What Is The HiSET Exam?

In America, there are three HSE (High School Equivalency) tests, the GED®, TASC, and HiSET® exams.

HiSET is short for simply “High School Equivalency Test.”

To take the HiSET, you need to create your personal account at hiset.ets.org.

Then you will be able to schedule a test and choose a location near you.

The HiSET includes five subtests in Math, Science, Literacy Reading, Literacy Writing, and Social Studies.

This test measures knowledge and skills at a level that is comparable to that of graduating high school senior.

When you pass the HiSET exam, your state will issue a High School Equivalency Certificate.

This credential is recognized and accepted in the same way as a standard high school diploma by employers, government agencies, recruitment organizations, and institutions of higher education.

What HiSET stands for

HiSET is short for simply “High School Equivalency Test” while TASC stands for “Test Assessing Secondary Completion” and GED is short for “General Education Development”.

The GED is a fully computerized exam while for now, the HiSET and TASC exams are available in a paper-based version and a computerized model in most states. New Jersy offers all three tests, but all tests have to be carried out on a computer.

Online testing is not an option, not for the HiSET, not for the TASC, and not for the GED! Online prep courses can be a great solution, especially for students in remote areas and those with busy schedules, but the tests themselves have to be taken at official and state-approved testing centers. You can very well attend an adult education program at a community learning center.

More and more states offer all three testing options so you can decide which one to take but there are states that stayed with the GED while other states switched to one alternative option and others again use a combination of two high school equivalency tests. To see your state’s situation, click here

So if you pass the HiSET exam, you will receive your state-issued high school equivalency diploma that will enable you to go to college and pursue the career you always dreamed of, join the military, or advance your career. If you hold the diploma, you surely will have a better life.

The HiSET is (in most states) more affordable than the GED test and it really is a highly flexible and accessible exam, actually the fastest-growing HSE exam in America! More HiSET, TASC, and GED details are available here.

People with a high school diploma or equivalent will earn at least $9500 more annually than people without these degrees and the HSE diploma also allows for a college education. Staff at a testing site will help you if require an accommodation due to disability or if you require some extra materials.

What’s on the HiSET Test

The HiSET exam is a rigorous exam developed by ETS (Educational Testing Service), the largest non-profit educational assessment and testing organization in the world. ETS is working closely together with state educational agencies to ensure that HiSET testing is and will continue to closely reflect the knowledge and skills of high school graduates.

The HiSET includes five subtests in Math, Science, Literacy Reading, Literacy Writing, and Social Studies. In most states that use the HiSET exam for HSE testing, you have the option to schedule what is HiSETall five subtests at once or one of the subtests at a time in any order you prefer. All HiSET and GED preparatory facilities and testing locations can be discovered if you click on the link.

How long is the HiSET test

The entire HiSET test will take you a little over seven hours (not including any breaks). Most HiSET test takers will take different subtests on various days. We see that there are students who schedule their tests just some days apart while others schedule their tests months apart.

So you see the HiSET exam is offering you extreme flexibility so you can schedule your tests at the time that suits you best. To read more about what can be easier, the HiSET or the GED, see this page.

HiSET requirements

States have the liberty to set their own passing standards and criteria. In general, though, we see that in most states the minimally required age for testing is 18 (there are states with different regulations, though) but under-age students (16 & 17 years of age) may qualify if they are officially withdrawn from high school, have parental consent, and meet more strict requirements.

HiSET Scoring

The HiSET tests are measured on a scale from 0 to 20 and to pass the HiSET subtests, a student must attain a score of at least 8 points on each of the h HiSET subtests. The essay must bring at least a 2 score out of 6, and the total achievement (for all five subtests) need to be no less than 45 (so out of a possible 100 points).

The HiSET is a pretty rigorous and challenging examination. In fact, the passing standards are set at such a level that some 40% of all high school graduates would not be able to pass the exam at the first try! Please see our GED and HiSET news posts to be aware of any updates or changes in policies.

So make sure you’ll get as prepared as you possibly can to make sure you’ll be able to further your academic education or get the job you deserve to ensure a brighter future for you and the ones around you!

Which States Offer The HiSET?

States listed below offer the HiSET high school equivalency exam. Adults who did not complete their high school education can use the high school equivalency test to earn a credential that compares to a common high school degree. The HiSET is offered both in a computer-based model and in a paper-and-pencil format except in New Jersey where all tests are administered on a computer.

Be aware, though, that in states where multiple options are available, not all testing centers administer the HiSET so get properly informed to avoid disappointment. Here is an overview.

This HiSET prep course will help you get ready for your real exam. These video lessons will help you get prepared for all five HiSET subtests.

Through these short videos, you will learn how to solve Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Writing, and Language Reading questions and there are many more tips.

How To Pass HiSET

To be able to take the HiSET subtests (all at once or one at a time in many states), you need to create your personal account at hiset.ets.org.  Go to hiset.ets.org to create your account or call ETS customer service (phone: 1-855-694-4738 or 1-855-MyHiSET).

Then you can schedule your test appointments, view your scores, get the latest information, and pay for your tests. Your account enables you (in most states) to cancel or reschedule your test appointments, and you can also see your scores here. To learn more about the HiSET exam, check out this article.

When you’ve set up your HiSET account, you’ll have immediate access to all sorts of HiSET-related information. There are also many prep sites that offer day and evening classes to get all set fast so if you want, find a site that fits your schedule.

Here you can find all HiSET testing centers and request to schedule your tests. Some states and jurisdictions allow you to pay for testing here as well.

Then you will have access to information about topics. Here is our summary.

Literacy Reading

The section Literacy (Language Arts) Reading takes 65 minutes. This subtest is made up of multiple-choice questions that are measuring a student’s skill for understanding, interpreting and analyzing a wide range of informational and literary texts.

These texts may have a length of between 4 and six hundred words.

Literacy Writing

The section Literacy (Language Arts) Writing is 120 minutes and includes multiple-choice questions and an essay prompt. This part is measuring a student’s ability to recognize and produce standard American written English and includes two parts.

Part one consists of multiple-choice questions that measure a student’s skill for editing and revising written texts. The essay part will measure a student’s understanding of generating and organizing specific ideas in good English writing. Online classes tests are great to get all set fast, both for the GED and the HiSET as the contents are similar so you’re welcome to use our free services.


The Math portion of the HiSET exam is 90 minutes and measuring a student’s mathematical skills and knowledge through multiple-choice questions. The Math questions will also include practical problems and cases that need to be solved by measurement, numerical operations, logical reasoning, data interpretation, and estimation.

Some of the questions are assessing a test taker’s ability to deal with abstract concepts including probability and algebraic patterns. On the HiSET Math portion, the use of a calculator is allowed, and complicated formulas will be provided on test day. For HiSET/GED practice tests, check out this post.


The HiSET Science test is 80 minutes long and consists of multiple-choice questions that measure a student’s knowledge of scientific concepts, the skills to use and apply science content and the principles of scientific research and inquiry and if an applicant understands how to interpret and evaluate all sorts of scientific information.

In the HiSET Science portion, tables, graphs, and charts will be used for the presentation of information and results. All HiSET/GED prep sites and testing centers can be found in this article.HiSET prep

Social Studies

The HiSET Social Studies section is 70 minutes and made up of multiple-choice questions that measure a student’s skills of analyzing and evaluating information from various content fields as geography, political science, history, psychology, economics, sociology, and anthropology.

This part comes with maps, charts, graphs, posters, timelines, cartoons, reading passages, and other primary documents to measure an applicant’s knowledge of the related academic fields.

It’s important that you always follow the latest information about HiSET testing, make sure to check the HiSET official website. Also keep in mind, that you need to pass the test in person, there is no “online testing” possible.

Our Study Guides provide you with easy to follow, yet unique strategies, video lessons, and practice tests so you can smartly prepare for the HiSET exam and visibly increase your chances to pass the HiSET. Preparation is key and all of our lessons and practice tests are free, so click on one of the subjects and start learning.

HiSET, similar to other two HSE testing options allows you to demonstrate that you master knowledge and skills at the same level as high school graduates.

GED Testing Service has the copyright and all other rights reserved for GED and the GED Ready test.

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