The HiSET vs the GED: What's the Difference?

The HiSET vs the GED: What’s the Difference?

There are several exams that can be taken as an alternative to receiving a high school diploma or certificate. Two of the most common are the General Education Development (GED) exam and the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET). For individuals who are looking for an alternative, deciding which test to take can be confusing, although there are several key factors to take into consideration.

Geographic Availability

First, the HiSET is offered only in twelve states: California, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Wyoming. This means that it may not be an option for residents of other states to take this test; however, once an individual receives their HiSET credential, it is still recognized elsewhere in the nation. For individuals that do reside in the states that offer the HiSET, they will want to visit the website and learn all of the specific rules and regulations for their state, as these can vary.


Another key difference between the exams involves how they are priced. With the GED, you must pay a fee every time you take it unless the fee to retake it is waived in your state. Usually, the fee to retake the exam is only a partial fee, though. The HiSET costs slightly more, although examinees are allowed up to two free retakes if necessary.


Despite these minor differences, both exams offer ample materials to help test takers study and prepare for the exam. In addition to this, employers and colleges often have no preference for one exam or the other. Since they both offer a high school equivalency credential, passing either one will be weighted the same. For individuals determining which exam to take, these factors should be taken into consideration as well as any of your state’s requirements. This way, you will be better able to make the best decision for yourself.

Whatever you decide, you can find free test prep for the GED® exam and for the HiSET® test on our site. Best of luck!

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