What is the HiSET?

The HiSET exam stands for the High School Equivalency Test. It is one of three tests U.S. states and territories use to measure high school equivalency skills. The General Education Developent (GED) and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) are the other options.[1]

Who can take the exam?

Adults without a high school diploma.

What’s on the HiSET exam?

  • Reading (65 min, 40 MC): Measures ability to understand, interpret, and analyze a broad range of literary and informational texts, ranging from 400-600 words.
  • Writing (120 min, 50 MC & 1 Essay): Measures skill in recognizing and producing American English. Consists of a MC section measuring ability to edit written texts & an essay component.
  • Math (90 min, 50 MC): Measures mathematical knowledge and competencies via practical problems and numerical operations. Calculator allowed for this section.
  • Science (80 min, 50 MC): Measures ability to use science content knowledge and apply principles of scientific inquiry to evaluate scientific information. Graphs, tables and charts are used.
  • Social Studies (70 min, 50 MC): Measures ability to analyze and evaluate content addressing topics such as history, political science, geography, and sociology. Primary documents, cartoons, timelines, maps, graphs and tables, reading passages.


[1] It is not a substitute for completing high school and earning a HS diploma. It is an alternative for those who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to finish high school.