West Virginia High School Diploma Requirements
To earn a high school diploma, the state of West Virginia requires students to pass 18 core courses, including English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, health and one of the arts. Two elective course credits are also required to graduate.
West Virginia offers a variety of options for students to earn the credits required to graduate by combining course requirements, career and technical education classes and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion or TASC high school equivalency test.
Adult learners can also earn a high school diploma by passing the TASC Test. West Virginia's Adult Basic Education program offers an Adult Basic Education-to-College program. This bridge program is designed to provide a single path to help individuals learn basic competencies and continue through into a post-secondary program.
Adults who are over 18 are eligible to take the TASC Test which is free in West Virginia. Although there is no residency requirement, test takers should be aware that they will receive a West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma. Students who are 16-18 are eligible to take the test if they are enrolled in a Pathway program that combines the TASC test with other graduation requirements. Anyone who is 16-18 and has withdrawn from school is also eligible for the TASC test but may be required to provide certain types of documentation such as a West Virginia TASC Test form signed by a parent or guardian, a document proving legal emancipation or a marriage certificate.
All TASC Test candidates, no matter what age, must pass the TASC Readiness Assessment Test which can be taken at an adult education center. You can find a center through Adult Basic Education section of the West Virginia Department of Education website.
The TASC Test
The TASC Test is a seven-hour exam with five separate subtests in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. The TASC Test is offered in English and Spanish and you can take a paper-and-pencil version of the test, or you can test on computer. To pass the TASC Test you must score at least 500 on each of the following subtests:
- Mathematics - The TASC math subtest covers number operations, algebra, functions, geometry and probability and statistics. Questions are based on word problems using real-world situations and information presented in diagrams, charts and graphs. The roughly two-hour test is divided into two parts, and you can use a calculator for Part 1 of the test.
- Writing - The Writing subtest assesses your writing skills through multiple-choice questions that ask you to review and revise written selections with problems in organization and sentence structure and errors in word use, punctuation, capitalization and spelling. You will also have to write an essay based on one or two reading passages.
- Reading - The Reading subtest measures your ability to read, understand and analyze a variety of reading selections such as excerpts from novels, poems, newspaper articles, business reports and legal documents.
- Social Studies - The Social Studies subtest requires you to answer multiple-choice questions that cover topics in government, U.S. and world history, economics and geography. Questions are based on reading passages, maps, charts and tables.
- Science - For the Science subtest, you will be asked to answer multiple-choice questions that assess your ability to interpret, evaluate and apply scientific information, concepts and principles. The test uses reading passages, graphs, charts and diagrams to present topics in life sciences, physical science and astronomy.
West Virginia and TASC
As formal education becomes a more and more essential part of succeeding in the work force, all avenues to further that education become valued commodities. Employers and educators across West Virginia and the United States have come to see high school equivalency diplomas like those from TASC as legitimate proof of dedication to career and knowledge the same as any normally obtained high school diploma. Nowadays, people are getting accepted to college with TASC credentials as well as obtaining better paying and higher quality jobs. Education can only better your future.
Why You Should Get Your HSE in West Virginia
For those who do not have their high school diploma or equivalency, the average unemployment rate is around 5.4% for people over the age of 25 and the average weekly earnings are about $592. Contrast that with the 3.7% unemployment rate of those who have a high school diploma or HSE and their average weekly take of $746. The higher the education you have the lower the unemployment rate and the greater the average weekly earnings. Receiving even the most basic education improves the chances of more and better jobs and greater earning potential. With your high school equivalency in hand, you also have access to opportunities in higher education where the possibilities for earnings and careers increase even further.