Earning Your Maine High School Diploma!

A high school diploma gives graduates the basic education needed to pursue post-secondary studies and to seek most entry-level employment. The state of Maine sets the requirements for a Maine high school diploma and also offers adult education and literacy programs for those who wish to earn one.

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Earning Your Maine High School Diploma

The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) offers programs to allow its adult residents to complete their high school education, earn a diploma equivalent through the HiSET test, or to seek other education programs through local adult education centers.

Graduation Requirements

Starting in 2018 the graduation requirements for receiving a diploma switched from a credit-based system to a proficiency-based system. Students are required to demonstrate progress and understanding in the content areas of Maine's system of Learning Results which measures knowledge in eight content areas: English, mathematics, science, social studies, health education and physical education, visual and performing arts, world languages and career and education development. The course load can also be supplemented or replaced through early college/ dual enrollment courses, career and technical education, online learning, volunteering and internships, community service and independent study.

HiSET Test

The Maine High School Equivalency Diploma can be obtained for students 18 and above through passing the HiSET test. Students who are 17 may also take the exam if they have been out of school for one year or longer or have been home-schooled. The state can also provide an 'Immediate Need' waiver to qualifying 17-year-olds.

To pass the exam, students require a score of 8 for each of the five test subjects, which include math, reading, writing, science and social studies. A minimum of 45 is required for the total sections combined, and students must score 2 out of 6 on the essay in the writing section. Students have the ability to take practice tests online. A practice exam must be taken and passed before taking the official HiSET test. The five-part test can be taken only at authorized testing centers across the state and is not available online. The five sections of the test can be completed in one day or across multiple days. Detailed information about the Maine HiSET may be found on the MDOE website.

Other Adult Education Options

Because program requirements and eligibility vary across the state, individuals should contact their local adult center for information on enrolling in an adult education program and pathways to receiving an adult diploma. A list of state school districts may be found at the Maine School Management Association. A list of programs and adult education centers may be found at the MDOE's Division of Adult Education website.

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