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[GED®, TASC™, HiSET®] How to be Prepared and the National Status

Thursday, July 3, 2014 -- Mandy Groen

A couple of months ago, I took a look at the three high school equivalency (HSE) exams that are in the market, and I compared how the three tests differed. Today, I will be looking at where states are in determining which exam they will adopt.

Changing Landscape

Most states are still in the process of sorting out which high school equivalency exam they will offer, typically opting for the traditional RFP (request for proposal) approach. They are being competitively pursued by all three providers, and some may approach the process with an al a carte plan of offering two or even three of the tests.

As an interesting side note, some states specifically mention the GED test in their laws governing high school equivalency. The laws will now have to be amended for those states to adopt a new provider or to offer multiple options, as some states might do.

Still in Transition

Eleven states have opted for the HiSET exam so far, while five have aligned with the TASC. New Jersey, Nevada, and Wyoming have decided to offer all three exams, while four other states have chosen two out of the three. The remainders are still in the RFP process or have decided to stick just with the new version of the GED test. Research your state’s progress before making any decisions regarding preparation.

Looking Ahead

This is a lot of change in a relatively short period. These tests were just released at the beginning of 2014, whereas the Common Core State Standards have been in the works for the better part of a decade. High school equivalency programs need to start making decisions about how to best prepare their students for these new tests.

How Can You Be Prepared for the Coming Exam?

Here are some questions you need to ask before moving forward:

1. Which exam is my state offering?

A quick search of your state’s department of education website should yield a result (or at least what progress has been made in making a decision). If you can’t find your answer there, perform a search on Google News for “GED test <your state>” or “High School Equivalency Exam <your state>,” which should yield news articles about the shift.

 2. What technology elements are on the new exam(s) in my state?

All three tests promise to be updated and much more advanced than the old paper-based GED test. Each provider offers sample test items on their websites. Also, deploying a 21st century assessment preparation curriculum to give your learners practice can help prepare both staff and students for success. Within Edmentum’s own assessment solutions, we have recently integrated 10 technology-enhanced item types to help learners prepare for the new 21st century assessments.

 3. Do you have the right assessment preparation curriculum?

This is the ultimate question. As the high school equivalency exams change, most programs need to change their preparation content. This topic could be a blog post all on its own, but for now, the big questions to ask of your program are:

What curriculum do you need to align to the new exam(s)? What can you repurpose? What needs to be purchased or built from the ground up?
Do you have the summative and/or formative assessments necessary to determine if your learners are prepared to take the new exam(s)?
Does your program prepare learners for the new technology elements of the exam(s)?


Want to learn how Edmentum is helping institutions prepare for the new high school equivalency exams? See each of our full solutions built to the GED test (now including a Spanish-language solution), the HiSET exam, and the TASC test.


GED® is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education (ACE) and administered exclusively by GED Testing Service LLC under license.

TASC and Test Assessing Secondary Completion are trademarks of McGraw-Hill Education. Copyright © 2014 by CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC.

HiSET® is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS). Edmentum products are not endorsed or approved by ETS.