The specific purpose of the HiSET® exam is the measurement of the educational development of adults who have not completed their formal high school education. Adults may earn a High School Equivalency Certificate and thus qualify for admission to colleges or other educational institutions, meet educational requirements for employment or promotion, satisfy educational qualifications for induction into the armed services, fulfill requirements of local or state licensing boards, or gain personal satisfaction.

The HiSET® exam is available as a paper-based or computer-based exam to be taken in-person and as an online exam. The information below is for in-person testing. If you are interested in taking the HiSET® exam online, please refer to the information on this page as requirements may differ.

 

ELIGIBILITY

An individual is eligible to take the HiSET® Test given they meet all of the following conditions:

  • 18 years of age or older*
  • does not have a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential and is not currently enrolled in a secondary school
  • is a resident of the State of Illinois

Note: *If an individual is 17 years old, they must present a withdrawal documentation before taking the HiSET® tests.

 

DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR UNDERAGE TESTING

If an individual is 17 years old, they must present withdrawal documentation to be cleared to test:

  • If the candidate was previously enrolled in a public or private high school prior to their HSE test date, the candidate should provide a withdrawal letter from their former high school. Withdrawal letters should 1) be on school letterhead, 2) be physically or digitally signed by a school official, 3) include the candidate’s full name and date of birth, 4) include the formal withdrawal date/last date of attendance, and 5) include the candidate’s ETS identification number. Transcripts are not acceptable as proof of withdrawal unless they include the candidate’s name and date of birth, a formal withdrawal date, and the physical or digital signature of a school official.
  • If withdrawal documentation cannot be provided by the former high school, or the candidate was otherwise not enrolled in high school prior to their HSE test date, the candidate should provide documentation from the local school district or Regional Office of Education serving their area of residence indicating they are not currently enrolled in a public or private high school in their local school district. Such documentation should 1) be on organizational letterhead, 2) be physically or digitally signed by staff of the local school district or Regional Office of Education, 3) include the candidate’s full name and date of birth, 4) include the date the letter was provided, 5) indicate the candidate is not currently enrolled nor required to be enrolled in a high school in their area of residence, and 6) include the candidate’s ETS identification number.
  • If the candidate was homeschooled, the candidate may provide:
    • Documentation from the local school district or Regional Office of Education serving their area of residence indicating they are not currently enrolled in a public or private high school in their local school district. Such documentation should 1) be on organizational letterhead, 2) be physically or digitally signed by staff of the local school district or Regional Office of Education, 3) include the candidate’s full name and date of birth, and 4) include the candidate’s ETS identification number.

OR

    • A letter from the relevant homeschooling association or program stating the program has been completed and the individual has been cleared to complete an HSE exam. The letter must include 1) the candidate’s full name and date of birth, 2) the candidate’s ETS identification number, 3) the date the letter was written, and 4) a physical or digitally time-stamped signature from staff at the relevant homeschooling association/program responsible for the candidate’s home schooling.

 

Proof of withdrawal must be emailed to hse@illinois.gov (preferred) or faxed to 217-558-6700. Please allow 3-5 business days for the processing of emailed documentation and 7-10 business days for the processing of faxed documentation.

Additional Considerations:

  • Test takers must create a HiSET® account on hiset.ets.org before submitting their withdrawal letter. ICCB staff must be able to locate an account for the student to clear the student to test.
  • Candidates should create only one account. If a candidate has created duplicate accounts, ICCB staff may select the account which is cleared to test and/or require the candidate to have the accounts merged.
  • ETS Identification Number: When you submit your documentation, you must also provide your ETS Identification Number. ICCB staff will not be able to locate your account without this number. Your ETS Identification Number was provided to you by email when you registered for your HiSET® account and can also be found in the top right corner of your HiSET® portal at https://hiset.ets.org/myhiset after logging into your account.
  • Online Testing: Underage test takers are not able to take the HiSET® exam online in the State of Illinois.

Candidates will receive an email to the email address used on their HiSET® account once the alert has been cleared.

Sixteen (16) year-olds are not eligible to take a high school equivalency exam unless currently enrolled in a Regional Safe Schools Program, an Alternative Learning Opportunities Program, or the Lincoln’s Challenge Academy pursuant to the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/3-15.12). Those programs must petition on the student’s behalf for the student to be approved to take a high school equivalency test. All other 16 year-olds must wait until they turn 17 to test.

 

IDENTIFICATION AND RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS

All test takers must present a current (non-expired), government-issued photo identification on test day to take a HiSET® test. In addition, pursuant to the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/3-15.12), high school equivalency candidates must be a current Illinois resident in order to take a high school equivalency exam in the State of Illinois.

Test takers are required to provide a form of current (non-expired), government-issued photo identification on their test day to verify their identity. The government-issued photo identification must include the candidate’s full name, date of birth, signature, and photograph. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, state identification card, foreign identification card (such as a Matricula Consular), passport, or military identification.

If the photo identification card does not indicate an Illinois address, the candidate must also provide proof of residency documentation. Proof of residency documentation must include the candidate’s full name and the candidate’s current Illinois address, and must be dated at least 30 days prior to the test date. Please refer to this document for examples of acceptable proof of residency documentation.

 

REGISTRATION

You can register online to take the HiSET® exam at hiset.ets.org. Although registration is done online, the tests will be administered in paper/pencil format or on a computer at an official HiSET® testing site that you select during registration.  Testing fees must be paid at the time of scheduling.

 

COST

The cost to take the in-person HiSET® exam varies based upon the format in which it is taken (paper/pencil or computer).

The computer-based HiSET® exam is $18.75 per test module. A total of 5 test modules comprise the HiSET® exam, meaning the full HiSET® battery, if taken entirely on computer, costs $93.75.

The paper-based HiSET® exam is $23 per test module. A total of 5 test modules comprise the HiSET® exam, meaning the full HiSET® battery, if taken entirely on paper, costs $115.

Candidates may mix and match the paper-based and computer-based formats.

Testing fees must be paid online at the time of registration. Testing sites are unable to take payment for exams directly from test takers on test day.

 

TEST CONTENTS

The HiSET® exam consists of five content areas:

  • Language Arts – Reading – measures your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze a broad range of literary and informational texts
  • Language Arts – Writing – measures your skill in recognizing and producing standard American English, editing and revising written text, and generating and organizing ideas in writing
  • Mathematics – measures mathematical knowledge and competencies
  • Science – measures your ability to use science content knowledge, apply principles of scientific inquiry, and interpret and evaluate scientific information
  • Social Studies – measures your ability to analyze and evaluate information from a variety of social studies content areas

Tests are administered in English and Spanish

You can test three times on each subject without waiting. After the third attempt, you must wait until the next calendar year.

 

HiSET®  TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS

Not all individuals can be fairly tested under standard conditions. If you have a documented learning, physical or emotional disability, you may qualify for accommodations for a HiSET® test administration. If approved, accommodations are provided at no additional charge.

For information on how to request accommodations for the HiSET® exam, visit http://hiset.ets.org/take/disabilities or email HiSETSSD@ets.org.

 

HiSET® TEST PREPARATION

HiSET® preparation classes are offered free of charge at local adult education programs. Test takers are strongly encouraged to prepare for their exams at a local adult education program.

For more information on on HiSET® preparation classes near you, you may call or text 1-800-321-9511 or you can visit the Program Loctor. HiSET® study materials are also available at hiset.ets.org/prepare/overview.

 

CONSTITUTION REQUIREMENT

The Illinois Community College board has suspended the administration of the U.S. and Illinois State Constitution and Flag Test effective February 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. Please click the link below to learn more about this suspension and what it means for you.

U.S. and Illinois State Constitution and Flag Test

 

CERTIFICATES AND TRANSCRIPTS

ORDERING HiSET® TRANSCRIPTS AND/OR HSE CERTIFICATES

 


Illinois HSE Administrator’s Office Contact Information
Telephone: 217-558-5668
Fax: 217-558-6700
Email: hse@illinois.gov