What You Need to Know about the HiSET


Similar to the GED, the HiSET is an exam that provides students with a degree equivalent to a high school diploma. It is, however, more rigorous in nature than the GED.

What You Need to Know about the HiSET p2

High school can be incredibly difficult, and sometimes students and parents are looking at alternatives to receiving a high school diploma. In the vast majority of cases, students should pursue a high school diploma. Earning a diploma typically results in higher wages as an adult and lets employers know that the worker can overcome a challenge.

There are some instances where receiving a HiSET is in the best interest of the student. Below are some common questions about how to receive a HiSET, but any student interested in pursuing the HiSET should speak to his or her counselor before making that decision.

What is similar about the GED & the HiSET?

Both exams will provide you with a degree that is considered by most to be equivalent to a high school degree. However, some employers, colleges, and the military may not accept them as an equivalent. You must schedule either test prior to arriving at a testing center. Both programs are willing to provide accommodations during the test for students who have disabilities or health needs.

What is the difference between the GED & the HiSET?

There are a few major similarities and differences between the GED and the HiSET that may help you decide which test best fits your needs.



Four-part test Five-part test
7.5 hours 7 hours
Scratch paper not permitted May bring blank, colored scratch paper
$85 average cost $50-65 average cost
Accepted in all states and Canada Accepted in 26 states and U.S. territories*

*As of September 2018

Who can take the HiSET?

The HiSET is designed for adults without a high school diploma. The average age students must be to take the HiSET is 18 years old, but you can click here to find the specific requirements for your state.

How long is the HiSET?

What You Need to Know about the HiSET i

This test is administered in five parts: Language Arts (Reading), Language Arts (Writing), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The test is approximately 7 hours in length, but each subtest can be taken at different times.

Do all states or U.S. territories accept the HiSET?

Unfortunately, no. As of 2014, the GED is no longer the only exam that provides adults who do not have a high school diploma with an equivalency diploma. However, state legislators and school boards have not caught up. The states and U.S. territories* that accept the HiSET are:

  • 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
  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • Marshall Islands
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau

*As of September 2018

Do employers or colleges care which test I take?

In most cases, no. To an employer or college all degree equivalency programs are equal in value.

Where can I find HiSET study guides?

There are many study materials available for the HiSET. Here are just a few.

For any other questions about alternatives to public school (or online school education in general), please call (866) 488-4818, or visit EnlightiumAcademy.com. Enlightium Academy is an accredited alternative education option for educating your child from home. Our program offers the comfort of a homeschool education environment and the quality of a private school education curriculum. Enlightium Academy is a private Christian school that offers a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher supported, and affordable education. Enlightium Academy meets all accreditation and state education requirements, while neither using the state curriculum or Common Core.

Learn More Take Me There


Frequently Asked Questions About the TASC Exam
The Value of An Accredited High School Diploma