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Massachusetts High School Equivalency Program Information
In Massachusetts, individuals may choose to take one of two tests - GED or HiSET - to obtain a credential that is officially known as the Massachusetts State High School Equivalency Diploma. Individuals who pass either test must demonstrate a level of knowledge equivalent to receiving a high school education.
In order to qualify to take either test, applicants must be residents of Massachusetts and offer proof of continuous residency in the state. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age in order to take the GED, but those who are 16-17 years of age may be permitted to take it if they have official letters of withdrawal from the last school attended.
At the test center, you must provide an approved form of identification such as a valid driver's license, Passport, or state-issued, national, or military ID card.
Test Components and Score Requirements
To pass the GED test, individuals must achieve a score of no less than 145 on each of the exam's four individual tests and receive a combined standard score of at least 580. The GED exam's four tests are designed to gauge a candidate's knowledge in the following areas:
- Reasoning through language arts
- Social studies
- Mathematical reasoning
The cost of the GED test is $125 with an additional $10 for each retest. The cost of retesting increases to $31.25 after one year.
To pass the HiSET test, individuals must achieve a minimum score of 8 on each of the five subtests with a total score of no less than 45. The HiSET test is comprised of five subtests in the following areas:
- Social studies
It costs $100 to take all five sections of the HiSET test. An individual may take up to two retests per subtest at $9 per retest. After one year, the cost of each subtest is $19. Please note that the costs will increase on January 1, 2019.
Test Preparation Programs
Adult education programs that prepare individuals for the GED and HiSET tests are offered throughout the state by colleges, school districts and community organizations. These programs can help students prepare for one specific area of the test or for the entire exam. These programs are recommended, but not required. Programs may also help orient students with the computer-based format of the test, since all GED exams will now be delivered by computer. Many programs are offered at no or low cost. To locate a preparation program, individuals may contact the Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline.
Testing Accommodations and Locations
Special accommodations for GED testing can be made for individuals with documented physical, emotional or learning disabilities. Tests are available in English and Spanish and can be taken on paper or computer. There are currently about 30 GED testing centers in Massachusetts; test-takers may locate the closest testing center to them through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Please note that each testing option is not necessarily offered at every testing center.
Why Get Your High School Equivalency Diploma in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts offers two ways to obtain a high school equivalency diploma - GED or HiSET. The diploma, recognized by employers, colleges, and training programs, provides a great alternative for the next steps in your career. According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the diploma will help you earn a living wage in the state.