What is the difference between GED and HiSET?

Santa Rosa Junior College offers two different high school equivalency exams (GED and HiSET). If you successfully pass the GED or HiSET exam, you will receive a California High School Equivalency Certificate (it is the same certification from the California Department of Education). Let's explore which test is right for you.

 

GED

HiSET

Format of Test 

Computer

Computer or Paper

How many subjects are on the test?

  1. Reasoning Through Language Arts
  2. Mathematical Reasoning
  3. Science
  4. Social Studies
  1. Language Arts-Reading
  2. Language Arts-Writing
  3. Mathematics
  4. Science
  5. Social Studies 

Cost of Test

$35.00 per subject (total cost: $140.00)

$24.00 per subject + a one-time $20.00 state fee (total cost: $140.00)

Effective January 1, 2019, the HiSET exam fee will increase. Learn more information about HiSET fee increase.

Language Options

Both English and Spanish are available as language options for the GED. As of May 24, 2018, California residents are allowed to combine both English and Spanish to earn their GED credential.

Both English and Spanish are available as language options for the HiSET, however California residents aren't allowed to combine languages to complete the test. This means you must take all five subjects in one language to earn your HiSET test credential. You are not allowed to combine Spanish tests with English tests. 

Retake Fee

After paying the initial fee, you are allowed two retakes at $15.00 per subject if needed. Students must retake the test within a year to be eligible for the retake fee of $15.

After paying the initial fee, you are allowed up to two free retakes if needed.

Retake Rule

You can test three times on the same subject without waiting. After the third attempt, you have to wait 60 days before trying again. 

You can take a subject up to three times in a calendar year. This includes your initial appointment and two retakes.

Test Results

Test results will be available within 2-3 business days after testing. You will receive an email when your scores are ready for viewing on MyGED. 

Paper-based test scores: Usually available within 3-5 business days after ETS receives your answer sheet.

Computer-based test scores: Official scores are posted within 3 business days for multiple-choice tests and 6 business days for essay tests. When you take a computer-based test, immediate, unofficial scores are displayed on the screen after you complete the test for all multiple-choice sections. However, unofficial scores are not displayed for the writing test. 

Calculators 

Texas Instruments TI-30XS on-screen calculator will automatically be available for Part 2 of the math test and some social studies and science questions. If you choose to use your own handheld calculator, you may only use the Texas Instruments TI-30XS. 

The testing center will provide you with the Texas Instruments TI-30XS calculator for the math, science, and social studies test.

Breaks

You will receive a 10-minute scheduled break between each test. The RLA test is in three sections, with a 10-minute break after the second section. During breaks, you may access your personal belongings.

Unscheduled breaks are not allowed and your test will be deemed invalid if you take an unscheduled break. 

You will not be able to access your personal belongings during breaks.

Paper and Pencil Exam: Test takers who are taking two tests in one day can take a restroom break between the tests. Timing will not stop if you take an unscheduled restroom break.

Computer Test: Breaks are only allowed if you have a scheduled break build into the exam. You are not allowed to take unscheduled breaks. If you take an unscheduled break, you will NOT be allowed to go back to the testing room. 

What scores do I need to pass the test?

To pass, you must achieve a scores of a 145 out of a 200 for each test section.

To pass, you must do all three of these things:

  •  Achieve a score of at least 8 out of 20 on each individual subtest
  • Score at least 2 out of 6 on the Language Arts — writing essay section
  • Achieve a total score of at least 45 out of 100 on all five subtests