The HiSET® exam covers five subject areas: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. To pass the following must be met:
- Score at least 8 out of 20 on each of the five subtests, and
- Score at least 2 out of 6 on the essay, and
- Achieve a total scaled score on all five HiSET® subtests of at least 45 out of 100.
HiSET Scoring Reminders
- Meeting the minimum passing score on all subject area tests DOES NOT mean that a student met the passing requirements to pass the test battery or portions of the HiSET test.
- In order to pass the HiSET test, test takers MUST meet all three of the following requirements:
- Score a minimum of 8 in each subject area; AND
- Score a minimum of 2 out of 6 on the essay for the Writing test; AND
- Achieve the overall total score of 45 if taking all five subtests (or an average of 9 if taking less than the entire test battery).
Because HiSET has a required overall total score, all test takers must score an average of a 9 for all HiSET subtests taken. See the chart below that provides the total overall score needed for the test taker to meet the overall scoring requirement of the HiSET test.
||Required Total Combined Score*
|Taking one HiSET subtest
|Taking two HiSET subtests
|Taking three HiSET subtests
|Taking four HiSET subtests
|Taking all five HiSET tests (complete battery)
*If taking the Writing test, must also score a minimum of 2 on the essay.
Test takers who meet the minimum passing scores on all five subject area tests but who do not meet the required overall score of 45 required to pass the HiSET exam can choose to repeat one or more subject area tests in the test battery to bring up their overall score.
HiSET® Language Arts Reading
The reading test measures your ability to understand, interpret and analyze a broad range of literary and informational texts. The selected texts range in length from approximately 400 to 600 words.
- There is a limit of 65 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions.
HiSET® Language Arts Writing
This section measures your skill in recognizing and producing standard American English. The multiple-choice section questions measure your ability to edit and revise written text. The essay measures your ability to generate and organize ideas in writing.
- There is a limit of 120 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions and an essay prompt.
This section measures mathematical knowledge and competencies. Questions are presented as practical problems and are solved by numerical operations, measurement, estimation, data interpretation and logical thinking. Some questions test abstract concepts such as algebraic patterns and probability. You may use a calculator for this section.
- There is a limit of 90 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions.
This section measures your ability to use science content knowledge, apply principles of scientific inquiry, and interpret and evaluate scientific information. Graphs, tables, and charts are used to present information and results.
- There is a limit of 80 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions.
HiSET® Social Studies
This section measures your ability to analyze and evaluate information from a variety of content areas such as history, political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, geography, and economics. Primary documents, posters, cartoons, timelines, maps, graphs, tables, charts and reading passages are used in questions.
- There is a limit of 70 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions.