What is the HiSET®?
The HiSET®, or the High School Equivalency Test, is a test that measures someone's knowledge and skills compared to the average high school graduate. There are five subjects covered in the test: Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
The HiSET® is committed to providing accommodations for people with disabilities or health-related needs. Test accommodations include things such as a separate testing room and more.
Learn more about HiSET® accommodations.
Why take the HiSET®?
There are a lot of benefits to finishing your high school diploma, like making it easier to find a job or help your kids with their homework. The HiSET® also comes with some advantages over other high school equivalency tests. If you’re thinking “are there HiSET® classes near me?”– your state may actually offer the HiSET® as the main high school equivalency test.
It’s more affordable.
One of the benefits of taking the HiSET® is that it costs less than other high school equivalency tests. If you don’t pass the first time, the test also comes with two retests that you can take within 12-months of your original purchase date.
You won’t have to do it alone.
Whether you’re taking the HiSET® or another high school equivalency test, there will always be assistance available to help you study and pass the test. Additionally, adult education centers are equipped to provide accommodations if you are living with a disability or have health-related needs.
Millions of people have taken the test and passed, and the dedicated support staff at your local adult education centers can share resources with you to make sure you’re fully prepared to take the test.
Your local adult education center is the best place to get started with the HiSET®. Use the Zip Code Search to find a center near you.
Find Your Local Center
How to Study for the HiSET®
Once you’ve taken the major step of visiting your local adult education center and signing up for classes, it’s time to study. This is the best way to worry less about whether you will pass or not: studying for the test significantly increases your odds of a passing score.
Whether it's the HiSET® or another high school equivalency test, every state has its own rules and standards for how a diploma gets awarded. While much of the material will be quite similar for different types of tests, it is very important that you choose the preparation materials that match your state's requirements. Dedicated support staff at your local adult education center will be able to help you get started on the process.
Six Tips for Studying for the HiSET®
The dedicated support staff at your adult education center will work with you to make a study plan. Here are some tips they recommend in order to do your best:
- Create a dedicated study time. This can be in the evenings after work or early in the morning—whatever works best for you. Consistency is key.
- Use the HiSET® study companion. The HiSET® Study Companion can help you to get ready for test day. To find it, visit the HiSET website where you will find more information and resources.
- Don't try to study everything at once. Studies show that a person's ability to focus lessens after 45 minutes. Your study sessions will be more effective if you take breaks every 45-60 minutes.
- Visualize real-world examples of each lesson. For example, if you are trying to remember a math equation and you worked in retail or as a cashier in the past, think of a time when that equation could have applied to your position.
- Take the practice tests. Practice tests can be accessed for free at HiSET.org. Check with the dedicated support staff at your local education center as well for any additional practice test resources.
- Ask for help and support. Surrounding yourself with a positive network of family, friends, and supporters you can depend on is key to reaching your goal. Make sure to reach out to the teachers and tutors in your program who are ready and willing to help you make it to the finish line.
Interpreting the HiSET® Results
Knowing what to expect of the test ahead of time, as well as how your test will be scored, can help you feel a bit more confident when taking the HiSET®. In total you will have 390 minutes—just over 7 hours—to finish the test. If you are taking the test in Spanish, you will have an extra 15 minutes to complete the Language Arts – Reading section.
According to the HiSET® Test Taker Bulletin, 60% of a random sample of high school seniors given the test would pass on the first attempt. If you were to receive a score of 45 or higher, you would be on par with the top 40% of graduating high school seniors nationally.
Each of the five subtests in the HiSET® is scored on a scale of 1–20. To pass, you must do all three of the following:
- Achieve a score of at least 8 on each of the five individual subtests
- Score at least 2 out of 6 on the essay portion of the writing test
- Have a total combined score on all five tests of at least 45
As a note, you need a total score of 8 and an essay score of 2 from on the same test date. You cannot combine scores from multiple retests.
Additional HiSET® Resources
Still have questions about the HiSET® process?
Visit the official HiSET website or talk to the dedicated support staff at your local adult education center.
Below are additional resources that we trust to help guide you through the testing preparation process.
- About the HiSET®
- HiSET® Prep Materials
- HiSET® Downloadable Resources
- HiSET® Scheduling
- HiSET® Accommodations
What if you are taking the GED®?
The GED®, or the General Educational Development Test, measures someone's knowledge and skills compared to the average high school graduate. Want to learn about the GED® process? Read on to find out more.