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GED® vs HiSET® - Which one should I take?

Key Points:

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Differences between GED and HiSET

Is the HiSET harder than the GED?

The HiSET is thought to be slightly easier than the GED, however that is only applicable to the mathematics section. Aside from that when compared side by side there are little differences between the GED and HiSET as they are very similar tests.

The differences that do exist might make the GED or HiSET more preferable for a test takers. For example the HiSET can be taken either online or with a paper and pencil version while the GED can only be taken online. If you’re not comfortable with testing online then the HiSET might be easier for you for that reason.

Are GED and HiSET the same?

The GED and HiSET are not the same test, however they are very similar. The GED and HiSET are both high school equivalency tests that can be used as an alternative to the traditional high school diploma.

The HiSET includes five subtests which are Language Arts Reading, Language Arts Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The GED has a similar make up including four subtests on mathematical reasoning, reasoning through language arts, social studies, and science.

Both tests can be taken online however only the HiSET has the option to be taken as a paper and pencil version. Both tests allow for retakes and are accepted by most technical schools and colleges.

GED vs HiSET - which is better?

Neither the HiSET or GED test is better or worse than the other because the outcome is the same and the subject matter is very similar. The HiSET is gaining popularity, but both exams give the test taker the same result – a high school equivalency.

The GED is a four-subject test that covers Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Math. The HiSET is a five-subject test that also covers Language Arts and Social Studies but with two tests each. The extra subject on the HiSET is Writing. As for time limits, the GED has a total testing time of seven and a half hours while the HiSET has a total testing time of nine hours.

What Are the Costs of the GED vs. HiSET?

Generally, the HISET is more affordable than the GED.

To take the HiSET at home, there is a fee of $17.50. Each testing center has its own set of fees to take the HiSET at a facility, the fees vary from state to state. These fees can include a paper test fee, a computer test fee, and an administration fee. Testing centers may charge additional fees. For example, in California, the HiSET is$12.75 per computer subtest and $17 per paper test with an additional$20 California administration fee. However, in the state of Iowa, there are no state administration fees and the paper-delivered tests are $15 per subtest and$10.75 per computerized subtest.

Similar to the HiSET, the GED has a different cost depending on if the test taker is taking the test remotely from home or at a testing center. The fees also vary from state to state. Typically, the GED is costlier per subtest. For example, in Arizona, taking the GED from home is $41 per subject or$35 per subject when taking it at a testing center. However, in the state of New York, residents can take the GED for free.

The HiSET includes two additional retakes in its price. The GED requires additional test fees to be paid upon retesting. However, in some states, the first two retakes may be offered at a lower price. It’s best to check with your testing facility to receive the most accurate pricing regarding retakes.

What Is A Passing Score on the GED vs. HiSET?

For the HiSET, a scaled scoring system is utilized, you can read more about how the HiSET test is scored on the official HiSET website. While each state does have it’s own policies on what constitutes passing the HiSET, the following criteria is what most states adhere to:

Score a minimum of 8 out of 20 on each of the five subtests
Score at least 2 out of 6 on the essay.
Score a minimum of 45 out of 100 on all five subtests.

The GED is scored on a scale of 100-200 for each section. To pass the GED, test takers must score a minimum of 145 out of 200 on each subtest. The GED is not scored based on the number of questions answered correctly, instead, points are assigned to different questions on each subtest and varying points are earned when answered correctly. You can take a practice test for specific subjects and practice for the essay portion of the GED as well.

Can I Retake the GED or HiSET?

Test takers can retake the GED and HiSET as needed. The HiSET includes two free retakes as part of their test fees.

The HiSET can be taken 3 times per calendar year while the GED can be retaken as many times as needed within a calendar year.

All states and programs may have their own individual regulation and policies around retakes, so it’s important to determine your state or school’s rules.

For example, in the District of Columbia test takers have to wait for 30-days before retaking the GED after their first attempt. After their second attempt, they must wait for 60-days before retaking any additional time.

How to study for GED

Here are some tips on how to study for GED:

First and foremost, take a practice test to determine which subject areas you need to focus on. This will give you a benchmark of your current skills and knowledge so that you can measure your progress as you study.

After you complete a practice test you can use your score report to identify your weak areas within each subject, and then make a plan to focus on those topics a few times each week. Actively practicing the material after each study session with a practice test bank, for example will help embed the information in your memory. While traditional study guides may be your first thought, you can diagnose your weaker areas and concentrate your studying by utilizing online practice tests!

How to study for HiSet

The first step is to take a practice test. This will give you an idea of what to expect on the actual HiSET exam. You want to take a practice test that is timed and provides you with diagnostic results. Evaluate your weaknesses within each section.

Then, create a study plan based on your results. Be sure to focus on the areas that you scored lowest in. Finally, stick to your study plan and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. It takes time and effort to prepare for the HiSET.

You should retake a practice test after 4 weeks of studying and track where you see improvements and what subjects need more work.

GED Online Course

If you want the best chance for passing the Smart Edition GED course will provide all the material and resources you need to succeed on the test.

Disclaimer: HiSET is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS). Smart Edition Academy is not endorsed or approved by approved by ETS. GED® is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education (ACE) and administered exclusively by GED Testing Service LLC under license. Smart Edition Academy is not endorsed or approved by ACE or GED Testing Service.