Whether you are wanting to further your education or pursue a different career, earning a high school equivalency credential is now more important than ever. Most Colleges, as well as many employers, require one. Two nonprofit organizations, Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Iowa Testing Programs (ITP), have teamed up to provide you with an affordable alternative to the GED® test – the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET® ). The HiSET® demonstrates that a test taker has attained the academic knowledge and proficiency equivalent to those of a high school graduate. It will get you the same state-issued high school equivalency credential as the GED® test.
Rowan-Cabarrus recommends the following to help you prepare for the examinations:
- Rowan-Cabarrus offers preparation courses through our Pre-College Studies Program on the North Campus and South Campus.
- HiSET® offers free downloadable practice tests that are approximately half the length of the actual test and include directions and an answer key. You can experience what it is like to take the computer-delivered exam by accessing free, 30-45 minute interactive practice tests. You can also view a tutorial video and access a study companion, all for free, by visiting Prepare for the HiSET® Exam: Overview.
HiSET® Test Content
The HiSET® exam includes five sub-tests that you can schedule to take in any order.
- Language Arts – Reading – (65 minutes) The Reading sub-test includes 40 multiple-choice questions and measures your ability to understand, comprehend, interpret, and analyze a broad range of reading material.
- Language Arts – Writing – (120 minutes) The Writing sub-test measures your skill in recognizing and producing effective, standard, American-written English and includes two parts. Part 1 consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and measures your ability to edit and revise written text. You are asked to make revision choices concerning organization, diction and clarity, sentence structure, usage, and mechanics. Part 2 includes an essay prompt and measures evidenced-based writing or your ability to generate and organize ideas in writing. Your writing is assessed on development, organization, language facility, and writing conventions. Spanish test takers may write their essay in Spanish.
- Mathematics – (90 minutes) The Mathematics sub-test includes 50 multiple-choice questions and measures your mathematical knowledge and competencies. The questions present practical problems that require numerical operations, measurement, estimation, data interpretation, and logical thinking. You will need to know some formulas prior to testing, including distance-rate-time, Pythagorean theorem, and quadratic formula. All calculators will be provided by the Testing Center. Please do not bring your own calculator to your test session.
- Science – (80 minutes) The Science sub-test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and measures your ability to use science content knowledge, apply principles of scientific inquiry, and interpret and evaluate scientific information. Graphs, tables, and charts are used to present information. The questions use material from a variety of content areas such as physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, health, and astronomy.
- Social Studies – (70 minutes) The Social Studies sub-test includes 50 multiple-choice questions and measures your ability to analyze and evaluate various kinds of social studies information. Documents, posters, timelines, graphs, and other visual tools may be used to present information.
Each sub-test of the HiSET® is $10.00. The total cost for successful completion of the battery is $50.00.
State Eligibility Requirements
- Age: Anyone 18 years or older may choose to take the HiSET® exam. If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you can take the exam, but you must obtain special approval through the Director of Pre-College Studies. You will need to complete the Pre-College Studies Minor Student Application and then schedule an appointment with Gary Connor (email@example.com, 704-216-3723). Once that process has been completed and approved, you will be notified of your eligibility to schedule and complete the testing.
- Residency: You do not have to be a resident of North Carolina to take the HiSET® exam.
- Practice Test: You are not required to take or pass an official practice test prior to sitting for the HiSET® exam.
- Identification: You must present a valid photo ID when you arrive for your appointment at the Testing Center. A valid photo ID includes a government-issued ID or Driver’s License, passport, military ID, or other form of government-issued (national or foreign) ID that shows name, address, date of birth, signature, and photograph. Outdated or expired identification is not accepted. If your license has expired, North Carolina does not accept it as a valid form of ID even when accompanied by the DMV renewal or temporary certificate.
Schedule Your Appointment
You must have an appointment in order to complete your testing. To schedule an appointment for HiSET® testing, you will need to create a My HiSET account. Through your account, you will be able to schedule and view appointments, view scores, update your profile, and more. The HiSET® exams are administered in the Testing Center at both campuses: North campus – building 100 and South campus – building 1000.
ETS is committed to serving test takers with disabilities and health-related needs by providing services and reasonable accommodations that are appropriate given the purpose of the test. If you have a learning or physical disability that would prevent you from taking the exam under standard conditions, you can request accommodations through ETS. You must register by mail or email through ETS Disability Services and have accommodations approved before scheduling your test date. Your request should be submitted as early as possible, especially if you are requesting an alternate test format. Documentation review takes approximately six weeks once your request and complete paperwork have been received by them.
Test takers requesting accommodations cannot schedule an appointment through their HiSET® account. Complete the HiSET® Testing Accommodations Request Form and mail it to: ETS HiSET Disability Services, P.O. Box 6054, Princeton, NJ 08541-6054. You can also submit the documentation via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more information regarding the accommodation process on the ETS Accommodations for Test Takers website.
For further information regarding the HiSET® exams or processes, please contact Julie Poole Harvell (email@example.com, 704-216-3536), Chief HSE Examiner.