To earn your high school equivalency (HSE) diploma in Pennsylvania, you will have to take and pass the four-test GED® exam or the five-test HiSET.
These two options are available to Pennsylvanians who did not complete their regular HS curriculum.
The HSE exam offers them one more chance to acquire a diploma that’s all across the nation accepted in the same way as a common high school degree.
Pennsylvania GED Requirements
- Minimum age: 18 years. 16 and 17-year-olds may qualify if they hold parental consent and have permission from their school board.
- The Pennsylvania GED costs $120 or $30 per subject test. The HiSET costs $90.
- Pennsylvania requires test takers to be state residents.
- Applicants cannot have a high school diploma or be registered for another school program.
The GED is modular. You can register for, pay for, and take one of the four modules at a time. You must complete, though, the entire GED battery within a time restraint of two years. The somewhat cheaper HiSET has five tests that cannot be taken separately.
The GED exam has four tests that are scored on a scale that runs from 100 to 200 and the minimally required score is 145. 145-164 is the high school equivalent result; 165-174 is the college-ready score and if you manage to score in the 175-200 range you will additionally receive college credits.
The five HiSET tests are measured on a scale from 0 to 20 and the passing score is 8 for each test. Your essay must have at least a 2-score and your total result cannot be less than 45. Not all testing sites administer both testing options, so contact a testing center in your area to find out about their policy.
In Pennsylvania, you are not required to first take and pass a pre-test. But as both HSE exams are rather challenging, you are strongly advised to become optimally prepared and attend some well-structured GED-HiSET prep course, either online or in a physical class. In Pennsylvania, there are numerous locations where HiSET or GED prep classes are offered, often at no charge at all!
Be aware that GED or HiSET testing must be done at an official Pennsylvania HSE testing center. Online GED or HiSET testing does not exist. If you need to apply for any kind of accommodation, please do so timely. You need to go to the official GED website (GED.com) and set up your account with the portal MyGED. Here, you can also schedule your tests and you’ll find great advice about colleges, job options, and so on.
The GED (General Education Development) exam is totally computer-based while the HiSET (short for High School Equivalency Test) is available both on a computer and in a paper-and-pencil format.
The GED exam includes four separate subtests in the fields of Social Studies, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Reasoning through Language Arts. The HiSET comes with five subject tests because the Language section includes separate writing and reading tests.
Holders of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma can be sure to qualify for better employment and the credential allows for a college education.