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In January 2014, Maine changed its approved high school equivalency exam from the GED to the HiSET.
Frequently Asked Questions about the HiSET
What is the HiSET?
The HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) is a test of general educational development, which covers reading, writing, math, and critical thinking skills. Upon successful completion of testing, a student is awarded a Maine high school equivalency diploma.
How old do you have to be to take the HiSET?
Those eligible for receiving a Maine High School Equivalency Diploma through the HiSET are 18 years of age or older who are not enrolled in high school and can pass the five tests with the required scores. Those younger than 18 years of age are not generally eligible to take the HiSET but can begin preparing for testing. A special waiver process does allow some students to be tested upon documentation of a special need.
How do I get started if I want to take the HiSET?
Attend one of our free HiSET Orientation Sessions and take the pretests to find out if you can pass the real HiSET tests. The orientations start the first week of each month. Call to register at our Academic division (207) 282-3846 or our Admin offices (207) 934-7922 in summer. If you need additional course work, you can enroll in one of our classes, which are also free for high school completion students.
Getting your Maine High School Equivalency Diploma with the HiSET - at NO COST to you!
There are many resources available to help you study for the HiSET. The tests cover reading, writing, social studies, science, and mathematics. The tests also measure communication, information processing, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.
Is the HiSET recognized as a high school credential?
HiSET will be Maine’s officially endorsed high school equivalency exam. The HiSET is produced through ETS, a leader in test development and creator of nationally recognized exams such as the GRE and Praxis series of assessments. ETS is a nonprofit organization advancing quality and equity in education, administering 50 million exams every year.
Do employers and colleges recognize the HiSET?
The HiSET covers the academic knowledge and skills learned in four years of high school: reading, writing, social studies, science, and mathematics. HiSET equivalency diploma recipients demonstrate the skills of communication, information processing, problem solving, and critical thinking. The Fact Is: The HiSET exams measure many of the US Labor Department's necessary workplace skills that are valued by employers.
How will getting the HiSET help me?
Passing the HiSET can mean big benefits for the individual, for business and for society. For many, these tests are the first steps toward better jobs, further training, or higher education.
There are five tests: language arts, social studies, science, reading, and mathematics. The test series takes several sessions totaling 7 hours. Everyone must first take our HiSET Orientation and pretest before taking the official HiSET. Depending on your pretest scores, you may need to take classes to improve your skills. There is no one answer to how long it will take; each person has an individual plan tailored to their needs.
If you believe you have a disability keeping you from taking the HiSET tests as they are usually given, you might be entitled to receive reasonable testing accommodations. Accommodations are available for people with: psychological, physical, and/or learning disabilities such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD).
When are the HiSET Orientation sessions held and where?
The HiSET orientation sessions are on the first three Wednesdays of each month, starting the first Wednesday of the month from September through April. Students need to attend all three sessions.
Call (207) 282-3846 (our Academic division) or in summer call (207) 934-7922 (Admin office) to register. Sessions are held in the evenings at the Saco Learning Center on 80 Common Street in Saco.
What happens during the HiSET Orientation sessions?
You will get an overview of the HiSET and take the pretests. If you score 12 or higher, you will be scheduled to take the official HiSET tests. Those with scores under 12 are registered for our HiSET workshops or classes to improve their skills before taking the actual HiSET.