High School Equivalency (HSE)Tests
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Many people who did not finish high school have the same knowledge and skills as those who did graduate. By taking and passing a series of HSE tests, adults can demonstrate they have acquired the same level of knowledge. Washington State currently uses the GED® Tests for our HSE tests which has four content areas and subtests.
Most colleges and employers accept a HSE credential as being equivalent to a high school diploma. Each year more than 15,000 Washington residents earn their HSE credentials. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges oversees the HSE testing program for the state of Washington. Those who meet the eligibility requirements below may take the HSE Tests at official test centers located throughout the state. To find your local test center, you must register at GED® Testing Service.
Eligibility to Take HSE Tests in Washington State
Eligibility and Testing Requirements
According to Washington State law, the following individuals are eligible to take the High School Equivalency Tests (WAC131-48-100):
- Any person age 16 through 18 years of age who has not graduated from high school, is not enrolled in a public or private high school program, and who has been adjudged by a Washington State school district to have a substantial and warranted reason for leaving the regular high school education program. A "Request for Approval to Test" form (example form) must be obtained from and signed by either the last Washington school district the applicant attended or the Washington school district in which the applicant currently resides and provided to the test center prior to testing; or
- Any person age 16 through 18 years of age who has completed a program of home-based instruction in compliance with RCW 28A.225.010 (4) as certified by the written and “Notarized Statement/Letter" of the parent(s) or guardian(s) who provided the home-based instruction. The form is available at your local test center (example statement/letter). IMPORTANT: Test takers ages 16-18 will not be able to complete their registration until one of these two forms has been submitted and recorded by the test center;
- Any person 19 years or older who has not graduated from high school and is not enrolled in a public or private high school program;
- Any person who is an active member of the military, national guard, or reserves;
- Adjudicated youth under the director of prisons, jails, detention centers, parole and probation offices, and other corrections facilities while enrolled in school or ordered by a court or officer of the court.
These individuals must be a resident of Washington State at the time of testing to be awarded a High School Equivalency Certificate in this state (WAC 131-48-110).
School districts that need additional or updated “Request for Approval to Test” forms please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Test takers that need the “Notarized Statement/Letter” for home-based instruction please contact your local test center by registering or emailing email@example.com
Preparation for the HSE Tests
You will need to register in order to schedule your tests. Please keep in mind that if you are 16-18 years old, you will need to submit a “Request for Approval to Test” or “Notarized Statement/Letter” in order to complete your registration. Once registered, you can find your local test center and schedule your tests by logging back into your ged.com account.
Prep Classes and Online Practice
You can prepare to take the High School Equivalency Tests with review classes, books, or practice tests. Preparation materials are also available at most local bookstores and public libraries.
Community colleges, technical colleges, and several community-based organizations offer low-cost programs to help you prepare to take the High School Equivalency Tests. Programs are listed on a directory of school and community programs with HSE preparation classes
There are several publishers (http://www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/2014-publishers) offering online practice tests, preparations materials, and online preparation courses. The GED® Testing Service also offers an online practice test called GED® Ready.
Additional Information about Online Practice and Preparation Programs
- There are thousands of diploma mills that operate without supervision of a state or an accredited agency and grant diplomas that are fraudulent. Find out more about diploma mills and accreditation agencies from the U.S. Department of Education.
- There are legitimate high school diploma programs online – but you will not just pay a fee and then get a diploma. You have to take some sort of distance learning classes.
- There are also legitimate HSE preparation programs online – again, they are only preparation programs. You cannot take the official HSE Tests online.
- If you are not certain about a program online, please contact the GEDadmin@sbctc.edu or contact your local test center.
All test-takers need to have fair access to the tests. If you have a diagnosed learning disability, temporary or permanent physical disability, emotional/psychological/psychiatric disability, chronic health disability, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder you can request accommodations (note: all requests are considered on an individual basis, but all requests are not automatically approved).
All requests require a completed forms and must go through an approval process. Get the request forms and start the process at
Accommodations from GED® Testing Service.
When and Where to Test
Testing schedules are determined by the local testing center. In order to find your local testing centers, you must have registered and log into your account.
The state office does not maintain detailed information for individual test centers. To find a test center near you and schedule a test, you will need to first register. Once registered you will be able to schedule and submit payment ($30 per test or $120 for all four tests).
What to Bring
At the time of testing, you will need to provide current government-issued picture identification that has your name, address, birth date, and signature on it.
No Online Testing
You cannot take the official HSE Tests online. Tests must be taken at an official testing center.
Transcripts and Verifications
Request Your HSE Transcript
HSE completed prior to December 31, 2001 - These requests for official Washington State HSE transcripts can be submitted through Washington GED® Test Verify. You will be asked to create an account to request your own transcript. You must have an email address in order to create an account.
HSE completed after January 1, 2002 - These requests for official Washington State HSE transcripts can be submitted through GED® Testing Service.
Agencies/Others Requesting Verification
HSE completed prior to December 31, 2001 - These requests for official Washington State GED® verification can be submitted through Washington GED® Test Verify. You will be asked to create an account in order to verify the completion status of a Washington State GED® examinee.
HSE completed after January 1, 2002 - These requests for official Washington State GED® verification can be submitted through GED® Testing Service.
For GED® Records from Other States, Jurisdictions, Overseas or Military
Go to GED® Testing Service.
Continue Your Education
If you are interested in going to college to earn a certificate or degree, go to www.checkoutacollege.com to find out what programs are available.
Find a Job
If you are looking for employment, you may be interested in www.Go2WorkSource.com or www.careers.wa.gov
For General HSE Questions
Lou Sager, State HSE Administrator
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
PO Box 42495
Olympia, WA 98504-2495
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Page Reviewed/Updated: February 12, 2014, 4:37 PM