The HiSET Exam is a high school equivalency examination. Students in several states can take this test in place of finishing high school or taking the GED® exam. The requirements of the exam vary depending on the state the student resides in. As of 2017, students in the following states can sit for the HiSET Exam according to the ETS: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North, Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming. Please visit the ETS website for an updated list.
ETS offers free resources for students taking the HiSET. Students can take advantage of a free study companion, practice tests for each section of the exam, and sample questions. If these materials are not enough, students can purchase additional practice tests from both ETS and Aztec Software. Aztec Software also provides study modules that students can use to study for a small fee.
Students should take their time and strive to study all of the materials available. Taking the practice tests will help students to see where they need the most help. Once the problem areas are discovered, students can study those subjects in more detail than subjects they know well.
Scheduling the Exam
Each state is different, but the most common ways to schedule the HiSET is to do it through the local testing center or by calling the ETS customer service number. Students must meet the qualifications to test in their resident state. They vary and include age, residency, and/or whether the student took the HiSET course. Once these qualifications are met, the student can set a test date with the testing facility.
About the HiSET Exam
Students have two testing options when taking the HiSET. They can take either a paper or a computer test. The test covers the main subjects students are expected to master in high school including language arts (reading and writing), mathematics, science, and social studies. Each subject has a separate section that takes 50 minutes to two hours to complete.
Students do not have to take all five sections at once. They can schedule each test for a different date if needed. The testing cost and up to two retakes are included in the cost for the HiSET. When scheduling their test date, students can specify what test they want to take and when.
Taking the Exam
Students need to arrive at the testing center at least 15 minutes early. Students will need to dress appropriately for the testing center temperature and the environment. Students should make sure to use the restroom before starting since there are only two breaks during the test, both in the writing portion. All sections are comprised of multiple-choice questions except for the Writing portion, which has an essay in part 2.
After the exam is completed, scores will be available in 3 to 5 business days for the multiple-choice questions. For essay questions, the scores will take 6 to 10 days for results. These times are only applicable for the computer-based test. Paper tests take longer to score and depend on how long it takes for ETS to receive the answer sheets. Students will receive the scores through their HiSET account.
The HiSET is an excellent way to receive the equivalent of a high school diploma. This method costs less than taking a GED® prep course and the GED® test. Many study materials are free or low cost, making this an economical option for those who live in the states that accept it.
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