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High School Equivalency Tests (HSET)

California has approved the use of three high school equivalency tests (GED®, HiSET®, and TASC™) for students 18 years old and older, and 17 years old in some instances, for the purpose of receiving a California High School Equivalency Certificate.

HSE Test Information

California High School Equivalency Tests

General Education Development
(GED)
High School Equivalency Test
(HiSET)
Test Assessing Secondary Completion
(TASC)

GED Testing Service Logo

ETS HiSET Logo

TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) Logo

Computer-based Test Format

Paper- or Computer-based Test Formats

Paper- or Computer-based Test Formats

Find out more about the GED Test in California External link opens in new window or tab.

Find out more about the HiSET in California External link opens in new window or tab.

Find out more about the TASC in California External link opens in new window or tab.

Request a copy of your GED
Transcript or Certificate
External link opens in new window or tab.
Includes Third Party Requests

Request a copy of your HiSET
Transcript or Certificate
External link opens in new window or tab.
Includes Third Party Requests

Request a copy of your TASC
Transcript or Certificate
External link opens in new window or tab.
Includes Third Party Requests

Letters of Recognition for Higher Education and Employers
Memo from the California Department of Education (CDE) to Institutions of Higher Education and Employers and Letter on State-Authorized Examinations from the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education

Protect Yourself from HSE Testing Fraud

If you are considering taking the GED, HiSET, or TASC test, please be aware of the following:

  • Any test must be taken in person and may NEVER be taken at a location other than an official Testing Center site. Official testing center information can only be found on the GED External link opens in new window or tab., HiSET External link opens in new window or tab., or TASC External link opens in new window or tab. Web sites.

  • The CDE only authorizes the companies offering the GED, HiSET, or TASC to issue a California High School Equivalency Certificate or Official Transcript.

  • Although some HSE Test preparation programs may issue “diplomas or certificates” of program completion, these documents ARE NOT genuine high school equivalency credentials.

  • There are many legitimate fee-based online and classroom HSE Test preparation programs. Before enrolling and spending money for these courses, take advantage of the many free programs available through the California Adult Education Provider Directory External link opens in new window or tab..

Eligibility Requirements

California High School Equivalency Test Requirements

To obtain an official California High School Equivalency Certificate test takers must meet all of the following State requirements:

  • You have not completed high school.
  • You are a California resident or a member of the armed services assigned to duty in the state of California.
  • You have passed all portions of a High School Equivalency (HSE) Test that has been approved by the State Board of Education taken at a testing center that has been approved by California Department of Education. 

Test takers must also meet one of the following requirements:

  • You are 18 years of age or within 60 days of your 18th birthday.
  • You are within 60 days of when you would have graduated from high school had you remained in school and completed the usual courses required for graduation.
  • You are 17 years of age, have been out of school for at least 60 consecutive days and provide a letter of request from the military, a post-secondary educational institution, or employer that states the need for you to take a HSE Test.
  • You are at least 17 years of age, have accumulated fewer than 100 units of high school credit and are confined to state or county hospital or correctional agency and you meet all of the following criteria:
  • You do not have a realistic chance of completing the requirements for a high school diploma.
  • You have adequate academic skills to successfully complete the HSE Test.
  • You understand the options available regarding acquisition of a high school diploma, the High School Equivalency Certificate, or the High School Proficiency Certificate and the requirements, expectations, benefits, and limitations of each option.
  • You have sufficient time left to complete the entire HSE Test while confined; however, if released before the test is completed, you may complete testing at an authorized testing center.
IDENTIFICATION FOR ADMITTANCE TO TESTING

Identity and age must be verified by photographic identification, both at the time of registration and before admittance to the testing room.  The identification document must include name, date of birth, signature, photograph and address of the test taker. All test takers must present current picture identification.  Acceptable identification includes:

  • Current California driver’s license
  • Current California identification card
  • Current identification card issued by the military
  • Current identification card issued by the United States or  foreign government
  • Current passport issued by the United States or foreign government
  • Current tribal identification card
  • Current Identification card issued by a postsecondary school
  • Current identification card issued by the military (if it includes proof of being stationed in California)
PROOF OF RESIDENCY:

Proof of California residency must be verified, both at the time of registration and before admittance to the testing room. Acceptable evidence includes:

  • Current California driver’s license
  • Current California identification card
  • Current state and federal tax returns
  • Current vehicle registration
  • Current utility bill statement
  • Current voter registration
  • Current bank statement
  • Current residential lease
  • Current identification card issued by the military (if it includes proof of being stationed in California)
  • Current United States government issued documentation (shows city, county, or state)

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions regarding the California High School Equivalency (HSE) Test.

HSE Test Options
What are my options for the HSE Test?

In California, you have three options for the HSE Test:

  • The General Educational Development Test (GED®) External link opens in new window or tab.
  • The High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®) External link opens in new window or tab.
  • The Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™) External link opens in new window or tab.
State Requirements and Policies
How old do I need to be to take the test?

In California, the minimum age required to take the HSE Test is 18 unless you meet any one of the following criteria:

  • You are within 60 days of your 18th birthday.
  • You are 17 years of age, have been out of school for at least 60 consecutive days, and provide a letter of request for the test from the military, a postsecondary educational institution, or employer that states the need for you to take a HSE Test.
  • You are at least 17 years of age, have accumulated fewer than 100 units of high school credit and are confined to state or county hospital or correctional agency and you meet all of the following criteria:
    • You have adequate academic skills to successfully complete the HSE Test.
    • You understand the options available regarding acquisition of a high school diploma, the High School Equivalency Certificate, or the High School Proficiency Certificate, and the requirements, expectations, benefits, and limitations of each option.
    • You have sufficient time left to complete the entire HSE Test while confined; however if released before the test is completed, you may complete testing at an authorized testing center.
When will I get my High School Equivalency Certificate if I pass the test as a 17 year old?

If you pass the HSE Test at age 17 you will not receive the High School Equivalency Certificate until your 18th birthday. A letter of intent is issued that states the certificate is being held pending your 18th birthday.


Do I need to prove I am a resident of California to take the test?

Yes, in California you are required to prove you are a resident or a member of the armed forces assigned to duty in the state using a valid form of identification. The following are examples of documents that may be used to meet this requirement:

  • Current California driver's license
  • Current California identification card
  • Current identification card issued by the military (if it includes proof of being stationed in California)
  • Current United States government issued documentation (shows city, county, or state)
  • Current state and federal tax returns 
  • Current vehicle registration
  • Current utility bill statement
  • Current voter registration
  • Current bank statement
  • Current residential lease
The closest testing center is in a different state. Can I take the test there?

States have different policies on allowing out of state test takers. Also, not all states offer the GED, HiSET and TASC. You will need to check the residency and age requirements for the state you wish to test in to confirm eligibility and test availability.

What happens if I move to a different state in the middle of testing? Can I continue testing in my new state?

States have different polices on allowing out of state test takers and not all states offer the GED, HiSET and TASC. You will need to check the residency and age requirements for the state you wish to test in to confirm that eligibility and test availability.

Do I need to take a class or receive instruction before I can take the test?

California does not require you to prepare for the HSE Test in an adult education class. However, studying in a classroom setting or reviewing official HSE Test preparation materials are good ways to review the topics and areas you will find on the HSE Test.

Where can I find an adult education center and official preparation materials?

Each HSE Test vendor provides information on authorized instructional classes and preparation materials. Please visit the following vendor web sites for further information:

  • The General Educational Development Test (GED) External link opens in new window or tab.
  • The High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) External link opens in new window or tab.
  • The Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) External link opens in new window or tab.
Can I take the test in different formats?

If you are taking the HiSET or TASC, you can take part of the test on paper and part on computer. For example, you may take the math section on paper and the other test sections on computer. Please note not all local authorized testing centers provide both versions of these test.

Can I combine test scores from the GED, HiSET or TASC to get my California High School Equivalency Certificate?

No. You must pass all sections from one of the approved HSE Tests to earn your California High School Equivalency Certificate.

Can I take my HSE Test in Spanish?

Yes. In California you can take the HSE Test in Spanish.

Am I allowed to combine different language versions of the test together?

No. California residents are not allowed to combine different language versions to complete the test. This means you must take all test subjects in one language to earn your California High School Equivalency Certificate.

Does California have any requirements for English as a Second Language?

English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction can help non-native English speakers, but there are not any requirements for ESL classes in California.

My employer or school is not familiar with the HSE Test I passed. What should I do?

In California, the GED, HiSET and TASC are all approved options to get your California High School Equivalency Certificate. The California Department of Education and the United States Department of Education have released letters for employers and schools.

Registration and Scheduling
How do I register for and schedule a HSE Test?

Each High School Equivalency Test vendor Web site has information on registration, scheduling procedures, and a list of authorized California testing centers. Access vendor Web sites for information on registering and scheduling a HSE Test.

Who do I contact if I have questions or issues while registering for the HSE Test?

For registration issues such as clearing alerts, please contact the authorized California testing center where you plan to test. Each vendor Web site has a list of testing centers authorized to provide their HSE Test.

Can I take all of the HSE Test at one time or do I need to setup different appointment times?

In California, you can take all test sections on the same day; however, not all testing centers may be able to schedule the entire test on the same day due to staffing levels and hours of operation. Please contact the authorized California testing center where you plan to test.

 

Administrative Documents

Regulations

California Code of Regulations (DOC)
California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education, Division 1, Chapter 11, Subchapter 8, Article 2, High School Equivalency Certificates, sections 11530-11532.

California Education Code (DOC)
California High School Equivalency Certificates, California Education Code, sections 51420-51427

Questions:   High School and Physical Fitness Assessments Office | HSEOffice@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-9438
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