The specific purpose of the HiSET® exam is the measurement of the educational development of adults who have not completed their formal high school education. Adults may earn a High School Equivalency Certificate and thus qualify for admission to colleges or other educational institutions, meet educational requirements for employment or promotion, satisfy educational qualifications for induction into the armed services, fulfill requirements of local or state licensing boards, or gain personal satisfaction.


An individual is eligible to take the HiSET® Test given they meet all of the following conditions:

  • 18 years of age or older*
  • does not have a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential and is not currently enrolled in a secondary school
  • is a resident of the State of Illinois

Note: *If an individual is 17 years old and has been enrolled in a public, private, or a home school setting in the last 12 months, they must present a withdrawal letter from the last school enrolled in before taking the HiSET® tests.

Withdrawal letters must be on school letterhead and signed by a school official; must include the candidate’s full name, date of birth, and ETS Identification Number; and must include the formal withdrawal date/last date of attendance. Transcripts are not acceptable as proof of withdrawal unless they include a formal withdrawal date and the signature of a school official.

If home schooled, the candidate must provide a letter from the person responsible for the home schooling [e.g., instructor, tutor, parent, guardian, etc.] stating the program has been completed, the individual is no longer required to be home schooled, and the individual has been cleared to take the HiSET® exam. The letter should include the candidate’s full name, date of birth, and ETS Identification Number. Letters from home schooled students must include a physical signature from the individual responsible for the home schooling.

When you submit your documentation, you must also provide your ETS Identification Number so that the age-related hold can be removed from your HiSET® account. Your ETS ID was provided to you by email when you registered for your HiSET® account and can also be found in the top right corner of your HiSET® portal at after logging in to your account.

Proof of withdrawal can be emailed to or faxed to 217-558-6700.

Candidates will receive an email to the email address used on their HiSET® account once the alert has been cleared.

16 year olds are not eligible to take a high school equivalency exam unless currently enrolled in a Regional Safe Schools Program, an Alternative Learning Opportunities Program, or the Lincoln’s Challenge Academy. Those programs must petition on the student’s behalf for the student to be approved to take a high school equivalency test.



You can register online to take the HiSET® exam at Although registration is done online, the tests will actually be administered in paper/pencil format or on a computer at an official HiSET® testing site that you select during registration.  Testing fees must be paid at the time of scheduling.

For more information regarding registration, review the Illinois HiSET® Requirements or contact Educational Testing Service at 1-855-694-4738 (1-855-MyHiSET).



The cost to take the HiSET® exam varies based upon the format in which it is taken (paper/pencil or computer).

The computer-based HiSET® exam is $18.75 per test module. A total of 5 test modules comprise the HiSET® exam, meaning the full HiSET® battery, if taken entirely on computer, costs $93.75.

The paper-based HiSET® exam is $23 per test module. A total of 5 test modules comprise the HiSET® exam, meaning the full HiSET® battery, if taken entirely on paper, costs $115.

Candidates may mix and match the paper-based and computer-based formats.

Testing fees must be paid online at the time of registration. Testing sites are unable to take payment for exams directly from test takers on test day.



The HiSET® exam consists of five content areas:

  1. Language Arts – Reading(65 minutes)
    • Format: 40 multiple choice questions
  1. Language Arts – Writing(120 minutes)
    • Part 1 – 50 questions, multiple choice
    • Part 2 – 1 essay prompt
  1. Mathematics(90 minutes)
    • Format: 40 multiple choice questions
  1. Science(80 minutes)
    • Format: 40 multiple choice questions
  1. Social Studies(70 minutes)
    • Format: 40 multiple choice questions

Tests are administered in English and Spanish

You can test three times on each subject without waiting. After the third attempt, you must wait until the next calendar year.



Not all individuals can be fairly tested under standard conditions. If you have a documented learning, physical or emotional disability, you may qualify for accommodations for a HiSET® test administration. If approved, accommodations are provided at no additional charge.

For information on how to request accommodations for the HiSET® exam, visit or email

Accommodation forms and supporting documentation can be sent to ETS by:

Mail: ETS Disability Services
P.O. Box 6054
Princeton, NJ 08541-6054




HiSET® preparation classes are offered free of charge at local adult education programs. For more information call 1-800-321-9511 or you can visit the Program Locator. HiSET® study materials are also available at



The Illinois Community College board has suspended the administration of the U.S. and Illinois State Constitution and Flag Test effective February 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. Please click the link below to learn more about this suspension and what it means for you.

U.S. and Illinois State Constitution and Flag Test




Illinois HSE Administrator’s Office Contact Information
Telephone: 217-558-5668
Fax: 217-558-6700