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A Comparison of the Three Main High School Equivalency Tests

There are several options for individuals who are seeking to take a high school equivalency exam to improve their career options and future education prospects. The three primary tests currently used are the GED® Test, the HiSET® Test, and the TASC Test. An overview of all three options is provided below.

The GED® Test

The GED® Test is broken into four parts, which may be taken separately. These sections are:

  • Mathematics—45 questions over 115 minutes
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts—45 questions over 1 hour 35 minutes, plus 45 minutes for an essay section
  • Social Studies—35 questions over 70 minutes
  • Science—40 questions plus two short answer questions over 90 minutes

The cost to take the GED® Test varies by state, but generally ranges from between $80 to $160 for the entire exam. Prior to taking the GED® Test, candidates should check with their state regulating agency to determine what the actual cost is and if financial assistance may be available.

The HiSET® Test

The HiSET® Test is another option to determine high school proficiency. This test is divided into five sections:

  • Language Arts: Reading—50 multiple choice questions over 65 minutes
  • Language Arts: Writing—60 questions and an essay over 120 minutes
  • Mathematics—55 questions over 90 minutes
  • Science—60 questions over 80 minutes
  • Social Studies—60 questions over 70 minutes

The cost to take the HiSET® Test is $10.75 per section for computer-taken tests and $15 per section for paper-delivered tests. However, additional test center and administrative fees may be applicable, so candidates are encouraged to contact their local testing center for additional details.

The TASC Test

The third option is the TASC Test, which is broken up into the following five sections:

  • Math—42-43 questions over 105 minutes
  • Writing—50-51 questions and an essay over 110 minutes
  • Reading—48-49 questions over 85 minutes
  • Science—48-49 questions over 75 minutes
  • Social Studies—48-49 questions over 75 minutes

The cost of the TASC Test is $94.

How to Choose a Test

As there are several options for taking high school equivalency exams, candidates should check to see which ones are most frequently used or approved in their state as well as any local potential drawbacks or limitations when taking one exam rather than another. A comprehensive understanding of this information will give students the best chance of selecting the exam that can help lead them to greater future success.

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