High School Equivalency (HSE) Testing Program

To Take the Test

Without a high school diploma, it is almost impossible to access the college courses of study, the training programs, or the career-track employment necessary to earn a family-sustaining, living wage in Massachusetts. If you did not graduate from high school, the Massachusetts High School Equivalency Credential, approved and accredited by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is the best alternative.

Annually, over 3000 individuals attain their High School Equivalency in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education produced this video to help you discover how you can achieve your second chance:

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What you Need to Know to get your High School Equivalency Credential
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Lo que necesitas saber para obtener tu credencial de equivalencia de high school

Testing Options

The Massachusetts High School Equivalency credential is accepted by virtually all colleges, universities, and employers in the United States as exactly equivalent to a high school diploma. In order to earn the credential, you must take and pass one of two assessments tests, either the GED© test or the HiSET ®. These tests are comparable in terms of cognitive complexity and rates of passing, but they vary in significant ways as well.

View a side-by-side comparison of the two tests, including the costs for each.

For more details on the GED© test, go to www.ged.com.

For more details on the HiSET ®, go to www.hiset.ets.org.

Whichever test you choose, you must take it at an official test center in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth offers several different options for high school equivalency testing:

  • Either the GED© test or the HiSET ®
  • Testing on computer or with paper and pencil
  • Testing in English or in Spanish

However, not every test center offers all testing options. See a complete list of test centers and testing options.

To see if you are eligible to take the HSE test in Massachusetts, view the eligibility requirements.

Registration and Scheduling

For both tests, the registration and scheduling process is similar:

  • Create an account online
  • Find a test center and schedule tests online
  • Pay online with a credit card or debit card

GED© : To create an account, to register, and to schedule GED© tests, go to www.ged.com.

HiSET ® : To create an account, to register, and to schedule HiSET ® tests, go to the www.hiset.ets.org.

Costs

HiSET ® Fee Structure:GED© Fee Structure:
$100/battery ($24 for the 1st subtest, $19 for the remaining 4 subtests in the initial battery)
$9/retest (up to two per subtest, within one year of initial test)
$19/subtest (after one year from initial test)

Starting January 1, 2019:
$103.75/computer battery
$125/paper battery
(with a proportional increase in individual subtest fees)
$125/battery ($31.25/module)
$10/retest (up to two per module, within one year of initial test)
$31.25/retest (after one year from initial test)

Expired Score Policy

None of your HiSET ® or GED© scores from January 1, 2014, or later will expire until at least December 31, 2020.

If you took the GED© before January 1, 2014, and did not finish, all of your scores have expired and you must start all over again.

Retest Policies

HiSET ® Retest Rules

(Five Subtests) You may only take each subtest three times in a calendar year, January 1 – December 31.

If you fail a subtest, you may take up to two retests in that subtest for the discounted price, if you take those retests within one year of the original test. After the year is up, or if you have taken two retests in a given subject, you must pay full price for any retest.
Discounted Price for HiSET ® $9.00
Full Price for HiSET ® $19.00

GED© Retest Rules

(Four Subtests) If you fail a given subtest three times, you must wait 60 days to retest in that subtest.

If you fail a subtest, you may take up to two retests in that subtest for the discounted price, if you take those retests within one year of the original test.
Discounted Price for GED© $10.00
Full Price for GED© $31.25

Accommodations for Testers with Disabilities

The Massachusetts High School Equivalency Office and our two test vendors are committed to serving test takers with disabilities and health-related needs by providing accommodations that are appropriate given the purpose of the test and the diagnosed disabilities of the candidate. Learn more about testing with accommodations.

Diplomas, Transcripts, and Other Verification Documents

A third-party vendor, DiplomaSender, now has access to all Massachusetts GED© and HiSET ® records back to 1968 and issues all High School Equivalency credentials, transcripts, and other verification documents for the Commonwealth. The High School Equivalency Office no longer issues any of these documents. All contact with Diploma Sender should be through their website. For specific details, go to the Diploma and Transcripts webpage.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

Directions

Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.