As the USA curriculum has increased options for high school diploma, there are 3 options for higher secondary school education which includes

  1. GED or General Education Development (more details about GED please go to )
    The other 2 systems that add up are
  2. HiSET developed by EST (Educational Testing Service)
  3. TASC developed by McGraw Hill

Many people should have heard about HiSET or High School Equivalency Test but today we would like to introduce more about HiSET exam.


What is HiSET exam?

HiSET exam consists of 5 subjects which are reading (language arts), writing (language arts), social studies, mathematics and science. You can take exam either in computer- or paper-delivered format examination where both types of exam will be the same content. Today we gather information to everyone regarding how each subject is conducted.

  • Language arts – reading (Linguistics – Reading)
    Exam focuses on reading skills in English that includes 50 questions for 65 minutes, which all will be in multiple choice questions. This exam measures the ability to understand and interpret the content consisting of literature from many genres including 60% is about articles, memos and biography. The rest of the content is about general essays, letters, and newspapers
  • Language arts – Writing (Linguistics – Writing)
    Exam focuses on English writing skills and grammar knowledge. Exam consists of 2 parts in a total time of 120 minutes. First part is 60 questions of multiple-choice exam (75 minutes) and the second part will be an essay writing exam (45 minutes). Essays writing will test your ability to convey stories, knowledge, giving examples and critical thinking skills with sentences that are well organized and easy to understand. However, you do not have to worry if you assign with topics you did not know about before because this test will measure only your language comprehension rather than the content about that given topic.
  • Social studies
    Social studies exam includes history, politics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, geography and economics. It is a 60 choice-based test providing 70 minutes to complete the exam. Although the content is packed, in fact, this test will measure the ability to interpret and analyze more than the ability to memorize various details. Therefore, anyone who thinks he/she has bad memory should not be worried about this subject.
  • Mathematics
    Mathematics exam that tests reasoning and comprehension skills. Most questions are calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), trigonometry, calculus and ability to solve algebra. The rest will be about geometry such as finding the area and volume of geometric shapes. The exam consists of 55 multiple-choice questions providing 90 minutes to complete the test. A calculator is provided during the exam.
  • Science (80 minutes)
    This test will evaluate your basic science knowledge in physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, health science, and astronomy. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice question providing 80 minutes to complete the exam.


What is the minimum requirement to pass HiSET exam ?

From all 5 subjects, you can see that each subject requires skills and knowledge that is used in a way for each subject. Overall score to pass HiSET is 45 out of 100 points with at least 8 out of 20 points for each subject. As for the linguistics exam, in the essay writing, you must score at least 2 out of 6 points. However, if you fail or get a low score in either part of the exam, you can request for re-exam only the subject you think you have a low performance. You do not have to retake all the tests. However, you can take a maximum of 3 examinations per subject only.


How much does it cost to take HiSET exam ?

Although the computer- and paper-delivered formats have the same content in the exam, but the price is not the same. The price for the computer system exam per 1 subject is $10.75 cheaper than paper-delivered format which costs $15. Hence, the total cost for 5 subjects is approximately $53.75 – $75 which can be paid via credit card and other payment including PayPal. However, the price varies from state to state depending on its extra fee.


Where you can register for HiSET ?

Unfortunately, there is no online test for HiSET examination. Therefore, you need to choose an exam center after your registration. The registration begins with creating your account (My HiSET) at After you have your own HiSET account, you can choose the test center and set the time and date for your exam. About the test center, they locate at almost 20 states all over the United States of America such as California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming. Apart from these states you can choose a test center in U.S. Territories such as American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau


What is the requirement for HiSET examiner ?

You need to be at least 18 years of age and have not graduated a high school diploma. However, in some states, there is a policy for minors to participate in a preparation course before being able to apply HiSET exam. On the other hand, some states have different requirement as well. Some will require that applicants must be local or state residency only. However, some state like Hawaii, New Mexico and North Carolina allow international citizen to register for HiSET exam.


Where can HiSET exam apply to ?

HiSET is another option for high school diploma. Therefore, those who pass the HiSET exam can continue to follow the same pathway of other American education system like the GED


Comparison the similarity and difference between IGCSE, GED, and HiSET

SYSTEM American English American
number of subjects 5 subjects (Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics) At least 5 subjects + 3 subjects in A-Level (many subjects can be chosen from) 4 subjects (Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Mathematics)
Exam schedule Daily with multiple allotted time Twice a year (May-June and. October-November) Daily with multiple allotted time
Viewing result 6 business days for computer-based and 2-3 weeks for paper-based Approx. 2 months Within the exam date
Exam process Can take the exams as according to the schedule specified by the examination center At allocated exam center Can select the exam order freely depending on the readiness of each subject
Exam registration Register online and pay via credit/debit card and PayPal – Register at British Council Siam Square branch
– Register via email
– Register at international school in Bangkok that allow outsider to do so
There will be an extra fee for late registration
Register online and pay via credit/debit card
Change of exam date Able to change the exam date within 24 hours’ notice prior the exam date Not able to change once you register Able to change an exam date with 24 hours’ notice prior the exam date
Exam fee $10.75 and $15 per subject for computer-based and paper based respectively. Also, it may vary from state to state. Vary from subject to subject
– 6,035 baht/sub
– 6,915 baht/sub
– 9,439 baht/sub
$60 per subject
Approximately 2000 baht depends on up to date exchange rate
Receiving the diploma or certificate follow the instructions listed on website to request your transcript or diploma Pick up in person at the test center Delivery to home By Thailand Post or Fed Ex, whichever service we choose


You can see that both HiSET and GED have similar subjects, but they have different approaches when you do the exam. Hence, no matter exam you take, be well prepared

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