All About the GED: Massachusetts

Aug 03, 2018

The HiSET in Massachusetts

As of January 1, 2014, Massachusetts stopped offering the General Educational Development (GED) exam. In place of the GED, Massachusetts offers the HiSET exam from ETS (Educational Testing Service).

Overview of the HiSET

The HiSET is a 5-subject timed test administered in an official testing facility. The five subject areas that make up the test are language arts reading and writing, math, social studies, and science. The test is meant to assess the test-taker's knowledge of the academic subjects typically taught in high school. The test is currently available in English and Spanish. The HiSET is available in both paper- and computer-based formats.

Each subtest of the HiSET exam (or battery) is scored on a scale of 1 to 20. To pass the entire battery, test-takers must:

  • Score a minimum of 8 points on each subtest
  • Score a 2 or higher on the essay portion of the writing test
  • Achieve a combined score (all subsets) of 45 or higher

Requirements for Taking the HiSET in Massachusetts

Massachusetts requires that test-takers be residents of the state. Additionally, students must be at least 18 years of age and no longer enrolled in high school. Individuals who are 16 or 17 years old may be eligible for the exam if they have an official Letter of Withdrawal from the last school attended. The HiSET website provides further details for Massachusetts test-takers under 18 years old.

Ways to Prepare for the Massachusetts HiSET

As part of the HiSET program, ETS provides test-takers with access to a variety of free study aids through the company's website. The site hosts tutorial videos, study companions, sample tests, practice questions, and study tips. In addition to the free aids, ETS offers a selection of low-cost test preparation material.

Another option for test-takers is enrolling in a local adult education course. These courses can often be found through the state's education department, or through the National Literacy Directory.

Accommodations and Re-Testing

Students requiring accommodations to take the HiSET must have their requests approved by ETS prior to scheduling a test date. Individuals will need to complete the HiSET Testing Accommodations Request Form (found on the HiSET website) and submit the form to ETS for approval.

Those needing to retake the HiSET are not required to wait between retakes. However, ETS only allows students to take a subject area subtest 3 times in a calendar year.

Why Pass the HiSET in Massachusetts?

Passing the HiSET is proof that you have the same level of academic knowledge and proficiency as a high school graduate and therefore opens opportunities for higher education, better jobs, military recruitment, and various other training programs.

Need help preparing for the GED? Check out's GED Test Prep study guides, complete with bite-size video lessons, practice tests, informational resources, and more to make sure you ace the exam!

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