Tennessee HiSET® Exam Requirements
The following policies apply to anyone taking the HiSET® exam in the state of Tennessee, as established by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD). When you schedule an appointment, you will need to confirm that you have read and understand these policies.
See the TDLWD Adult Education website for more information.
Can't get to a test center? Check out the Tennessee Department of Labor's Mobile Career Coach services or contact your local Adult Education office.
State Eligibility Requirements
To take the HiSET exam in the state of Tennessee, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Age: You must be at least 18 years of age without a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate to take the HiSET exam. If you are 17 years old you must have an age waiver signed by the Director of Schools before you can test. For information about exceptions to this policy, review the additional policies section below.
- Residency: You do not have to be a resident of Tennessee to take the HiSET exam.
- Identification: You must present identification on test day at the HiSET test center. Outdated or expired identification will not be accepted. Acceptable forms of identification include:
- valid driver's license
- military ID
- other form of government issued (national or foreign) identification that shows name, address, date of birth, signature and photograph
Make sure you read and understand all of the State Eligibility Requirements above. Below are additional policies for taking the HiSET exam in Tennessee.
Fees, Payment and Refunds
- How much does it cost to take the HiSET exam in Tennessee?
- Individual subtest costs are as follows:
- Computer-delivered tests: $15.75 ($10.75 ETS fee and $5 test center administration fee).
- Paper-delivered tests: $20 ($15 ETS fee and $5 test center administration fee).
- You will receive two retests per subtest; however, you must pay the $5 test center fee each time you take a subtest. This fee must be paid when you schedule your retest.
Please log in to your HiSET account for more information.
- Individual subtest costs are as follows:
- How can I receive a voucher that allows me to take the HiSET exam for free?
To be eligible to receive a voucher that allows you to take the HiSET exam for free, you must meet the requirements established through your local Adult Education program. Not all local programs offer vouchers; however, all programs funded by the TDLWD Adult Education Division do offer vouchers. Contact a program near you to determine if they offer vouchers and what the qualification requirements are.
- 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:
- use PayPal Cash® to fund a PayPal account
- purchase a VISA®, MasterCard® or American Express® gift card
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.
- 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, and JCB)
- 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.
Note: A $10 fee will be applied when registering by phone.
- What is the refund policy?
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.
- If you are absent or arrive too late to take the test at the test administration scheduled, you are not entitled to a refund. If the missed appointment was made using one of your retake credits, the credit will not be returned to you.
- 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.)
If something like this occurs, call 1-855-MyHiSET (1-855-694-4738).
- Can I take the HiSET exam on paper or computer?
The HiSET exam is available both computer- and paper-delivered formats in Tennessee. 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 you have special needs that require one format or the other, please see the HiSET® Test-taker Bulletin for more information about requesting testing accommodations.
- 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.
- If I started testing in paper-delivered format, can I switch or retake my remaining subtests in computer-delivered format?
You can switch test formats for your remaining subtests; however, retake credits may only be used for the same format as the original test.
- If I started testing in English, can I switch to or retake my remaining subject tests in Spanish?
Yes. You can switch languages or retake your remaining subject tests in a different language from when you started.
- 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 08541-6054Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scheduling an Appointment
- How can I schedule/change a testing appointment?
Once you are ready to take the test, you can schedule or reschedule a testing appointment in one of two ways:
- online through your HiSET account
- by calling ETS Customer Service
Before rescheduling, canceling or retaking the test, be sure to read the policies included on this page.
You must contact ETS to schedule your appointment if you:
- Have a disability or health-related need and require testing accommodation. Contact ETS Disability Services.
- Can I take the subtests in any order or all in one day?
You can take the five subtests in any order. 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?
No, you are not eligible to take the HiSET exam at 16 years of age in Tennessee.
- If I am 17 years old, can I schedule an appointment to take the HiSET exam?
In Tennessee, you may be eligible to take the HiSET at age 17 providing you:
- present an age waiver form signed by the director of the school system where you currently reside to the test center, and
- are not presently enrolled in high school, OR
- are currently enrolled in a state approved HiSET Option Program
- 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
- What is the reschedule policy?
- 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?
While you are able to reschedule your testing appointment as often as needed, 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.
- 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 Customer Service to cancel your appointment at 1-855-802-2748 (toll-free), Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.
- What are the retest policies?
- You may test three times during any one calendar year. You may only retest after you have received your official scores.
- Retake credits may only be used for the same test format as the original test.
- What do I need to bring on the day of my test?
You will need to bring:
- Acceptable and valid ID as required by Tennessee. Make sure your name on your ID appears EXACTLY as it does on your 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 do not need to be a resident of Tennessee to take the HiSET exam in Tennessee so you do not need to provide proof of residency.
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.
- How do I know if I've passed the HiSET exam?
Each of the five subtests in the HiSET exam 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 8 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 exam.
- 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 percentage of items you answered correctly
- your college- and career-readiness score
- What does passing mean?
Candidates who have received a passing score on the HiSET exam 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 exam 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 I 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. For the Language Arts – Writing test, you must score at least a total score of 15 with a 4 on the essay.
- 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 percentage of items answered correctly in each content category. This information might suggest areas where it would be worthwhile to concentrate your efforts.
- How do I challenge my scores?
If you feel your HiSET scores were reported incorrectly or do not accurately reflect your performance, you can have them reviewed for a fee. The following score review services are available:
Constructed-response (Essay) Scoring Review — $25 per essay
A trained scorer will review your essay and original score received to determine whether it is consistent with HiSET Language Arts Writing test scoring rules. If there is a change in your score, the new score (which may be higher or lower than your originally reported score) will be reported to you and your state or jurisdiction, and your score review fee will be refunded. Your essay is not available for disclosure. Please note that each essay will be reviewed only once. This service is available for both computer- and paper-delivered tests.
Multiple-choice Scoring Review — $25 per test
Paper-delivered Tests — Multiple-choice responses will be hand scored by our trained Resolutions team. If there is a change in your score, the score will be reported to you and your state or jurisdiction, and your score review fee will be refunded. Your test responses are not available for disclosure. Please note that each test will be reviewed only once.
Computer-delivered Tests — Computer-delivered tests will not be reviewed because those answers are scored once at the test center, then transmitted to ETS where they are verified before being reported.
To request either of the services listed above, please call ETS Customer Service at 1-855-MyHiSET (1-855-694-4738).