t worry — you’ll have another chance. With all of the test options, you are allowed to retake the test if you don’t pass the first time. In many cases, an additional retake may not have an added cost. Your local center will help with more details.
  • Q.What should I tell someone who is interested in getting their diploma?
    A.Every journey begins with a single step. The path to a high school equivalency diploma is no different. Thousands of centers all over the U.S. are waiting to help them earn their diploma, and many of them are free. No one gets a diploma alone.
  • Q.What if English is my second language?
    A.In some cases, you may be able to take the test in Spanish. Many adult education centers will also offer classes to help Spanish-speaking adults become more familiar with English. Contact your local center for more information.