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For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112

ETS Selected to Deliver New High School Equivalency Exam

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today announced that it has selected Educational Testing Service (ETS) to administer the new high school equivalency exam in Massachusetts. This series of exams will replace the former General Education Development (GED) assessment, which is no longer offered by the GED Testing Service as of December 31, 2013.

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.

"Earning a high school equivalency certificate is so important for our adult learners who are seeking a pathway to greater career and higher education opportunities," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "ETS is an experienced testing company that will deliver a high quality exam."

HiSET will measure the academic knowledge and proficiency equivalent to those of a high school graduate. HiSET will be available to Massachusetts adult learners beginning in late January or early February and will include assessments in Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. Approximately 11,000 adult learners in Massachusetts seek to earn a credential each year through a network of local testing centers. Those centers are located in adult learning centers, community colleges, and public schools.

Over the next three years, HiSET will become fully aligned to new college and career readiness standards for adult learners. This gradual phase-in of the new standards will allow adult basic education programs in Massachusetts to better prepare adult learners to meet more rigorous academic standards on the new exam.

Massachusetts has used the General Educational Development assessment, or GED, as its high school equivalency credential since 1945. The GED Testing Service, a joint venture of ACE and Pearson LLC, announced that they would no longer offer the current GED assessment beyond December 2013. In response, Massachusetts issued a Request for Responses in August 2013 for the Massachusetts High School Equivalency Certificate. Three testing companies submitted proposals: CTB/McGraw Hill LLC, GED Testing Service LLC, and Educational Testing Service. The Commonwealth selected ETS to develop the new exam. The contract with ETS will run from January 2014 through December 2016.

Adults who are 18 years old and older may take the high school equivalency test if they have not previously received a high school diploma. Sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds may take the test only if they are no longer enrolled in school. As in years past, the fee for the high school equivalency exam is paid by the test-taker. The Department will continue to provide support to test centers to help defray the cost of administering the exam.

The Department will provide additional information regarding the fee structure for the new exam and the schedule for the first test administration in the coming weeks.

For additional information on the Department's support of adult basic education services, go to

Last Updated: January 2, 2014
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