HiSET Practice Test

Last Updated on May 13, 2024.

The HiSET is one of 2 available high school equivalency exams in the U.S. The other option is the GED test.

The HiSET exam (short for High School Equivalency Test) includes five tests in these fields:

  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • English Literacy Writing
  • English Literacy Reading

The topics addressed in the GED and HiSET tests are quite similar, so using these free practice tests to get all set for HiSET testing is a great idea!

The five HiSET subtests are modular, meaning they are independent, and you don’t need to take them all in one session.

The HiSET exam is offered in both paper-based and computer-formatted versions.

The four GED modules need to be completed on a computer.

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The practice tests and free online GED classes featured on this website offer great support to start out on your HiSET or GED preparation journey and allow you to discover if online learning suits you well.

If our online study method fits your preferred learning style, we recommend registering with Onsego GED Online Prep, a full-scale and accredited program that will help you earn your HiSET or GED diploma fast!

HiSET Practice Test

Which of the following people would be considered unemployed?

Question 1 of 20

  • A person who works two part-time jobs but is looking for a full-time job
  • A person who quits work to care for aging parents
  • A person who stayed home to raise kids and now started looking for work

Click Here to Answer.

HiSET Practice Tests By Subject

HiSET testing is pretty challenging. The minimally required score on each of the five modules is so that around 40-45 percent of all high school grads would not pass the HiSET subtests on their first attempt.

The HiSET, just like the GED exam, is for individuals who did not complete their high school curriculum and gives them one more chance to earn a credential that is nationally accepted in lieu of a standard high school degree.

The HiSET has five subtests that closely reflect the skills and knowledge of high school graduates.

After successful completion of the HiSET exam, students will be awarded their state’s HSE (high school equivalency) credential.

This is a great way to advance careers, join the armed forces, start out on a training program, or continue their education in college or university.

See also this post about HiSET test centers by state.

When you pass the HiSET exam, you will receive your HSE certificate or diploma.

The HSE diploma will open the doors to a fine college education, and a secondary education diploma (high school or equivalent) 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, so be wise and try to get your HS equivalency diploma as soon as you possibly can.

Some states subsidize the HSE examination partially, and there are four states that fully subsidize the cost of the exam for their residents (New York-GED, West Virginia-HiSET, Maine-HiSET, and Connecticut-GED).

There are also states that offer their HSE exams at no cost to first-time test takers (for example, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky).

The HiSET exam, like the GED, could not be taken online. You had to go, in person, to a state-designated test center. Recently, however, we saw the introduction of the online proctored ‘HiSET-At-Home.’

Keep also in mind that online studying can be an excellent solution for students living in remote areas or those who are not in a position to attend classes in a traditional setting.

Language Arts – Reading

This is a 65-minute-long test in which applicants must read and analyze a number of written texts and answer questions regarding the main topics, identify the meaning of words and phrases, and come to conclusions.

Candidates may be required to describe and compare some ideas in a number of texts or identify the author’s arguments.

Language Arts – Writing

Candidates have 120 minutes to deal with parts 1 and 2 of this exam portion. This multiple-choice section (part 1) examines a candidate’s skills in English grammar and structure.

In part 2, candidates must show they are capable of writing a well-structured essay, describing and developing a statement or argument, coming up with evidence to support the idea, and coming to a conclusion.


Applicants have 90 minutes to complete the mathematics section. This part requires them to address issues in the fields of algebra, geometry, and statistics.

They must have command of basic arithmetic operations, determine the probable outcome of events, analyze and interpret graphics, and handle measurements of central tendency.


This is an 80-minute section that examines applicants’ knowledge of physical science, life science, and Earth science issues.

Applicants need to answer questions about, for example, our solar system and the layers of the Earth.

They need to be able to describe the structures of ecosystems and demonstrate that they are familiar with the principles of physics. Check out also this website’s free HiSET Science video lessons but be aware that our free support does not cover all HiSEt or GED subject matter.

Social Studies

To pass this 70-minute test, applicants must show they know essential events going on in the world and have sufficient knowledge of U.S. history.

They are additionally required to be able to answer questions about different types of government and about the roles that citizens play in democracies.

This section also addresses topics such as economics (supply and demand questions), physical geography, and human demographics.

HiSET Passing Score

To pass the HiSET exam, test-takers need to attain at least an eight score (out of a possible 20) on all five HiSET subtests, and their overall score cannot be less than 45. Additionally, their essays must result in a score of at least two.

All five HiSET subtests have between 40 and 50 questions that are all multiple-choice except for, of course, the essay section in the writing test.

HiSET Exam Overview

The HiSET exam is one of two nationally available High School Equivalency Tests in America. When you pass the HiSET exam, you will receive the High School Equivalency Diploma from your State.

HiSET is short for the “High School Equivalency Test.” The HiSET exam assesses knowledge and skills at a level that compares to that of high school graduates.

The HiSET is one of the alternatives to the GED test and is NOT available in every state. Check here to learn about -> the HiSET availability in your state.

The HiSET exam is for adults who, for some reason, were not able to finish their regular high school education. It offers them the chance to secure a diploma that is recognized and accepted across North America in lieu of a common high school credential.

HiSET testing includes five separate subtests that cover the academic fields of English Writing, English Literature and the Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

The five subtests require test-takers to understand and apply reading, writing, mathematical, and critical reasoning skills.

The five HiSET subtests may be taken separately and in any order, provided mathematics and language writing are not taken last. Check here -> for more details about how to write a 5- or 6-paragraph HiSET essay.

When students have passed all five HiSET subtests, they will be awarded their state’s High School Equivalency Diploma. As said above, this credential is the equivalency of a regular H.S. diploma and is accepted by just about all employers, universities and colleges, state and federal government agencies, and the U.S. armed services.

The HiSET was introduced in 2014 as a more affordable alternative to the GED (General Education Development) program that introduced a new version that allowed students to take the test only in a computer-based format while the price had gone up dramatically.

The HiSET exam is available in both a paper-based and a computer-based format and can be taken at certified test centers or online, the “HiSET-At-Home” option.

The HiSET is available in 24 States

California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Two states use only the HiSET exam for high school equivalency testing: Maine and Iowa.

On each of the five HiSET subtests, test-takers need to attain a score of no less than 8 out of 20 to pass that section. There are five tests (so 100 is the maximum score), and the minimally required overall scaled score is 45, while on the essay part, the score must be at least 2 out of a possible 6.

The HiSET is a pretty challenging exam. The passing score is set in a way that some 40 percent of high school graduates would not be able to pass the HiSET exam on the first try.

All of the five HiSET subtests come with multiple-choice questions. Only the Writing part of the English Language Arts subtest requires you to write an essay.

When you take the HiSET exam in a computer-formatted version, you can skip questions if you don’t know the answer immediately and come back to them later, review questions, change your answers later, and see if you missed any of the questions.

When you’re working on your essay, please keep in mind to budget your precious time. You’ll need the time to think about what’s given in the prompt, and you’ll have to plan your response carefully and write your best possible essay.

When you’ve finished your essay, you should check for errors.

Occasional grammatical, typographical, or spelling mistakes will not influence your essay score, but persistent and/or severe errors will affect the quality of your essay and have a lowering effect on your score.