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:
What you Need to Know to get your High School Equivalency Credential
Lo que necesitas saber para obtener tu credencial de equivalencia de high school
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 GED®: Get Your GED.
For more details on the HiSET®, go to The HiSET Exam.
The Commonwealth offers several different options for high school equivalency testing:
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.
Candidates may take any GED® or HiSET® subtest in English or Spanish. English and Spanish scores may be combined toward High School Equivalency credential attainment.
All credentials will be printed in English. Transcripts will be printed in English and document test vendor (GED® or HiSET®) subtest taken, subtest score, subtest form, and subtest language.
Candidates who received a Spanish credential after 2001 may request a credential in English by contacting the DESE/ACLS HSE team in writing at HSET@mass.gov .
For both tests, the registration and scheduling process is similar:
GED®: To create an account, to register, and to schedule GED® tests, go to GED®: Get Your GED.
HiSET®: To create an account, to register, and to schedule HiSET® tests, go to The HiSET Exam.
Free for Mass. Residents with promo code MAHISET
First two retest free for Mass residents with promo code: MAHISET
First two retests for each subject are covered by the state. After two failed attempts candidate pays:
(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
For in person testing at a test center only: after three non-passing attempts in any subject area a test taker must wait 60 days to retest in that subject area for each subsequent retest. The Commonwealth will pay for two retests, (promo code MARETAKE), after that the test taker is responsible for the test fees ($31.25 per test).
For GED OP (at home) after two non-passing attempts in any subject area a test taker must wait 60 days to retest in that subject area for each subsequent retest. The Commonwealth will pay for two retests, (promo code OPMARETAKE) after that the test taker is responsible for the test fees ($36.25 per test).
Effective January 1st, 2022, and every January 1 hereafter, there will be an annual reset of the 60-day wait policy so that anyone currently under the 60 day wait period will be released from it and have three more attempts per subject before the wait period is applied.
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.
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.
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 (DESE). Our office is not responsible for and does not in any way guarantee the accuracy of information in other sites accessible through links herein. DESE may supplement this list with other services and products that meet the specified criteria. For more information contact: HSET@mass.gov or 781-338-6625.
Last Updated: February 28, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
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.