With the current job market being quite competitive, advancing your career without high school diplomas is impossible. Therefore, folks who didn’t graduate from high school and want to advance their studies go for high school equivalency.
In the U.S., the acceptable high school equivalency is either HiSET or GED.
Deciding between the two can be quite challenging; in fact, most people wonder, “GED vs HiSET: which one is better?” So, in this guide, we’ll help you pick the right option.
The Main Difference Between GED vs HiSET
The main differences between GED vs HiSET are:
- About 20 American states accept HiSET results when awarding high school equivalency diplomas, whereas the GED test is accepted in about 40 states.
- The GED test has 4 test sections, whereas the HiSET exam comes with 5 test sections.
- The testing centers for HiSET offer computer and paper options, while GED offers computer testing versions. But some states, including West Virginia and New Jersey, require both tests to be taken in computer-based format.
- The price of HiSET exams ranges between $55 and $95, whereas the GED tests are more costly, averaging $120 in some states.
- The passing score for HiSET is 8/20 for all subsets, whereas the passing score of the GED subtests is 145/200.
Regardless of where these tests are taken, secondary education equivalency diplomas are accepted by all the colleges and employers in the country. But before we talk about the differences and similarities between the 2 high school equivalency tests, we must find out what they are.
What Is the GED?
The GED, which stands for General Educational Development, is a high school equivalency credential that is widely recognized and accepted in the United States and Canada.
It is designed for individuals who did not complete their high school education but wish to demonstrate their knowledge and skills equivalent to those of a high school graduate.
What Is the HiSET?
The HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) is another high school equivalency credential program in the United States. Like the GED, it is designed for individuals who did not complete high school but want to demonstrate their knowledge and skills equivalent to those of a high school graduate.
GED vs HiSET: The Difference
The HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) and GED (General Educational Development) are two different high school equivalency exams that assess the knowledge and skills typically acquired in a high school education.
While both exams serve the same purpose of providing individuals who did not complete high school with a credential equivalent to a high school diploma, there are some key differences between them. Some of the differences between these two adult education systems include the following:
The HiSET exam consists of five subtests: Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. It also includes an essay portion as part of the Language Arts – Writing subtest.
On the other hand, the GED test comprises four subject areas: Reasoning Through Language Arts (which includes reading and writing skills), Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies.
The HiSET is available in both paper-and-pencil and computer-based formats, depending on the test center’s offerings and the state’s policies. On the other hand, the GED is primarily offered in a computer-based format, although some locations may still offer a paper-and-pencil version.
The eligibility requirement for HiSET may vary by state, but typically, test-takers must be at least 18 years old (or 17 with certain conditions). They should not be enrolled in high school or hold a high school diploma or equivalent.
For GED, the test-takers must be at least 16 or 18 years old (depending on the state). They should also not be enrolled in high school or have completed high school.
The cost of the HiSET exam varies by state and testing center. Some states may subsidize or cover the cost for eligible individuals.
On the other hand, the cost of the GED exam also varies by state and can include fees for each subject area. Some states offer financial assistance or vouchers to help cover the cost for test-takers.
The HiSET uses a scoring scale of 1 to 20 for each subtest. The passing score of each subtest is 8, which means you need a cumulative score of 45 to pass.
GED uses a scoring scale of 100 to 200 for each subject area. The passing score for each subject area is 145, and you need a cumulative score of 580 to pass.
Every state and testing center has its own policies regarding retaking HiSET subtests. Some may require waiting periods between attempts. However, the GED Testing Service allows test-takers to retake failed subjects without waiting, although individual states may have specific retake policies.
The HiSET is recognized and accepted by many states, colleges, and employers. On the other hand, the GED is a widely recognized adult education test that’s accepted as a high school equivalency credential by colleges, employers, and the military.
HiSET vs GED: The Similarities
Despite being different, these 2 adult education exams have lots of similarities. Some of their most common similarities include:
- High School Equivalency Credential: Both the HiSET and GED programs offer a high school equivalency credential that is widely recognized and accepted by colleges, universities, employers, and the military as equivalent to high school diplomas. This credential allows individuals to pursue higher education, better job opportunities, and personal growth.
- Test Subjects: Both exams assess the knowledge and skills typically acquired in a high school education. They cover similar subject areas, including Language Arts (Reading and Writing), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
- Test Preparation Resources: Both the HiSET and GED programs provide test-takers with a range of resources to help them prepare for the exams. These resources may include study guides, practice tests, and access to adult education programs or classes.
- Eligibility Criteria: While specific eligibility requirements can vary by state, both the HiSET and GED typically have similar eligibility criteria. Test-takers are generally required to be at least 16 or 18 years old (depending on the state), not be enrolled in high school, and not have completed high school.
- Cost: The cost of taking the HiSET and GED exams can vary by state and testing center, but both programs often offer financial assistance or fee waivers for eligible individuals to help cover the cost.
- Recognition: Both the HiSET and GED credentials are recognized and accepted by educational institutions and employers across the United States and, in some cases, internationally.
- Retesting: Test-takers who do not pass one or more subject areas on both the HiSET and GED exams are generally allowed to retake those sections, although specific retake policies may vary by state.
- Flexible Test Formats: Both programs offer flexible test formats. The HiSET is available in both paper-and-pencil and computer-based formats, while the GED is primarily offered in a computer-based format.
Despite the many differences, the HiSET and GED diplomas are accepted by most colleges and employers. But to qualify for these exams, you must not be enrolled in high school and be over 17 years old in most states.
Luckily, enrolling in these courses is quite easy, and they can prove that you have the same qualifications as a high school graduate. But for special education, you’ll need to submit the right documentation for your disability to the educational testing service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there other high school equivalency tests?
Yes, you can also take the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) if you don’t qualify for GED or HiSET.
Is the GED accepted in every state in the United States?
Yes, but some states use GED test alternatives, which are accepted in most states like the HiSet.
GED vs Hiset: which one is better?
Well, GED is not necessarily better than the HiSET, as they’re both recognized by most states as high school equivalency.