GED Vs. Alternatives HiSET And TASC

The GED Test

In January 2014, GED Testing Service released the latest edition of the GED® program. Through this program, adults who never finished high school have the chance to earn a HSE (high school equivalency) credential which is all across America accepted just like a high school diploma by practically all institutions of higher learning, government agencies, and employers.

The latest version of the GED test includes four instead of five individual tests in the academic fields of Literacy (Reasoning through Language Arts), Science, Social Studies, and Math (Mathematical Reasoning). The new GED test includes far less multiple-choice questions than the older versions, and the former ‘Literacy Writing’ section is now embedded throughout the examination.

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The GED passing score was lowered

in January 2016, The passing score on each of the four GED sub-tests was reduced from 150 to 145. Read all about it here.

What’s new on the GED

The new GED edition is only offered on a computer and in many states. education officials were worried that this would keep many older possible applicants from taking the tests as basic computer and keyboarding skills were now required as well to successfully take on the four tests.

On top of that has the GED exam become much more expensive. Most states require applicants now to pay $120 or more for the entire GED test battery. Some states subsidize the program partly, and four states take up the tab completely for their residents. So quite a few states decided to look for more affordable alternatives, and from January 2014 on, the GED Test is no longer the only available option for those who want to earn a high school equivalency diploma.


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Some states changed from the GED to TASC (developed by CTB/McGraw Hill) or HiSET (created by ETS – Educational Testing Services). The HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) and the TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) are much more affordable than the latest edition of the GED test. Furthermore, the two alternatives are offered both computer-formatted and in a paper-based version while the four GED tests must be taken on a computer.

All three exams lead, on successful completion, to a HSE certificate or diploma. This document opens the doors to a college education and a secondary education diploma is more or less a ‘must’ for practically all future employment positions. To be able to qualify for credit classes or get financial support at schools of higher learning, you definitely are required to hold a high school or equivalent diploma as well, so be wise, and try to get your HS equivalency diploma as soon as you possibly can.

The HiSET and TASC exams include five test on these fields: Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Literacy Writing, and Literacy Reading.

What Is Available Where

There are states that traded the GED test in for the TASC exam, others switched to the HiSET, and there are also states that offer multiple options to earn your HSE diploma. The following states switched from offering the GED Test to only providing the TASC examination: New York, Indiana, and West Virginia.

The HiSET exam is available in Iowa, Montana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Tennessee, while the following states offer all three testing options: California, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wyoming. Colorado and Illinois will provide multiple options in 2016.

Prepare Well!

The content of the HiSET and TASC resembles the former GED test, so you may very well make use of this website’s free video lessons and practice tests to get all set for the real thing fast. Please check with a testing center in your area to discover which alternative they are using for HSE testing to avoid possible disappointment. Over the next few years, all tests will make the transition to ‘computerized’ testing, but for now, only the GED test is offered solely this way.

Free GED Online Classes

The HiSET and TASC exams include five tests that usually need to be taken in one row, usually spread out over a few days. You will receive your test results after around five to six weeks if you test paper-based. The computerized GED test results will be at your disposal after a few hours already except for the essay part, that needs longer to be properly assessed. At the new GED test, you have two whole years to complete the four test modules, so your test results will be valid for that period of time.