New Jersey HiSET® Requirements

The following policies apply to anyone taking the HiSET® exam in the state of New Jersey. When you schedule an appointment, you will need to confirm that you have read and understand these policies.

See the New Jersey Adult Education website for more information.

Note: The HiSET national requirement is a score of 8 to pass the exams. However, you must receive a minimum score of 9 on all HiSET exams to receive your diploma or certifications from the state of New Jersey. Learn more about New Jersey Score Requirements.

State Eligibility Requirements

To take the HiSET exam in the state of New Jersey, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Age: You must be 18 years old to take the test without meeting special conditions. If you are 16–17 years old, you need a signed letter from your parent or legal guardian stating that they give permission for you to take the test and they understand that by doing this, they are taking you out of the public school system.
  • Residency: You must be a New Jersey resident to take the test at a test center in New Jersey. See Identification below for more details.
  • Test Preparation or Instruction: New Jersey does not require test preparation or instruction, though it is encouraged.
  • Practice Test: New Jersey does not require you to take a practice test to qualify for the HiSET exam.
  • Identification: You must provide a driver’s license, permit, passport, voter registration, school/college ID, employee ID, or other photo identification, valid or expired, that has been issued by a public or private third party;

    And one or more of any of the following:

    • Property tax bills; deeds; contracts of sale; leases; mortgages; signed letters from landlords; and other evidence of property ownership, tenancy or residency
    • Financial account information, utility bills, delivery receipts and other evidence of personal attachment to a particular location
    • Court orders, state agency agreements, and other evidence of court or agency placements or directives
    • Receipts, bills, cancelled checks, insurance claims or payments, and other evidence of expenditures demonstrating personal attachment to a particular location or to support the test taker
    • Medical reports, counselor or social worker assessments, employment documents, unemployment claims, benefit statements, and other evidence of circumstances demonstrating family or economic hardship, or temporary residency
    • Affidavits, certifications, and sworn attestations pertaining to statutory criteria from the parent, guardian, person keeping an "affidavit student," adult student, person(s) with whom a family is living, or others, as appropriate
    • Documents pertaining to military status and assignment
    • Any other business record or document issued by a governmental entity
  • For any questions, please contact the New Jersey Department of Education, Adult Education Office at 1-609-777-1050.

  • Language Testing: In New Jersey, candidates cannot combine scores across languages. In order to achieve a state-issued certificate, you must take all sections of the exam in the same language. You can only take the full battery in one language. For example, you may not take three tests in Spanish and two tests in English. The state of New Jersey will not issue a diploma for batteries with scores combined across languages.

Additional Policies

Make sure you read and understand all of the State Eligibility Requirements above. Below are additional policies for taking the HiSET exam in New Jersey.

Fees, Payment and Refunds

How much does it cost to take the HiSET exam in New Jersey?

Battery (all five subtests): $90 ($50 ETS fee and $40 test center fee)

Individual Subtest: $18 ($10 ETS fee and $8 test center fee)

All test center fees must be paid before you test. All test takers MUST register in person at the test center before testing. Test takers must present proper identification and money orders (if necessary) at that time.

I only have cash, how can I pay for my HiSET exam?

You must pay for the exam at the time you schedule it online or by phone, so you aren't able to pay with cash. However, if you only have cash, you may use it in one of the following ways:

  • purchase a prepaid PayPal® My Cash Card and fund a PayPal account
  • purchase a VISA®, MasterCard® or American Express® gift card
  • open a free checking account and pay with an electronic check (eCheck)

If you are purchasing a prepaid credit card or gift card, be sure to check the cards before you purchase them for any restrictions that might prevent you from using them in our registration system, such as restrictions against using the card for online purchases. To learn more about how you can use one of these payment methods, download the Cash Options for HiSET Test Takers flyer.

All test takers MUST register in person at the test center before testing. Test takers must present proper identification and money orders (if necessary) at that time.

How do I pay for the HiSET exam if I am scheduling through my online account?

If you are scheduling online, you may pay by:

  • debit card or credit card (American Express, Discover®, MasterCard, VISA or JCB)
  • PayPal
  • eCheck
How do I pay for the HiSET exam if I am scheduling my appointment by phone?

If you are scheduling by phone, you may pay by debit card or credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, VISA and JCB).

You can't use a PayPal account to pay over the phone. All test center fees must be paid before you test.

What is the refund policy if I cancel my battery?

Test Fee: If you cancel your battery, you will be eligible for a full refund of your test fee only if:

  • you haven't yet taken any of the subtests
  • you cancel the battery by 11:59 p.m. local time the day before your first scheduled appointment

If you don't meet the above criteria, you will forfeit your test fee. We encourage you to reschedule your appointment whenever possible rather than cancel. See reschedule policies below.

Note: You can also cancel a single subtest from your battery. If you cancel a subtest, your battery is still active and you can schedule appointments later, so no refund will be processed.

State, Jurisdiction or Test Center Fee: You are not eligible for a state, jurisdiction or test center fee refund. These fees are nonrefundable.

What is the refund policy for individual subtests?

If you bought a single subtest or subtests rather than a battery, the refund policy is as follows:

  • Test Fee: You are eligible for a full refund of your test fee if you cancel at any time up until 11:59 p.m. local time the day before your scheduled appointment.
  • State, Jurisdiction or Test Center Fee: You are not eligible for a state, jurisdiction or test center fee refund. These fees are nonrefundable.
What if something unexpected happens on test day, I don't cancel and I cannot make my scheduled appointment? Can I get a refund?

ETS understands that things happen that are outside your control and has processes in place to evaluate and approve refunds for ETS-collected HiSET test fees. Exception cases are handled and evaluated for refund eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Exception cases refer to:

  • events caused by ETS, test center or tester
  • events beyond the control of all parties (e.g., severe weather, power outages, etc.)

Testing Options

Can I take the HiSET exam at Cumberland County College?

Yes. Cumberland County College offers HiSET testing. Please email vchainey@cccnj.edu for specific scheduling options.

Can I take the HiSET exam on paper or computer?

The HiSET exam is available in both computer- and paper-delivered formats in New Jersey. However, both formats are not available at every test center. Make sure you verify that the format you prefer is available at your selected test center before scheduling your testing appointment.

If I scheduled a paper-delivered test, can I change my mind and take the test on a computer?

Yes, as long as the test center offers both formats. However, you must make the change at least three days prior to your originally scheduled test, not including your appointment day or the day of your request. If you scheduled a paper test and would now prefer to take a computer test instead, you must cancel the paper test and schedule a new computer testing appointment. The same is true if you would like to switch from a computer test to a paper test. You cannot show up at the test center on the day of your scheduled appointment expecting to be able to make the change at the test center.

How do I request accommodations so I can be successful on the HiSET exam?

If you have a disability or health-related needs, you need to request accommodations prior to scheduling your test appointment. For more information, see Disability Accommodations.

Where do I send my request for testing accommodations?

Send all completed requests for testing accommodations to:

Mail: ETS Disability Services
P.O. Box 6054
Princeton, NJ 08541-6054

Scheduling an Appointment

How can I schedule/change a testing appointment?

Once you are ready to take the test, you can schedule your testing appointment in one of three ways:

  • online through your HiSET account
  • by contacting your test center
  • by calling ETS Customer Service

To reschedule your appointment, you may call an ETS representative at 1-855-MyHiSET (1-855-694-4738) or contact your test center. Read the policies on rescheduling, canceling or retaking the test included on this page.

EXCEPTIONS:

You must contact ETS to schedule your appointment if you:

Can I take the subtests in any order?

You can take the five subtests in any order.

Can I take all five subtests in one day?

If the test center has availability, you can take all five subtests in one day or you can schedule them across more than one day.

If I am 16 years old, can I schedule an appointment to take the HiSET exam?

Yes, but you will need a signed letter from your parent or legal guardian stating that they give permission for you to take the test and they understand that by doing this they are taking you out of the public school system.

If I am 17 years old, can I schedule an appointment to take the HiSET exam?

Yes, but you will need a signed letter from your parent or legal guardian stating that they give permission for you to take the test and they understand that by doing this they are taking you out of the public school system.

What can I do through my online account?

Once you have created an account, you can:

  • update your account information (address, phone, email)
  • schedule, reschedule or cancel a testing appointment
  • view your approved accommodations (if applicable)
  • view your Comprehensive Score Report and Individual Test Reports
Can I pay for the test through my online account?

You can pay the ETS test fee through your online account. However, you cannot pay test center administrative fees for retesting through your online account. They must be paid to the test center on the day of your test.

What are the reschedule policies?
  • To avoid forfeiting your test fee, you must reschedule your appointment any time up until 11:59 p.m. local time the day before your scheduled appointment.
  • You have 12 months from the day you schedule your appointment to reschedule. For example, if you schedule in November 2015 for a test date at any time in the future, your reschedule date must be before November 2016.
  • Testing fees and registrations are not interchangeable between paper-delivered and computer-delivered tests. For instance, if you scheduled a paper test and need to take a computer test instead, you must cancel the paper test and schedule a new computer testing appointment.
How many times can I reschedule my testing appointment?

You may be able to reschedule your testing appointment as often as needed. However, it is better to be sure you are prepared to take the test and available on the testing date, so that it is not necessary for you to reschedule. ETS allows you to reschedule up to two times for no fee. For additional rescheduling you must pay $10 each time you reschedule.

What are the cancellation policies?
  • You can cancel your appointment at any time. However, depending on when you cancel, you may forfeit your HiSET fee. See refund policies information above.
  • You can contact your test center to cancel your appointment. You can also do it online through your HiSET account or by calling ETS Customer Service at 1-855-MyHiSET (1-855-694-4738).
  • If you have a disability or health-related need and you require testing accommodations, you must call ETS to cancel your appointment at 1-855-802-2748 (toll-free), Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.

If a testing center cancellation must occur, the center will notify you as soon as possible.

What are the restest policies?

The New Jersey retest policies are as follows:

  • You may test on each subtest three times during a calendar year. Contact your test center for more information.

Test Day

What do I need to bring on the day of my test?

You will need to bring:

  • Acceptable and valid ID as required by New Jersey. Make sure the name on your ID appears EXACTLY as it does on the profile you created in your HiSET account when you scheduled your HiSET exam.
  • Layered clothing that will allow you to adapt to a range of room temperatures.

You need to be a resident of New Jersey to take the HiSET exam in New Jersey so you must provide proof of residency. See Identification in the Requirements section above for more information.

Please note: Cell phones, smartphones (e.g., BlackBerry® or iPhone® devices, etc.), PDAs and/or any other electronic, photographic, scanning, recording or listening devices are not permitted at the test center at all. See What to Bring for a list of additional items not permitted in the testing session.

What do I do if I have health-related needs that require an exception to the Test Center policies?

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 need to request accommodations in advance. Procedures for requesting accommodations are described in Disability Accommodations.

Scores

How do I know if I've passed the HiSET battery of five subtests?

Each of the five subtests in the HiSET battery is scored on a scale of 1–20. In order to pass you must do all three of the following:

  • Achieve a score of at least 9 on each of the five individual subtests
  • Score at least 2 out of 6 on the essay portion of the writing test
  • Have a total combined score on all five subtests of at least 45

Some states may set passing scores that are higher, but under no circumstances can you pass with a total score lower than 45 on the battery.

The HiSET national requirement is a score of 8 to pass the exams. However, you must receive a minimum score of 9 on all HiSET exams to receive your diploma or certifications from the state of New Jersey.

What does my individual test scoring report tell me?

For each individual test scoring report, it indicates:

  • your score, the total possible score and whether you passed
  • the minimum score required to pass
  • the number you answered correctly and the maximum number of questions in each content category
  • your college- and career-readiness score
What does passing mean?

Candidates who have received a passing score on the HiSET battery have demonstrated a level of performance that exceeds the minimum level of performance typically required to graduate from high school.

How should I interpret my score?

If the HiSET battery were to be administered to a random sample of high school seniors, it is estimated that approximately 60 percent would pass on the first attempt. If you receive a score of 45 or higher we estimate that you would be in approximately the top 40 percent of graduating high school seniors nationally.

How are passing rates determined?

A score equivalency table was established between the HiSET exam and a nationally administered high school equivalency examination. Passing rates (60 percent) were chosen so as to be roughly equivalent to those on the nationally administered examination.

Did you demonstrate college and career readiness?

Your individual test score report also indicates whether or not you have achieved the score required to demonstrate college and career readiness — with at least 15 out of 20 on any of the subtests.

What does college and career readiness mean?

Students who have scored at the college- and career-readiness level have shown a level of performance similar to the minimum level required to succeed in college-level credit-bearing courses.

What information is provided so I can try to improve my score on the HiSET exam?

On the HiSET subtests, questions are grouped into content categories. To help you in future study or in preparing to retake the test, your individual test score report shows the "number correct" you earned in each content category. This information might suggest areas where it would be worthwhile to concentrate your efforts.

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