Frequently Asked Questions for HiSET® Test Takers
About the Test
- Do all states offer the HiSET® exam?
The HiSET exam is currently offered in a number of states and U.S. territories, and more states are adopting the HiSET exam. See State Requirements to see if your state currently offers the HiSET exam as an option in high school equivalency testing.
- Where do I find information on test centers, test dates or deadlines?
Find your local test centers using our Test Center Search. Once you've found a test center, the test center staff can give you more information about dates and deadlines, since that information varies by test center.
- What does the HiSET exam measure?
The HiSET exam measures the academic knowledge and proficiency equivalent to those of a high school graduate. It covers five content areas:
- Language Arts – Reading
- Language Arts – Writing
- Social Studies
- What is the HiSET battery?
The HiSET battery refers to all five subtests. When you purchase the battery, you're paying a discounted price, and you get two free retests for each subtest within the 12-month period following your original purchase. For more information, see What is the Battery?
- How can I learn more about what's covered in each of the five subtests?
Various test preparation materials, including a Study Companion, practice tests, sample questions and more, are available to help you learn more about the subtests. These are available as downloadable Adobe® Acrobat® PDF files. See available test preparation materials.
- Do I have to take the subtests in a certain order?
You can take the subtests in whatever order you like.
- Should I take the computer-delivered test or the paper-delivered test?
How the test is delivered varies by state. Check your State Requirements to see which formats are available to you.
- Is there a difference between the computer-delivered test and the paper-delivered test?
The computer-delivered test and paper-delivered test cover and score the same content.
- Do I have to take all of my subtests in the same format?
No. If your state offers both paper- and computer-delivered testing, you may take each subtest in the format you are most comfortable with.
Registration and Scheduling
- How do I schedule a testing appointment?
How you schedule an appointment depends on what state you're testing in. In some states you must schedule your appointments through your test center. In other states, you can also schedule online or by calling ETS Customer Service. See Requirements by State for more information on how to schedule in your state.
- How do I schedule additional subtests, change my test date or change my test center?
How you can change an existing appointment depends on what state you're testing in. See Requirements by State for more information.
- What if I miss my test appointment?
If you miss your appointment, you automatically forfeit all test fees. However, you can reschedule your appointment up to three days prior to the test date, not including the day of your appointment and the day of your request. See Reschedule an Appointment for more information.
- How do I cancel my appointment and receive a refund?
To learn about canceling your appointment and refund eligibility, see Cancel Your Appointment.
- What if I need to make changes to my profile information?
To make changes before a test, sign into your HiSET account. For assistance, contact your local test center or ETS Customer Service.
My HiSET Account
- What can I do through my HiSET account?
- find a test center
- schedule and pay for a test (in some states)
- view your appointment confirmation
- reschedule or cancel a test (in some states)
- view your order history
- view your scores
- print your score report(s)
- update your profile information
- Can I schedule my appointment online?
Whether or not you can schedule a testing appointment through your HiSET account varies depending on what state you take the test in. When you search for a test center, you will see a button to “schedule appointment” if the test center allows online scheduling. If you are in a state that does not allow online scheduling, you will see a message to contact your test center. See Requirements by State for more information.
- What do I need to schedule an appointment online?
- Is the online system secure?
Yes. We use a number of techniques to secure your visit.
- We authenticate each person using the unique user name and password provided.
- After 30 minutes of inactivity on the site (e.g., you step away from the computer or switch to another website), the system will close your connection.
- In addition, when test takers provide their credit card information, we use standard secure-encrypted methods to transmit the account information.
- What should I do if I forget my username?
On the sign-in page, under "Returning Users," click the "Forgot Username” link. You will be asked to enter the email address that you used in your HiSET account. After that, you will receive an email containing your username. You may need to wait a few minutes to receive the email.
- What should I do if I forget my password?
On the sign-in page, under "Returning Users," click the “Forgot Password" link. You will be asked to enter your username and the email address that you used in your HiSET account, answer the security question you selected when creating your account and create a new password. After that, you can sign back in with your new password.
- Can I change my password myself through the website?
Yes. After signing in, click the "Change Password" link on your home page and follow the instructions to change your password.
- Why was I taken back to the sign-in page in the middle of scheduling my appointment?
If you do not interact with the HiSET account for 30 minutes or more, your session may expire and you will be taken back to the sign-in page.
- I spelled my name incorrectly, or my name has changed. How do I correct this?
For security reasons, you cannot change your name in your HiSET account. You need to contact ETS. Only misspellings of your name can be corrected. NAME CHANGES WILL NOT BE MADE. If your name has changed for any reason, including marriage, you must still present primary identification in the name under which you created your HiSET account or you will not be permitted to test.
Preparing for the Test
- Where can I find information to help me prepare for the HiSET exam?
Visit Prepare for the HiSET Exam for free and affordable test prep materials.
- Where can I find sample questions?
- Are the test preparation materials free or do I have to buy them?
Both free and priced test preparation materials are available. For more information, see Prepare for the HiSET Exam.
- What steps can I take in preparation for the subtest(s)?
- Familiarize yourself with the administrative procedures outlined in the HiSET® Test-taker Bulletin and your state requirements.
- Review the Test at a Glance to learn about what content is covered by the test.
- Assess how well you know the content to see how much preparation time you'll need.
- Select a test date that is far enough in the future to allow sufficient time to prepare for the test(s).
- Visit Prepare for the HiSET exam to view all the test preparation materials that are available.
- What other resources exist to help me if I'm having difficulty passing the HiSET exam?
- Review your Individual Test Report for information regarding specific content areas where you should focus your study efforts.
- Contact your local Adult Education center for more support preparing for the HiSET exam.
- Are calculators allowed for the HiSET exam?
Calculators are provided by test centers. You may not bring your own calculator to the test center.
- What if I can't take the test on my scheduled date?
You can cancel or reschedule your appointment. If you cancel your test no later than three full days prior to your original test appointment, not including the day of your appointment and the day of your request, you may be eligible for a partial refund of your test fees. For more information, see Refund Policies, Reschedule an Appointment and Cancel an Appointment.
- If my test appointment is canceled due to inclement weather or natural disasters, how will I know?
ETS will contact you. You will need to reschedule your appointment.
- What can I expect on the day of my computer-delivered test?
Learn more about what you can expect by viewing the video Official Overview of the ETS High School Equivalency Test (Flash).
- Can I bring food or drink to the test center?
Food and drink are not permitted in the testing room. Some test centers have storage areas or lockers where you may store personal items such as food, drink, handbags and study materials; however, not all do. The test center is not responsible for your belongings.
Note: If you have health-related needs requiring you to bring equipment, beverages or snacks into the testing room or to take extra or extended breaks, you must request accommodations in advance. See Disability Accommodations.
- What identification will I need to show on test day?
- What can I bring into the test center?
For a list of items that you should bring and items that are not allowed, see What to Bring on Test Day.
- How long will it take for me to get my scores?
When you'll get your official scores depends on what types of questions were on the test you took. On average, official scores are available within:
- 3–5 business days for multiple-choice tests (immediate, unofficial scores for computer-delivered tests are displayed at the test center upon completion)
- 6–10 business days for essay tests
Please note that if you take a paper-delivered test, how long it takes for your scores to be available depends on receipt of your answer sheets at ETS for scoring. If answer sheets are not sent promptly by the test center, your scores may be delayed.
Note: Since the Language Arts – Writing subtest contains both multiple-choice and essay questions and your official score is reported as a combined score, your scores are available within approximately 6–10 business days.
- How do I get my scores?
Your scores are available through your HiSET account. They are not sent in the mail. If you do not have Internet access or you need help, contact your test center. As long as you have taken at least one subtest at a test center, they will be able to access your scores.
- Will you mail my scores to me?
No, your scores will not be mailed to you. You will only be able to access them through your HiSET account, by contacting your test center or by calling ETS Customer Service representative at 1-855-MyHiSET (1-855-694-4738).
- How can I get my scores if I don't have Internet access?
If you do not have Internet access or you need help, contact your test center. As long as you have taken at least one subtest at a test center, they will be able to access your scores. You can also contact ETS Customer Service at 1-855-MyHiSET (1-855-694-4738).
- How do I know if I passed?
Your score report indicates whether or not you passed. To pass, you must do all three of these things:
- Achieve a scaled score of at least 8 out of 20 on each individual subtest
- Score at least 2 out of 6 on the Language Arts – Writing essay section
- Achieve a total scaled score of at least 45 out of 100 on all five subtests
See the HiSET® Test-taker Bulletin for more information.
- What is a college and career readiness score?
If you score at least 15 out of 20 on any of the subtests, that indicates college and career readiness. Your college and career readiness score means that you scored at the 75th percentile of graduating high school students and indicates that you should be able to enter non-developmental course work in college.
- Why are there two different kinds of reports?
The two reports serve different purposes.
- Your Comprehensive Score Report is a cumulative record that shows your highest scaled score for each subtest and whether or not you passed the HiSET exam. It is also your official record that may be sent to schools and employers. You only have one Comprehensive Score Report.
- Your Individual Test Reports are records of each subtest and provide more detailed information that can help you if you want to improve your score. The individual score report also indicates your college and career readiness in that particular content area. You have one for each time you take a subtest, so it's possible that you may have more than one for a subtest if you retake it.
- Which score report is my official report?
The Comprehensive Score Report is your official score report.
- Are my scores automatically sent to anyone or do I need to send them?
They are automatically shared with your test center where you took your test and the state administrator's office. If you would like them to be sent to an employer or college, contact ETS Customer Service or your test center to find out how to make your request.
- What is a scaled score?
A scaled score makes it easier to compare scores across different forms of the same test. It is obtained by statistically adjusting and converting raw scores onto a common scale. So that means on an easier test form, you need to answer slightly more questions correctly to get a particular scaled score. For a more difficult test, you can get the same scaled score answering slightly fewer questions correctly.
- It looks like I got a passing score on the Language Arts – Writing test, but I didn't pass. Why not?
The reason you didn't pass is most likely that while you received the minimum recommended passing score of 8 on the two part Language Arts – Writing test, you did not score at least a 2 on the essay section of the test. Both are required to pass.
- Where can I get information about scoring policies?
You can read more about scoring policies in the HiSET® Test-taker Bulletin.
- Requirements by State
- Frequently Asked Questions for States and Educators
- Frequently Asked Questions for Test Center Staff