ETS's HiSET™ Test Offers Affordable, Accessible High School Equivalency Assessment

Mar 20, 2013, 15:16 ET from Educational Testing Service

PRINCETON, N. J., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nonprofit Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the University of Iowa's Iowa Testing Programs (ITP) are proud to introduce the new ETS High School Equivalency Test — HiSET — a national testing program that provides an accessible and affordable alternative to the GED® test for states, educators, test takers and test center administrators.

After listening to the needs of states, educators, policymakers and employers, ETS designed the HiSET program to include elements that are critical to providing

out-of-school youth and adults with the best opportunity to demonstrate their high school-level proficiency, and their readiness for higher education or the workplace.

"ETS and ITP developed the HiSET program with two distinct advantages for users and test takers: affordability and accessibility," said ETS Vice President and General Manager of K–12 Student Assessment Programs John Oswald. "These advantages, along with ETS's commitment to quality, are at the core of ETS's mission to advance quality and equity in education for all people."

The advantages of the HiSET program include:

  • Paper-based and computer-based test delivery to serve the greatest number of candidates
  • Affordable test fees to keep this valuable credential accessible for candidates, states and educational programs
  • Flexibility with the use of existing test centers, test prep and curricula, and a choice of scoring vendor options
  • English and Spanish versions of the test
  • Test design and validation by experts in assessment development for fair and reliable results
  • Up to two re-tests in the same calendar year at no additional cost

Furthermore, the HiSET program offers much-needed flexibility to states wanting to avoid GED score expiration in 2014 by supporting combined pre-2014 GED scores with HiSET scores to issue equivalency credentials. 

"The HiSET program will allow candidates to demonstrate that they have attained the academic knowledge and proficiency equivalent to those of a high school graduate," said Catherine Welch, Director of Statewide Testing Programs and Professor of Educational Measurement and Statistics at the University of Iowa. "Moreover, information gathered from the assessment will help identify the areas where candidates are career- and college-ready."

The HiSET program will be available in two phases. The Phase 1 HiSET test is designed to be compatible with current instructional materials used for high school equivalency assessment and covers five core areas: (1) Language Arts–Reading, (2) Language Arts–Writing, (3) Mathematics, (4) Science and (5) Social Studies. The first administration of Phase 1 is scheduled for January 2014.

Phase 2 of the HiSET program will align more fully with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Since instructional programs for CCSS at the high school level do not yet exist, the Phase 2 HiSET test allows time for instructional providers to learn how to teach the CCSS. In addition, it will measure the more rigorous college- and career-readiness standards that most states will use as the goal of a high school education beginning in 2014/2015. ETS and ITP will work with the states in designing the Phase 2 assessments, which will align with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) assessments in terms of difficulty and content.

ETS and ITP, two highly respected assessment organizations, are committed to a fully collaborative relationship using combined resources to develop and provide high school equivalency assessments that reflect the highest standards of educational assessment.

For more information about the ETS HiSET program please visit

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC ® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

SOURCE Educational Testing Service