The purpose of the ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®) is to certify a candidate’s attainment of academic knowledge and skills equivalent to those of a high school graduate. HiSET scores will identify those candidates who have performed at a level consistent with high school equivalency. Information from the HiSET program also will help identify areas in which candidates are career and college ready, as well as areas in which additional preparation may be needed.

Section Time Format Description
Language Arts – Reading 65 minutes Multiple-choice questions
  • This section measures your ability to understand, interpret and analyze a broad range of literary and informational texts.
  • The selected texts range in length from approximately 400 to 600 words.
Language Arts – Writing 120 minutes Multiple-choice questions and an essay prompt
  • This section measures your skill in recognizing and producing standard American English and is in two parts.
  • The multiple-choice section measures your ability to edit and revise written text.
  • The essay measures your ability to generate and organize ideas in writing.
Mathematics 90 minutes Multiple-choice questions
  • This section measures mathematical knowledge and competencies.
  • Questions are presented as practical problems and are solved by numerical operations, measurement, estimation, data interpretation and logical thinking.
  • Some questions test abstract concepts such as algebraic patterns and probability.
  • You may use a calculator for this section.
Science 80 minutes Multiple-choice questions
  • This section measures your ability to use science content knowledge, apply principles of scientific inquiry, and interpret and evaluate scientific information.
  • Graphs, tables and charts are used to present information and results.
Social Studies 70 minutes Multiple-choice questions
  • This section measures your ability to analyze and evaluate information from a variety of content areas such as history, political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, geography and economics.
  • Primary documents, posters, cartoons, timelines, maps, graphs, tables, charts and reading passages are used in questions.


Here’s what to expect:

For computer-delivered tests, your scores will be available within:

  • three business days for multiple-choice tests
  • five business days for the Language Arts – Writing subtest

If you took a paper-delivered test, scoring begins after ETS receives your answer sheets from the test center, so getting your scores may take a little longer if the test center doesn’t send the answer sheet right away.

Scores are automatically sent to your state.

After you pass the exam, your state or Diploma Sender will send your high school equivalency (HSE) credential. This typically takes a few weeks to process.