High School Equivalency Exams

Graduate Holding Diploma

What are high school equivalency exams?

High school equivalency exams are tests available for people age 16 and older who did not finish high school. Many people who did not finish high school have the same knowledge and skills as those who did graduate. Others can enroll in an adult education program to gain the knowledge and skills they need to pass a high school equivalency exam. By taking and passing one of these exams, adults can demonstrate they have acquired the same level of knowledge as someone who has completed high school. The person then earns a certificate that is accepted as a high school diploma.

There are currently three (3) high school equivalency exams available:

  • GED® Test
  • HiSet® Exam
  • TASC™ Test

The GED® Test is only available as a computer-based test. The HiSet® Exam and the TASC™ Test are both available as paper-based OR computer-based tests.

Every state offers one, two, or all three of these tests. Contact a local adult education center to find out which test(s) is given in a particular state.

Are high school equivalency exam testing accommodations available for people who have learning disabilities?


Testing accommodations are available for people who have:

  • Learning and other cognitive disabilities;
  • Intellectual disabilities;
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD);
  • Physical and chronic health disabilities; and
  • Psychological and psychiatric disorders.

Accommodations may include but are not limited to:

  • Audio format or reader
  • Braille format
  • Large-print format
  • Calculator or talking calculator
  • Use of a scribe
  • Extended time
  • Supervised extra breaks
  • Private room for testing

How much does it cost to take a high school equivalency exam?

The costs of the tests range from $18 – $150, depending on which test it is and in which state the test is given. In some states, such as California, the local adult education programs set their own fee for giving the test.

Some states may charge additional fees as well, while other states are looking for ways to offset costs for the students. There is usually no cost for taking adult education classes to prepare for taking the test.

Need help asking for testing accommodations?

If you have a disability documented by a qualified professional, ask your local adult education program to help you with the process needed to request accommodations for your disability.
Each request is considered on an individual basis. If accommodations are approved, your local testing facility will help you make arrangements to test with the approved accommodations.

If you think you may have a learning disability, but have never been diagnosed, ask your local adult education program to help you find the right resources and referrals to access an evaluation by a qualified professional.

Adult education programs also have information about testing accommodations that do not require documentation, such as earplugs, one test per day, priority seating, large-print test, straightedge, magnifying device, transparent overlays, highlighter, and the use of graph paper for working math problems.


Feel free to leave a comment below regarding this article. If you have a specific question for LDA, please contact us directly.


  1. Great post.

  2. My daughter is 20 years old. She graduated high school 2 years ago. She was in special education throughout school and struggled with memory. She wants to continue with education but cannot pass the entrance exams. She is set up with
    Vocational Rehabilitation but their process is really slow and she is very bored every day. Two questions – do you know of any programs
    that can help me understand her disability as well as get her active in society. 2. She doesn’t talk a lot and doesn’t know what she wants to do or doesn’t have any specific interest.

    • LDA of America says

      If I were you, I think I would go back to your daughter’s high school and talk to her special education teacher or the special education supervisor. They should have had a transition plan for her with an idea of what she would do after high school. They should be able to help you understand her disability better and suggest ways for her to get involved in your community. Different communities have different resources, but most have work program for individuals with disabilities that often also include social activities. It would also be helpful to get her involved in some sort of volunteer work so that she can give back, which may help her to determine some areas of interest. Good luck!

  3. Are there any schools in the U.S. for adults with a learning disabilities. Like a school for GED programs or even a college.

  4. Jennifer Clardy says

    Hi i am writing on behalf of the lady i work for. She has cerebral palsy. She is wanting to finish school but she cant read or write. That’s why I’m stumped. I’m not sure where to start. She is 27 and she lives in Illinois. Any info would be great. Thanks

    • LDA of America says

      Contact your local adult education program to see what instructional and testing accommodations they might be able to offer. They can help her get through the process of applying for testing accommodations online, and she could be eligible for accommodations such as using text-to-speech on the exam (or having a reader), having a scribe, extra time for testing, extra breaks during testing, and a private room during testing. Start with the adult education program and they should be able to help you and your employer figure out the steps for her working on her high school equivalency exam.

  5. Halea Speer says

    Im 34 and had an IQ of 70 in 2003 when I quit school. I have a learning dissability from Ecoli and fkesh eating disease I contracted when I was 6 days old. Mot duee what my IQ is now, it may be lower or hight. Im thinking its the same though. My question: Us adults do not know the new common core math, dissability or not. I had trouble with regular math even back then. Why do us sdults gave to do this new common core stuff?. Its like a new world!

    • LDA of America says

      The common core type of questions on high school equivalency exams are there because the exam is supposed to be representative of what you would have to pass if you were in high school. If you have current documentation of your disability, you should be able to apply for testing accommodations on the exam, such as extra time, extra breaks, and a private room for testing. You should be able to use a calculator for the entire math part of the test. Your math teacher at your adult education center should be able to help you learn the math concepts using manipulatives, which should increase your understanding of the concepts and help you remember how to work out the math problems. Be sure you ask them for assistance with that kind of learning strategy.

  6. Rick Hodgkins says

    Because I have an intellectual disability, I don’t think I would be able to study for and even pass a high school equivalent exam, based on how things are represented. Furthermore, I speak better than I can right. Also, I will need extra time and I will need things in braille. When it comes to reading, I can understand nonfiction, but fiction, which is arts and literature, I cannot understand.

    • LDA of America says

      There are testing accommodations you can apply for on all of the high school equivalency exams for people with intellectual disabilities. You could request a Braille copy of the test and a scribe to type what you tell them to. That doesn’t mean your requests will be approved, but it’s worth trying! Questions about literature are just one part of those exams, and your teacher at the adult education program should be able to help you learn how to better understand the fiction writing. Don’t give up before you give it a try.

      • Christina timothyy says

        I am a mother of 22 yr old son with learning difficulties. We live in India. Do
        You provide online tutorials with dedicated special Educator. My son couldn’t compete any education . He is very talented and learning music and goes to a nearby auto mobile workshop to learn about automobiles. Can you help us pls

        • LDA of America says

          I do not know of any specific models to complete his education, and I am not familiar with India’s education system. If your country allows people to participate in apprenticeships, then focus on an automotive or musical internship. Then hoping this internship/apprenticeship leads to an employment position.

  7. Teresa Johnson says

    What about testing for those who are homebound?

  8. Pamela j Robles says

    I’m having a very hard time with math ,I’m 44 and just don’t seem to understand algebra,quadratic equations. I’m not sure what to do .My brain just don’t get it ..could I pass without knowing this part .

    • LDA of America says

      Math concepts are rather abstract and are often difficult for many individuals to understand. The use of manipulatives assists many individuals with learning difficult math concepts better. If you are trying to pass a high school equivalency exam, you will have to pass the math portion. I would suggest that you consult with adult education services in your community for support.

  9. I live near Springfield MO.Im already worried i can not study online. What do i do.Is this a easy way to learn. I have ADHD,LD and other disibities

    • LDA of America says

      Online classes work well for some people, but not for others. It depends on your own individual strengths and challenges. But you might want to give it a try, as it does seem to be an effective way to learn for some people with disabilities. However, if it’s not an effective way for you to learn, talk to your local adult education center about taking classes at their program’s location instead of online. Be sure to take current documentation of your disabilities when you go, and ask them about how to request classroom and testing accommodations based on your disabilities. Missouri uses the HiSet test now, and you can find out more about that test and how to request accommodations at https://hiset.ets.org/requirements/disabilities/ You can request HiSet testing accommodations whether you take classes online or at an adult education center.

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