HiSET Testing Center

  • The G.E.D. test is no longer the official high school equivalency exam in Massachusetts. The Department of Education (DESE) has decided to use the HiSET test as the replacement. Passing this test will be equal to passing the G.E.D.

    The HiSET is available as a computer-based test and/or on paper. The registration process is now done online at www.hiset.ets.org.

    The General Educational Development Tests (HiSET) are a nationally recognized assessment that gives people from all walks of life an opportunity to earn a high school credential.

    The high school credential earned by passing the HiSET tests is accepted by 95% of U.S. employers, colleges, and universities.

    The HiSET tests cover the academic knowledge and skills learned in four years of high school: reading, writing, social studies, science, and mathematics. By passing the 7 1/2 hours of tests, HiSET diploma recipients demonstrate the skills of communication, information processing, problem-solving and critical thinking.

    The HiSET tests measure many of the U.S. Labor Department's necessary workplace skills that are valued by employers.

    The High School Equivalency Examination (HiSET) consists of five separate tests:

    Language Arts – Reading (65 minutes)

    Format: 40 multiple-choice questions
    The Reading subtest measures your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze a broad range of literary and informational texts.

    Language Arts, Writing (125 minutes)

    Part 1 – 50 questions, multiple choice (75 minutes)
    Part 2 – 1 essay prompt (45 minutes)
    If you are taking the HiSET exam in English, the Writing subtest measures your skill in recognizing and producing effective, standard, American-written English and is in two parts. Spanish test takers may write their essay in Spanish.

    Mathematics (90 minutes)

    Format: 50 multiple-choice questions
    The Mathematics subtest measures mathematical knowledge and competencies. You are asked to solve quantitative problems using fundamental concepts and reasoning skills. The questions present practical problems that require numerical operations, measurement, estimation, data interpretation, and logical thinking. Problems are based on realistic situations and may test abstract concepts such as algebraic patterns, precision in measurement, and probability. You may use a calculator for the entire subject test if you choose to do so.

    Science (80 minutes)

    Format: 50 multiple-choice questions
    The Science subtest measures your ability to use science content knowledge, apply principles of scientific inquiry, and interpret and evaluate scientific information. Most of the questions provide descriptions of scientific investigations and their results. Scientific information is based on reports that might be found in scientific journals. Graphs, tables, and charts are used to present information and results.

    Social Studies (70 minutes)

    Format: 50 multiple-choice questions
    The Social Studies subtest measures your ability to analyze and evaluate various kinds of social studies information. The subtest uses materials from a variety of content areas, including history, political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, geography, and economics. Primary documents, posters, cartoons, timelines, maps, graphs, tables, charts, and reading passages may be used to present information. You may be asked to distinguish statements of fact from opinion; recognize the limitations of procedures and methods; and make judgments about the reliability of sources, the validity of inferences and conclusions, and the adequacy of information for drawing conclusions.

    More information about the five separate tests is available on the HiSET website.

    Testing at the Adult Learning Center takes place every Tuesday & Thursday evenings, and every other Saturday during the day.


  • Department of Adult Education
    Madison Park Complex - Building 1
    55 Malcolm X Boulevard
    Roxbury, MA 02120
    Phone: 617.635.9300 
    Fax: 617.635.9045

    Kristen D'Avolio, Senior Director 

    Karla DeLeon, Director

    Bryan Nickerson, Director of Operations

    Chun-Fai Chan, Special Projects Manager

    Ann Ha, Recruitment & Placement Coordinator  

    Farah Hilowle, Student Support Specialist: Enrollment  

    Janiel Mayhew, Student Support Specialist: Retention & Success

    Keyahna Tibbs, Student Support Specialist: Engagement

    Mila Monteiro, LACES Specialist

    Ingrid D., Staff Assistant