Scoring and Credentials

How quickly is the HiSET® exam scored?

For computer-delivered HiSET® exams, test takers receive their unofficial scores for multiple-choice items immediately upon completion of the subtest. The Language Arts – Writing subtest is the only exception, as the essay portion is scored by human raters. For this reason, no unofficial scores are reported for that subtest.

Once ETS receives the tests, we certify each one to ensure that the unofficial scores are accurate and there are no testing irregularities. Official scores are available as follows:

  • Multiple-choice tests: within three business days
  • Written tests: within five business days

For paper-delivered exams, test takers will not receive unofficial scores. How long it takes for official scores to be posted depends on receipt of answer sheets to ETS for scoring. Certification takes the same amount of time as indicated above, but if the test center does not send answer sheets to ETS promptly, test-taker scores may be delayed.

How are scores sent?

ETS has a long, documented history of providing high-quality results that are accurate, consistent and valid. Each year, ETS delivers millions of score reports to institutions, test takers and other recipients in many different formats by a variety of means.

  • Test takers, test centers and adult educators access HiSET scores through their online HiSET accounts.
  • ETS transmits HiSET scores to states automatically.
  • Official HiSET score reports are sent to authorized Designated Institutions at test takers’ request

ETS provides two score reports to test takers.

  • The Individual Score Report provides information on how well a test taker did on each subtest as well as their performance summary by individual competency.
  • The Comprehensive Score Report provides information on all five subtests, including whether the test taker met the HiSET passing criteria, their cumulative record of the highest scaled score on each subtest and an indication of whether the test taker passed the HISET exam.

What do their scores mean?

The HiSET "pass" cut score indicates that 60 percent of graduating high school juniors and seniors would pass the HiSET exam with a minimum score of 8 on each subtest and a 2 on the essay, and is comparable to the level that has been used historically. This information is based on a national probability sample of high school juniors and seniors. The HiSET minimum scaled scores are empirically based. The 2014 HiSET Standard Setting provides detailed information on cut scores.

The HiSET exam also reports a College- and Career-Readiness (CCR) score. The CCR score is the point at which test takers maximize their success in credit-bearing college level coursework. Test takers must achieve a minimum score of 15 on each multiple-choice subtest and a 4 on the Language Arts – Writing essay to demonstrate college and career readiness.

Learn more about how the HISET exam is scored.

What do test takers get after they take the HiSET exam?

HiSET scores identify those candidates who have performed at a level consistent with high school equivalency. After successful completion of the HiSET exam, test takers receive their state-issued high school equivalency credential from their state or the diploma vendor selected by the state.

This high school equivalency credential is portable, meaning it is valid and accepted in all states regardless of where it was issued. This credential is also accepted by the military and employers across the nation.

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