Earning High School Equivalency

Homeschooling through high school often means that your child will never receive a high school diploma. Given this information what are the alternatives? Earning High School Equivalency without a high school diploma can by done by taking a state authorized examination.

Earning High School Equivalency from Starts At Eight

The GED or General Educational Development Certificate has historically been the accepted state-authorized examination. However, several states have recently chosen alternative tests for determining high school equivalency.

What happened to the GED?

From 1942 the GED Test had been the only test used to measure if a person had achieved a level considered to be high school equivalency. Upon passing the GED Test you were awarded a High School Equivalency Certificate. The certificate was usually awarded by the State Department of Education where the test was taken.

In 2013 the California State Department of Education, along with many other states, decided to find alternative tests to award a High School Equivalency Certificate.

In March of 2014, the decision was made to allow 3 tests: The GED 2014, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) and the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET). Both the TASC and the HiSET are available on computers and in pencil/paper format. Some states offer one, or a choice among these options.


  • The GED is accepted by over 97% of colleges and employers
  • To determine eligibility and testing procedures in your state you need to find your GED Testing Administrator
  • There are four GED subject tests: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. (Recently condensed from 5)
  • You do not have to take all subject test on the same day.
  • A passing score is 150 for each subject. Therefore, you will need  a score of at least 150 on each subject and a total score of 600 or higher across the four subject tests in order to receive the GED test certificate. Students may also earn an “honors” score if they receive a score of 170 or higher on any subject.
  • Test scores will be returned within three hours of completion of each test module.
  • You are entitled to retake each test. You may take the same subject test over again three times in any one year. There is no set time between when you took one subject test and when you may take it over again.
  • For more information visit GED.com


  • Assesses 5 subject areas: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies
  • Common Core Aligned
  • Immediate scoring for computer based, and 10 day return on pencil/paper exam.
  • This exam launched in January 2014 and is undergoing more changes in the coming years.
  • For more information visit CTB/McGraw Hill

High School Equivalency Study Resources

Complete Idiot's Guide to The GED - 5 Subject Crash Course