The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) recognizes that today’s workplace presents numerous opportunities and challenges for adults in West Virginia. Employers need workers with strong basic skills and an ability to adapt to change. Today’s families are faced with multiple responsibilities as they address their children’s educational needs as well as their own. Special populations, such as the homeless and incarcerated, must deal with additional challenges in order to lead safe and productive lives.

To effectively serve the foundational learning needs of these diverse groups, a learning system that is flexible and responsive is necessary.

The WV Adult Education programs build skills for success by providing adults with the opportunity to acquire and improve functional skills necessary to enhance the quality of their lives as workers, family members, and citizens. These programs play an important role in fostering productive employment, effective citizenship, personal and family growth, self-esteem, and dignity for adult learners.

Individuals eligible to receive services must be at least 16 years of age and not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law. Additionally, an eligible individual must meet at least one of the following criteria: 1) be basic skills deficient, 2) not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or 3) be an English language learner.

Educational services are available at no cost to adult learners and are designed to meet the educational needs of each individual. Certified adult education instructors provide instruction.

The West Virginia Department of Education’s (or state department) approved high school equivalency (HSE) assessment offers adults a “second opportunity” to prove acquisition of the contemporary high school skills and life skills. For the thousands of West Virginians who have not completed high school, the issuance of the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma provides them with the opportunity to demonstrate academic skills at a high school level of competency.

The first step is to locate the nearest adult education classroom (link) and contact the instructor to schedule an appointment. At that time the instructor will work with you to determine the specific steps you need to achieve your goal.

Next, is to work on the steps of the education plan which you and your instructor developed. This can include in-person instruction, virtual instruction, and distance education methods.

Then, you’ll take the Official Practice Test to determine your ability to pass the actual High School Equivalency (HSE) exam.

Once you are ready, your instructor will assist you to register for the HSE at a nearby testing center.

Finally, take (& pass) your HSE exam!

West Virginia’s adult distance education program provides a flexible learning opportunity for West Virginia adults who need to prepare for the high school equivalency test, or who wish to brush up on their basic academic skills in preparation for an upcoming test for entrance into a college or into the workforce. And it’s free! You can now study any time of the day or night on a computer or mobile device with Internet access. *

Some of the approved software programs for distance education in West Virginia Adult Education include Edgenuity®HiSET Academy™Computer Essentials™,  and Burlington English®. The content of these programs varies from courses in healthcare occupations to information technology to courses in Accuplacer® Exam Preparation and to learning English as a Second Language.

In order to participate in the distance education program, you must be a West Virginia resident and be able to go to an onsite class to take the assessment test and enroll.

*Distance Education is available in limited areas. Call the Adult Education Hotline at 800-642-2670 or contact Elizabeth Jarrett at ejarrett@k12.wv.us  to find the nearest adult learning center in your area which offers distance learning opportunities.

All candidates must be at least 16 years old to be admitted to HiSET testing.

  • There are specific guidelines for 16, 17, and 18-year-olds. Contact your local adult learning center.
  • 16, 17, and 18-year-olds who are still enrolled in school may qualify for the Option Pathway Program, which enables students to take the High School Equivalency exam while still enrolled in school as part of their program of study. Students must meet program guidelines and must be referred to the Option Pathway by a teacher, counselor or school administrator.
  • All candidates must pass the Official Practice Test (OPT). All adult education programs are authorized to give the OPT.
  • The Adult Education or Option Pathway teacher will assist with the online registration and scheduling for the High School Equivalency exam.

Residency Guidelines 

  • West Virginia does not have a residency requirement, but if you decide to take the High School Equivalency exam test in West Virginia, your diploma will be issued as a State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma.
  • If you wish to take the High School Equivalency exam test in another state, you must contact the state of your choice for its guidelines on testing out-of-state residents.
  • West Virginia honors High School Equivalency exam test scores from other states.


  • Current valid photo identification with current name and address, birth date, and preferably a Social Security number is required prior to all testing sessions.
    • A current valid driver’s license.
    • A valid Department of Motor Vehicles picture identification.
    • A valid passport.
    • National ID or Military card
    • Correctional facility or MCS photo ID (valid only while test taker is a resident of the center).
    • The same ID must be presented on the day of testing. No exceptions.
  • The examiner has the authority to require additional identification for positive verification.

The HiSET® exam is a national high school equivalency (HSE) assessment that allows adults to show the same academic knowledge and skills as high school graduates to allow adults to pursue postsecondary opportunities and expand their career paths. This exam is administered by PSI Services, a leading provider of high-stakes testing solutions. The exam is aligned with the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education used in our adult education classrooms.

The HiSET® exam assesses knowledge and skills in five subject areas: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Test items are reviewed yearly by expert analysts to assure that each item is valid, accurate, and continues to reflect the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education.

The HiSET® exam is available in English and Spanish as well as in large print, with accommodations for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and audio versions. The five sections take approximately seven hours to complete and may be taken separately on different days (depending on the testing center’s schedule).

The HiSET® pass scores is based on a national study of high school juniors and seniors and indicate that 60 percent of graduating high school students would pass the HiSET® exam.

As of January 1, 2022, the HiSET® exam became the state-approved HSE assessment for West Virginia. Examinees who successfully pass the HiSET® exam receive the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma.

Passing TASC™ scores will be combined with HiSET® exam scores until midnight on December 31, 2022, to allow those who have passed parts of the prior state-approved test to complete their High School Equivalency Diploma.

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.

# Subtests Required Total Combined Score*
Taking one HiSET subtest 9
Taking two HiSET subtests 18
Taking three HiSET subtests 27
Taking four HiSET subtests 36
Taking all five HiSET tests (complete battery) 45

*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.

HiSET® Mathematics

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.

HiSET® Science

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.

Individuals must take and pass all five subject area tests of the high school equivalency assessment (currently the HiSET® exam) to receive the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma. The state of West Virginia has provided funding for individuals to take the high school equivalency assessment for free. In order to get the free testing, examinees must go to an Adult Education (AdultEd) classroom to take the state-approved high school equivalency (HSE) practice test (currently the Official Practice Test) and receive a passing score in each subject area. Individuals may also choose to attend classes at an AdultEd center to brush up on skills to help them prepare for the HiSET® exam.

ETS is committed to providing reasonable testing accommodations for candidates with documented disabilities or health-related needs, as recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). We treat requests for accommodations on a case-by-case basis and have established policies and procedures that ensure that people with disabilities or health-related needs have access to our tests.

Test candidates may access three types of support during the HiSET exam.

  1. Special Testing Accommodations
    ETS is committed to serving test takers with disabilities and health-related needs by providing services and reasonable accommodations that are appropriate given the purpose of the exam. Accommodations are available for test takers with diagnosed disabilities that include, but are not limited to:
    • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
    • Psychological or psychiatric disorders
    • Learning and other cognitive disabilities
    • Physical disorders/chronic health disabilities
    • Intellectual disabilities
    • Hearing and visual impairment

    All requests for accommodations are handled by ETS Disability Services and can take six weeks to complete. Therefore, requests for accommodations must be submitted in a timely fashion.

    ETS Disability Services is available Monday–Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
    Phone: 1-609-359-5615 or 1-855-802-2748 (toll-free)
    Email: HiSETSSD@ets.org (general inquiries)
    Fax: 1-609-240-0525
    Mail: ETS HiSET Disability Services, P.O. Box 6054, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6054
    Courier Service: ETS HiSET Disability Services, 225 Phillips Blvd., Ewing, NJ 08618-1426

  2. Allowable Resources
    Allowable resources include tools, procedures and materials that are permitted by use of examinees if needed. Examples of allowable resources include magnifying devices, colored overlays, earplugs, seat cushions, etc. Unlike special testing accommodations, allowable resources do not require formal approval. For more information, see the HiSET Accommodations not requiring approval.
  3. Alternative Test Formats
    The HiSET exam is available in English and Spanish in alternate formats, including Braille and large print. Although West Virginia test centers are primarily computer-based testing sites, not all test centers will offer paper-based exams. Test candidates desiring the paper-based option must schedule at a test center which offers paper-based testing.

Unofficial HiSET Scores

Transcript of Official HiSET Scores, TASC Scores or GED Scores

  • Official scores of your HiSET, TASC, or GED results are kept by DiplomaSender.
  • Your original diploma and transcript will be mailed to you at no charge upon creation of a DiplomaSender account and verifying the mailing address.
  • Colleges, universities, and employers require a transcript of your official scores.
  • You may obtain an additional transcript, replacement diploma, or verification by completing the online request at DiplomaSender – www.diplomasender.com – Copyright © 2014 Lilac, LLC. Detailed directions can be downloaded here.

The English Language Acquisition (ELA) program addresses the needs of adult English Language Learners (ELLs) including immigrants, temporary residents, and citizens of the U.S. whose native language is not English or who live in a family or community environment where a language other than English is the dominant language.

For more information please contact the WVAdultEd Hotline at 1-800-642-2670 and they will help you locate the closest program to you.

The goal of Integrated English Language and Civics Education (IELCE) is to prepare adults who are English language learners for, and place such adults in, unsubsidized employment with in-demand industries and occupations that lead to economic self-sufficiency.

For more information please contact the WVAdultEd Hotline at 1-800-642-2670.

Some counties have local volunteer literacy programs. If there isn’t a volunteer literacy program, the adult education instructor can schedule one-on-one tutoring.

For more information please contact the WVAdultEd Hotline at 1-800-642-2670.

WV Adult Education classes serve adults with disabilities. Instructors are trained to assist with special accommodations that might be needed for testing situations. Instructors can help in accessing accommodations for adult learners.