How the HiSET® Exam is Scored

ETS provides scoring for the HiSET® exam on a rolling basis. Scores are processed daily and results are transmitted to the state or jurisdiction as they become available. For computer-delivered tests, this is approximately:

  • three business days for multiple-choice tests
  • five business days for essay tests

Scoring for paper-delivered tests is pending receipt of properly submitted documents from the test center.

Multiple-choice test scoring

Multiple-choice answer sheets are scored by machine, which gives virtually 100 percent scoring accuracy.

  • Each correct answer is worth one raw point.
  • The total raw score is the number of questions answered correctly on the full test.
  • The scaled score is computed from the total number of raw points in a way that adjusts for the difficulty of the questions.

Essay test scoring

Each essay response is scored by trained, supervised scorers who follow strict scoring procedures. Written responses to each question are read and scored by two or more qualified scorers specifically trained to score the responses to that question.

Viewing and printing scores

Scores are available online in the form of printable reports. To view their scores, test takers should sign in to their accounts and go to the View Scores page. You can also help test takers access their scores, either by walking them through the process, or by signing in to your HiSET account for administrators. Through your account, you can view scores or print official Comprehensive Score Reports for any test taker who has taken at least one subtest at your center. Official score reports can also be sent to designated institutions by calling ETS Customer Service.

Two different reports

Scores are reported in two different types of reports: the Comprehensive Score Report and Individual Test Reports.

Comprehensive Score Report

The official HiSET Comprehensive Score Report is the cumulative record that includes the highest score for each subtest. It is updated each time they take another subtest if the score improves, and contains the following test-taker information:

  • Contact information (name)
  • ETS ID
  • Report date
  • Test date(s)
  • Whether or not the test taker has taken all five HiSET subtests
  • Whether the test taker met the three HiSET passing criteria
    • Scored at least 8 out of 20 on each subtest
    • Scored at least 2 out of 6 on the essay
    • Achieved a total scaled score on all five HiSET subtests of at least 45 out of 100
  • Cumulative record of highest scaled score(s) on each subtest
  • Indication of whether the test taker passed the HiSET exam or not

See a sample Comprehensive Score Report.

Individual Test Report

Individual Test Reports are issued each time a test taker completes a subtest. They contain the following test-taker information:

  • Name
  • ETS ID
  • Test date
  • Subtest scaled score result
  • Minimum scaled score result required to pass
  • Whether or not the test taker achieved the minimum scaled score to pass
  • Whether the test taker demonstrated college and career readiness by achieving a scaled score of at least 15 out of 20 on any subtest and 4 on the Language Arts – Writing essay
  • Performance Summary by individual competency

Because there is one for each subtest, test takers will see more than one of these in their accounts.

See a sample Individual Test Report.

Understanding scores

  • HiSET scores are reported on a 1–20 score scale in 1-point increments.
  • ETS has set a passing score of 8 for each of the five subtests and a combined score of 45 to pass the HiSET exam. Note: some states set their own passing score.
  • Test takers must achieve a minimum score of 2 on the Language Arts – Writing essay to pass.
  • The HiSET exam also has a College- and Career-Readiness (CCR) minimum scaled score of 15 for each subtest except the Language Arts – Writing essay test. The CCR score for the Language Arts-Writing essay is a 4.

For more information, see the HiSET® Test-taker Bulletin.

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