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?

YES!

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.

Resources

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

Comments

  1. B.hudgens says

    Hi Iam 55 years old I dropped out of school right after 9 th grade I have adhd and have a really hard time concentrating and retaining any information.it was so hard to struggle through the daily classes that I ended up cutting most of the 9th grade.
    I took the pre math test and only got 2 answers correct it embarrasses me to think Iam this ignorant.
    I am stuck in a low paying job because of this.
    I feel even if I attend school to acquire my ged I will not retain the information long enough to pass the test.

    • LDA of America says

      If you have current documentation of a disability, you can request testing accommodations when testing for your high school equivalency diploma. Furthermore, with current documentation, you have the legal right to request instructional accommodations in the classroom to help you remember what you’re learning as you learn it. However, it sounds like it may have been awhile since you were tested. To request GED testing accommodations for ADHD, you will need a letter from your doctor stating your diagnosis, when you were diagnosed, and what testing was done during the evaluation. Typical testing accommodations for ADHD are extra time during testing, extra breaks during testing, and a private room for testing. You may be eligible for other accommodations, depending on the recommendations of your doctor and the supporting documentation. You can learn more about GED testing accommodations at https://www.gedtestingservice.com/testers/computer-accommodations, or you can stop by your local adult education center and request information about teaching and testing accommodations. It might help to have that letter from your doctor when you go talk to them at adult education, though. Sounds like they gave you the pre-test without discussing accommodations with you. Also, ask them what teaching strategies and accommodations they can provide while you’re studying for the test. For example, do they use manipulatives or graphic organizers? Any kind of technology to help you practice basic skills? The more you know about your strengths and challenges, the better self-advocate you can be in the classroom to make sure you’re getting what you need. You might check out the information for adults at the CHADD website at http://www.chadd.org

  2. Hello,
    I work for an organization that assist individuals meet their educational goals. I have a client with LD and he wants to learn to read better and take his TASC test he needs an Adult Basic Education program in New York city that will teach him and accommodate his learning disability for free. I’ve looked at so many differ programs but none of them are the right fit please assist me with finding the right program.
    Thank you.

    • LDA of America says

      All adult education programs are legally required to provide instructional and testing accommodations for students who have current (within the last 5 years) documentation of a learning disability. You can find out more about high school equivalency exams (like the TASC) at https://ldaamerica.org/types-of-high-school-equivalency-exams/. All of these exams have an established process for requesting and receiving accommodation on the test for students who have current disability documentation. The documentation must have been completed within the last five years, and it must show support for each requested accommodation. The student with a currently diagnosed learning disability can also request instructional accommodations as they work towards their high school equivalency diploma. Typical requested testing accommodations include extra time, a private room for testing, a reader for the test, access to a calculator for the entire math portion of the test, and/or a scribe to enter their answers on the computer. Other accommodations may be accepted as well; again, it depends on the specific learning disability of the individual and what their evaluation supports regarding needed accommodations. There is information about TASC accommodations at http://www.tasctest.com/special-needs-accommodations.html. You can find information about adult education programs in NYC at http://schools.nyc.gov/community/AdultEd/default.htm.

  3. I have had epilepsy my whole life and as a result of A LOT of head troma I have a extremely hard time with lerning in general. I have a hard time understanding and I usually need someone to go over things with me. I can’t do any math besides adding and subtracting without a calculator at all. I don’t remember a lot of the things from school. I have just gotten my seizures under control enough for me to try to do some things that I never could before. It would mean more to me to be able to have a ged or something of the sort to show myself that I’m smart enough to get it. I’m not sure where to start or even if it’s possible. Is there anyone who might be able to help me?

    • LDA of America says

      You can find out more about high school equivalency exams (like the GED) at https://ldaamerica.org/types-of-high-school-equivalency-exams/. All of these exams have an established process for requesting and receiving accommodation on the test for students who have current disability documentation. The documentation must have been completed within the last five years, and it must show support for each requested accommodation. The student with a currently diagnosed learning disability can also request instructional accommodations as they work towards their high school equivalency diploma. Typical requested accommodations include extra time, a private room for testing, a reader for the test, access to a calculator for the entire math portion of the test, and/or a scribe to enter their answers on the computer. Other accommodations may be accepted as well; again, it depends on the specific learning disability of the individual and what their evaluation supports regarding needed accommodations. Contact your local adult education program to get state- and program-specific information about the process for enrolling students with disabilities. If your disability documentation is not current, your doctor should be able to write a letter stating your physical disability information that you can use to request classroom and testing accommodations at the adult education program.

  4. I had to drop out of high school because of anxiety attacks back in 1997. I now have agoraphobia and I cannot leave my house. I am on disability for my agoraphobia I am in counseling two days a week I have peer support two days a week and I have cbrs 3 days a week Monday through Friday at least one sometimes two hours a day I have people coming and helping me with my disorder. I can’t go out of the house to get my GEDor High School equivalent. Do I have any choices? I would really like to take some online college courses

    • LDA of America says

      Most states offer online classes for high school equivalency exams. Contact your state’s Department of Education to find out how you can study for the test online.

  5. Selena​ Glover says

    Hi I’m have a LD AND I drop out of high school in Las Vegas and I want to go back to high school and get my high school diploma​ and I’m 22 years old and I was told I can’t go back to school to get my high school diploma in Las Vegas Nevada because I have a LD

  6. Wondering what Adult school in las Vegas NV help adults with out their ged or diploma with learning disabilities ,

  7. My husband has been trying for more than 6 months in class for his hi set. He is 53 and came home in tears. Took math practice test and got 10 of 42 answers right…and my husband of 27 years does not cry. He was in ld classes and on adderall in his youth but it was called ritalin. Can he be tested somewhere locally for free? No insurance. I am desparate to get him help. Stuck being a temp for more than a year. Employer won’t hire him without ged. He had a horrible childhood…dad remarried 6x…not all people were rebels dropping out. He is such a good, hardworking man. I am so proud of him! Can anyone help us? We are in Mo.

    • LDA of America says

      I would suggest that you contact vocational rehabilitation services in your area. It sounds like to me that your husband would qualify for support from them. That support usually includes testing, but you might want to specifically request a full battery. There is no charge to you for that testing.

  8. Lyn Feucht says

    I am a cashier and not happy with it’ I didn’t graduate. I was in LD classes all through school. I want to be more. I can’t pass the GED exam I know. What do I do?

  9. Hi I have a learning disability and keeping up with reading remember what I read and doing a lot of tests at one time is a lot for me I need someone that could help me stay on task so that I can finally complete my high school diploma sign in need of help

  10. Sherri lewis says

    Hi I’m looking and have been wanting to get my ged and then take some college courses after I get my ged but what is stopping me is my learning disabilities cause i learn differently from other adults that don’t have issues and I want to be able to get some where in life as in a better opportunities as in a job etc…I work but it’s not what I should be making at the age I am. So I need help in founding schools in Arizona and online so can you please help me found the resources I need to get started… Sincerely sherri

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