High School Equivalency Test Prep

It’s never too late for anyone to get their high school equivalency diploma.

As schools continue to battle drop-out rates, chronic absenteeism, and adhere to ESSA and state bylaws to increase graduation rates, administrators are encouraging students to stay in school – or come back.

Students leave school for a number of reasons, and their motivations for seeking an alternative high school diploma are just as numerous. Many adult students want a diploma for personal achievement and a better quality of life. Adults may be seeking better income, advancement in their career, job stability, an opportunity to go to college, joining the military, and more.

An estimated 34 million adults over the age of eighteen do not have a high school diploma which accounts for an estimated 30 % of adults living at or below the poverty level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers over the age of 25 who did not have a high school diploma had the highest unemployment rate (7.4%) and the lowest median weekly earnings ($504) in 2016.

Bureau of Labor unemployment statistics

Image Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

An Alternative to a High School Diploma

All states offer one of three exam types that leads to a high school equivalency credential (an alternative to a high school diploma). These exams are GED®, HiSET®, and TASCÔ. (A complete compare and contrast of each can be found on GED’s website.) Which exam is available depends on the state. Some states offer only one exam choice, while others may provide multiple options. Additionally, each state sets up their requirements, and therefore, it’s essential that districts visit their state websites to find out more information.

Each of the following high school equivalency exams aligns to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards and will offer a high school equivalency credential upon successful completion.

 GED®

  • Most recognizable high school equivalency exam with a 70+ year history.
  • The GED® is available for students both in or out of the U.S. (including military).
  • Currently not available in Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, or West Virginia. But, students who want to take the GED® can do so in a neighboring state that allows it.
  • Test takers may not be currently enrolled in high school, are at least sixteen years of age, and meet local and state requirements.
  • Various accommodations are available for students who need them.
  • Roughly 98 percent of U.S. colleges and universities accept GED® graduates in the same manner as high school graduates. Students are encouraged to check with the college they are interested in as other requirements may be needed.
  • GED® covers four subject areas: Language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • Assessments are available in English and Spanish.
  • The GED® is only administered online and must be taken at an Official GED® Testing Center.
  • The GED® uses next generation type questions such as multiple choice, drag and drop, fill in the blank, short answer, extended response, and image hot spots.
  • Visit the official website and/or read through their FAQs for additional information.

HiSET®

  • Developed by ETS (Education Testing Service); the same organization that developed the GRE® and Praxis® (for educational licensure) assessments.
  • Currently, 23 states and 5 U.S. Territories offer the HiSET.
  • Test takers may not be currently enrolled in high school nor graduated from high school and must meet state and local requirements.
  • Testing centers vary by location and state and differ in whether an online or print assessment is available.  
  • HiSET® covers five subject areas: Language arts–reading, language arts–writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • Assessments are available in English and Spanish.
  • There are testing accommodations for students who need them.
  • Visit the HiSET® website and FAQ page for additional information.

TASC™

  • TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ is a partnership between a state that offers the exam and Data Recognition Corporation.
  • Not all states offer TASC testing centers. It’s important to view the different state testing locations to see if the TASC test is offered, and whether or not any additional state requirements must be met.
  • Test takers may not be currently enrolled in high school, have not graduated from high school, are at least sixteen years of age, and meet local and state requirements.
  • TASC covers five subject areas: Reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • Assessments are available in English and Spanish.
  • There are testing accommodations for students who need large print, Braille, and audio.
  • Testing centers vary by location and state and differ in whether an online or print assessment is available.

Get Prepared Using Odysseyware

Regardless of what high school equivalency exam a district chooses to prepare students for, Odysseyware has you covered!

Each Adult Education Test Prep solution offers:

  • An overview of the high school equivalency exam and subject areas tested
  • Information on how each exam is scored
  • Information on test-taking strategies
  • An overview of what to expect
  • Information on accommodations
  • How to register for the exam
  • Ample opportunities for practice including up to four practice tests for each of the subject areas assessed on the different exams!

Get in Touch!

Engage with one of Odysseyware’s experts today for addressing your district’s high school equivalency diploma preparation. Odysseyware can help you establish instructional plans that benefit students, teachers, and administrators and make sure you’re on the right path for executing your district’s offerings for alternative diploma prep goals.

May 3, 2018 By thyatt