Why Do I Need a High School Equivalency Diploma?

So you want to start the next stage of your education, but what should that be? If you’re missing a High School Diploma, then the High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma could be the first step towards making a change in your life. Arming yourself with the information and the steps required to get your high school equivalency certificate will help you take a big leap forward in your education and career opportunities.

We are so fortunate to work with a wide variety of students of all different ages and life experiences who are working to create a better life for themselves and their families. So, welcome! We’re glad you’re here.

Why Do I Need a High School Equivalency Certificate?

  • Employment 
    • Having an HSE credential will improve your opportunities for better jobs, training, promotions, military enlistment, and government jobs
  • Education 
    • Having an HSE will open the door for college entrance and requirements and vocational/trade schools
  • Self-Esteem
    • Knowing you successfully achieved this step in your education is huge! Being able to share that you have your HSE with friends and family can be a huge boost to your confidence.
  • Financial Success
    • Did you know that High School and High School Equivalency graduates are likely to earn on average $9,000 more per year than non-graduates? Your paycheck can get a huge boost by earning your HSE credential.

How Hard is the High School Equivalency?

Now, some of you are probably thinking...UGH! I really want to do this, but it is too hard, it’s too much, I don’t think I can do it. 

That kind of talk won’t get you anywhere. In fact it will stop you before you start. The fact is, getting an HSE isn’t as hard as you think.

Did you know you only need to get between 40%-50% of the questions right on the test in order to pass? That’s right, only half!

For the GED® Test, you need to score 145 points on each subject. That’s out of 200 points, but you get 100 points just for showing up to take the test. That means you only need 45 more points to pass!

On the HiSET® Exam, you’ll need to score at least an 8 on each subject test (that’s out of 20 points). You do also need a total score of at least 45. There are 5 subjects on the HiSET exam, so that means you need an average of 9, but it’s okay if you get an 8 on some subjects and a higher score on others. As long as the total is 45 or more.

The TASC test is scored out of 800 points. You need 500 on each subject to pass, but just like the GED, you get some points just for showing up. On the TASC, you get 300 points to start.. That means you only need to score 200 more points to pass.

How Do I Get a High School Equivalency Diploma?

For now let’s start with the basics. There are 2 key steps to getting your High School Equivalency.

  1. Preparation
  2. Taking the test

When it comes to preparation you have some choices. Here are some things to consider to help you choose what preparation program to use. 

  • Alignment to the Tests. Does the program cover all of the things you need to know for the exams? Are they approved by the test administrators? Are you studying the right things in the right way?
  • Timing and Pacing. Does the study program fit your life and schedule? Does it meet you where you are and personally address your needs?
  • Format and Presentation. Is the program made for the adult learner? Seasoned students have specific needs and wants when it comes to education. Make sure the program is made with a non-traditional student in mind.
  • Feedback and Review. Does the program allow for reteaching? Can you move on when you’ve mastered an area? In other words… find a program that doesn’t waste your time and makes your effort worth it!

At Essential Education, our online study programs address all of these needs.

  • Alignment to the Tests. Our programs are certified by GED, HiSET and TASC testing boards. The lessons are aligned to test subject matter and format, which means we teach you what the tests will ask and HOW they will ask it.
  • Timing and Pacing. Our programs are self-paced, mobile-friendly, and you get 24/7 access.
  • Format and Presentation. We built our online programs specifically for adults with a variety of learning styles.
  • Feedback and Review. Our programs include review sections, test out options, interactive homerooms, and tools to help you gauge when you’re ready for the test.

What’s On the High School Equivalency Test?

All HSE exams (GED, HiSET and TASC) cover 5 basic subjects (Reading, Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies).

All that stuff you studied in school… I know what you’re thinking, I don’t remember any of that!

What you may not know is that the tests themselves focus on reasoning, not memorization. 

It will be more important to know how to think critically… how to use those skills and facts. You won’t be asked to recite the periodic table or recall tiny little details from that novel you read 10 years ago, but you will be asked to look at information and show how it can be used and applied. 

Which High School Equivalency Test Do I Take?

So if each of the exams are similar in content, how do you decide which one to take?

Well, it may be decided for you. Each state has different options and rules for the tests themselves. Check out our Where to Test page for information regarding your state’s specific testing information. 

Whichever test you choose to take, we can help prepare you for a specific exam. While the subjects are the same, the questions on each test are a little different. We don’t want that to trip you up, so we designed our lessons around not only what is asked, but how it is asked. We’ve got your back.

How Long Will it Take?

This is a question we get from many students. Our data shows that with committed study time, many of our students are prepared to test in as little as 6 weeks, but the key to your success depends on 2 factors:

  1. Where you start
  2. How much time you can commit to study

Our commitment to you is to meet you step by step. You put in the effort, we will provide you with the tools you need to succeed!

How Much Does it Cost?

The costs of taking the tests in each state vary and in some cases are free (like in New York).

On average the test costs around $120 for the GED and $50-$60 for the HiSET and TASC. 

How Do I Get Started?

So...you’ve picked your test, and you’ve studied and prepared. Now it’s time to take the test.

Can you do that online? No, you cannot take the test online, but you can take our free practice tests online

You can also check out this article's free coaching session that is all about how to get your credential. If you sign up for the Getting Your HSE Credential coaching session we’ll send you the recap materials which include a recording of the session, the slideshow presentation, and the top 5 takeaways students should know! You can also watch the recorded session below: 

When you are ready to take the actual test, go to the GED Testing Service website to schedule a day and time to test.

Now you know the steps, so let’s get started

Author

Rosiee Thormahlen, Student Advisor

Tags

Benefits of the GED | Prepare for the GED | Free Coaching