FAQs About HSE

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What Is A High School Equivalency (HSE) Certificate?
Adults who did not earn a high school diploma have another way to demonstrate high school equivalency by passing a series of tests in either Spanish or English to earn a California-issued certificate.

Who Can Take The HSE Exam?
High school equivalency (HSE) exams are designed for out-of-school youth and adults of any age without a high school diploma.

Which Test Do I Take?
The HiSET® and GED® exams are two tests that measure high school equivalency skills in California, and you can decide which test you wish to take. They are very similar but each test has its own guidelines, regulations and scoring procedures. Both exams are approved and accepted in all 50 states for educational and employment purposes. For details, visit: www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/gd/hsecertltr.asp

Where Can I Take The Test?

You must pass all five HiSET® subtests (Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies) to earn your high school equivalency certificate. You can test online or in-person. 

In-Person Testing is now open. Saddleback College has a HiSET® Testing Center that offers exams on the first Friday of every month. The cost for each subtest is $26.75. To create an appointment for in-person testing, please create an account at www.hiset.ets.org.

To take your test at home, please create an account at www.hiset.ets.org and make your HiSET® test appointment by selecting the "Exam from Home" option. 

Do I Need To Take Classes To Take The Test?
You are not required to take HSE classes, but we highly recommend that you visit Saddleback Adult Education to get a proper assessment on how close you are to passing the HSE exams. Our FREE preparation classes are designed to ensure students pass all sections of the HiSET or GED exam. 

How Long Will It Take to Get My HSE Certificate?
You can study at your own pace! How long it will take for you to pass the entire set of subtests depends on you. For some people it takes a month; for others it can take up to a year. Factors that affect how long it takes, include:

  • your level of education;
  • how much time you have to study;
  • how quickly you want to take the test: you can take one subtest at a time or all five on the same weekend of the month at Saddleback College;
  • whether or not you pass each subtest on the first attempt.