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HiSET Testing (formerly GED)

HiSET Testing

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has selected Educational Testing Service (ETS) to administer the new high school equivalency exam in Massachusetts. The new exam, called HiSET, will continue to measure whether adult learners and out-of-school youth qualify for the Massachusetts High School Equivalency Certificate, a pivotal step for adult learners who do not possess a high school diploma, but require a certified education credential. Each state may have its own requirements for testing, so be sure to check  your state’s requirements below before you schedule an appointment to take the test. Go to the HiSET website at: http://www.HiSET.ets.org to sign up for your account and register for your tests.

Massachusetts Eligibility Requirements for HiSET

To take the HiSET exam in the state of Massachusetts, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

Alert – New Under 18 years of age Requirements for registering for HiSET ® Tests

As of January 1, 2015, the requirements and procedures for verifying individuals who are under the required eligibility age of 18 years of age to take the high school equivalency tests (HiSET®) have changed. See Test Requirement page. Please review the following process and procedures. If any questions, please contact Olympia Stroud (781-338-6625, ostroud@doe.mass.edu) or Ruth Derfler (781-338-6604, rderfler@doe.mass.edu) in the HSE Office at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


You must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible to take the HiSET test in Massachusetts with no qualifications.

If you are 16 or 17, you cannot schedule any HiSET tests until an official Letter of Withdrawal from your last school attended has been approved by the Massachusetts High School Equivalency Office. The letter must:

  • Be on school letterhead, including the address and phone number;
  • Include your last date of attendance and your date of withdrawal; and
  • Come from the office of the Principal/Headmaster or the Head of Guidance.

The letter may be submitted either by mail to the following address:

HSE Office, 3rd Floor
75 Pleasant Street
Malden MA 02148
Attn: Olympia Stroud

Or by email to Olympia Stroud, ostroud@doe.mass.edu

No faxed letters will be accepted. Please include both your email address and your telephone number with your submission. You will be contacted via email by the HSE Office within three business days of the receipt of your document. Once you have received email approval of your Letter of Withdrawal, you will be able to schedule your HiSET tests.

School Enrollment Status

You must NOT be enrolled in any secondary school program and must not have received a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential.


You must be a resident of Massachusetts, living at a Massachusetts address. You will be required to sign an eligibility form verifying your information and bring it to the test center.


You must present proper identification at the test center for each test session. Outdated or expired identification will not be accepted. Failure to provide documentation will prohibit you from taking the test.

The approved identification documents include:

  • A valid Passport
  • A valid driver’s license from any state
  • A state-issued ID card
  • National ID card
  • Military ID card

Requirements for Retesting:

Massachusetts encourages examinees to initially complete the full five-test battery before retesting on any of the individual subtests. If after completing the full battery the examinee has not met the scoring requirements for earning a Massachusetts High School Equivalency Credential, you may retest in accordance with the following guidelines:

If one or more of your subtest scores is below “8”, you must retest on those subtests until your scores on all five subtests are “8” or above.

If you have achieved a score of at least “8” on all five subtests but still need more points to achieve the passing score of 45, you may retest on any of the subtests you choose and in any order.

You may take each subtest only three times during any one calendar year, January 1 through December 31.

Note: If a college or university requires higher HiSET scores that you have earned, you may retest even if you have earned the Massachusetts High School Equivalency Credential. To do so, you must produce an official letter from the college or university requiring you to retest.

Test Preparation or Instruction:

Massachusetts does not have any test preparation or instruction requirements to take the HiSET exam. However, instruction is encouraged before retesting.

Practice Test: Massachusetts does not require you to take practice tests prior to taking the HiSET exam.

Additional Information

For additional information, call our main HiSET number at: 978-556-3458

Nancy Carroll, Clerk/Examiner ncarroll@necc.mass.edu

Donna Felisberto, HiSET Chief Examiner dfelisberto@necc.mass.edu