High School Equivalency (HSE) Testing Program

Under-18 Special Requirements

Candidates, who are 16 or 17 years of age, cannot schedule any tests until an official Letter of Withdrawal from the last school attended has been approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Step 1: The candidate must obtain a Letter of Withdrawal that conforms to the following requirements:

  • Be on school letterhead, including the address and phone number
  • Include the last date of attendance and date of withdrawal
  • Have been issued from the office of the Principal/Head of School or the Head of Guidance and
  • Be signed by the Principal/Head of School or the Head of Guidance.

For Home School Students:

  • A letter of non-attendance from the district of your residence (high school in your area) or
  • A letter from your district superintendent giving you permission to home school.

Step 2: The candidate must create an account with the vendor for the test of their choice, either GED© or the HiSET®.

To create a GED© account, go to the GED® website GED®: Get Your GED. To create a HiSET ® account, go to the HiSET® website The HiSET Exam.

Step 3: The candidate (or program staff) emails the letter of withdrawal with a subject line Letter of Withdrawal to HSET@mass.gov along with the following information:

  • Candidate's first name and last name, exactly as they appear in the testing account
  • Candidate's telephone number
  • Candidate's email address and
  • Candidate's ETS Identification Number (HiSET® only): If the ETS ID# is incorrect, it can delay your request. Please check ETS ID# before submitting withdrawal letter(s).

ACLS has set up a separate mailbox for withdrawal letters HSET@mass.gov . Please DO NOT email letters directly to Olympia or Mike and DO NOT fax the letters or send through US Mail (or any other carrier). Also, please remember to put Letter of Withdrawal in the email subject line.

Step 4: The candidate will be contacted via email within three business days of the receipt of the letter and the required information.

Step 5: Once the candidate receives an email approval of their Letter of Withdrawal, they will be able to go back into their account and schedule tests.

Last Updated: March 11, 2022

 
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