HiSET vs GED (Meaning, Similarities, Differences)

Do you wonder about the HiSET and GED tests? Do you want to find out if you’re eligible to take any of the two tests? Then, this article is for you.

Examinations and tests are essential parts needed to complete or finish your education or move on to a higher educational level.

However, there are several types of examinations or tests that one take and complete to move to a higher educational level like HiSET and GED.

These two tests are often compared, as HiSET is relatively new and can be taken as an alternative to GED.

This article will define and compare both HiSET and GED stating the differences and the similarities between both tests.


What is HiSET?

HiSET stands for “High School Equivalency Test”. It is a test which an individual takes and, when it is passed, helps get a high school equivalency credential issued by the state.

It can serve as an alternative to GED (General Educational Development) test and TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) test, and high school diploma(United States).

If an individual’s scores reach the threshold for passing the HiSET test, the individual is considered a high school graduate.

There are five subtests or subjects taken in a HiSET exam:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts (Reading)
  • Language Arts (Writing)

The exam or test is about 7 hours long. However, individuals are regarded to have passed if their scaled score on each topic or subtest is at least 8 out of 20, their overall scaled score is at least 45 out of 100, and their written essay component is at least 2 out of 6.

The HiSET test is available to be taken in either paper or computer-delivered format. The organization that created the HiSET test is ETS (which stands for Educational Testing Services).

NB: Individuals can take the test in either English or Spanish at this time. Disabled students are accommodated in a variety of ways. However, adults and high school dropouts may be able to take this examination.

Read this: What is GED? (Quick tips about this test)

Benefits of taking HiSET test

HiSET test has several benefits attached to taking the test, some of which are below. HiSET test is:

  • An alternative to GED, TASC and high school diploma.
  • Accepted by employers
  • A more affordable choice
  • Helpful in identifying a future career
  • Able to assist in the advancement of a job


What is GED?

GED (short form for General Educational Development) test is a test that provides evidence and certification that the individual has or possesses high school academic knowledge and skills in the United States or Canada.

It can also serve as an alternative to HiSET, TASC or United States high school diploma.

The GED test is specially designed for high school dropouts or adults who want a certificate equivalent to a high school diploma.

The GED test checks the proficiency of individuals in four subjects. The subjects are Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts (Reading and Writing combined). The test takes about seven and a half hours.

The eligibility of individuals who want to take the exam varies from state to state. However, some people argue that the GED test should be abolished since it is a financial burden for some low-income persons.

Read this: GRE vs High school Diploma

HiSET vs GED: Differences

  • In HiSET, individuals are tested for their proficiency in five subjects or subtests, while in GED tests, there are four subjects or subtests that individuals are tested in.
  • GED tests can be taken or attempted by individuals or examinees as many times as they want in a year, while the limit to try or take a HiSET test in a year is three times.
  • The time for examinees to complete or finish a HiSET test is 7 hours, while seven and a half hours are given to individuals to achieve a GED test in all subjects.
  • The number of states that accept GED scores to award a high school equivalency credential is around 40, while about 20 states get HiSET scores to grant the same credential.
  • An individual’s HiSET test scores should be no less than 8 out of 20 for each subject and at least 45 out of 100 overall, whereas an examinee’s GED test scores should be at least 145 out of 200 in each subject or subtest.
  • The cost for the HiSET test is estimated to be around $55 to $95, while around $120 is the cost estimated for the GED test.
  • The format in which the GED test is taken is only computer-based, while a HiSET test is taken in both paper-based or computer-based form.
  • HiSET was created by a non-profit organization, while a profit organization created the GED test.

HiSET vs GED: Similarities

  • Both of the tests are available to be written by either adult or high school dropouts.
  • The language both tests are taken in is either English or Spanish.
  • States can accept the HiSET test and GED test to award an individual a high school equivalency credential.


Moving further in education has been made easier because of HiSET and GED. These two tests also create more opportunities for high school dropouts or adults.

For individuals interested in taking either of these examinations or tests, research carefully on the websites and get past questions.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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