High School Equivalency Options in PA
Pennsylvania residents have three options for earning the Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Scores from the GED® test and HiSET® exam cannot be combined. Read more about each option below or contact the ALTA Program for more information 570-740-0325.
Earn a Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma with one of these three options:
Pass the GED® test
Eligible PA residents may earn a Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma by passing all four parts of the GED® test: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. The GED® test is offered only in a computer-based format.
- GED® test overview for test-takers
- Find a GED® Testing Center
- GED® Testing Scoring Changes FAQs for test-takers
- PA Department of Education announces HiSET® exam also available as a high school equivalency test in Pennsylvania
- Find a HiSET® Testing Center
- Where can I prepare to take the HiSET® exam?
Pass the HiSET® exam
Eligible PA residents may earn a Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma by passing all five parts of the HiSET® exam: Language Arts - Reading, Language Arts - Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The HiSET® exam is offered in a paper-based and computer-based format.
Earn 30 College Credits
The Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma may be issued to an applicant who is a resident of Pennsylvania; is at least 18 years of age; does not possess a secondary school diploma from the United States; is not in a public, licensed private, registered accredited, or licensed nonpublic secondary school; and presents evidence of satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of study (in postsecondary level courses) at a United States accredited institution of postsecondary education. Visit the PA Department of Education website for more details.
In an effort to enhance services for individuals who receive the Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma, the Pennsylvania Department of Education is transferring all of its diploma and transcript processing services to DiplomaSender. Effective October, 1, 2016, all Pennsylvania high school equivalency diplomas and transcripts for the GED test, HiSET exam, as well as those awarded through the 30 College Credit Option, will be handled by DiplomaSender.To request a copy of a transcript, diploma, or letter of verification of high school equivalency, visit www.diplomasender.com
Preparing to take a High School Equivalency test
The Adult Learners' Training and Assistance (ALTA) Program at Luzerne County Community College offers instruction to help you prepare to take a high school equivalency test (GED® or HiSet®). There is no charge for attending the classes, however, there is cost to take the actual tests. Although it is NOT a requirement to attend classes before taking the actual tests, it is recommended that you at least try a practice test to see if you are sufficiently prepared. ALTA provides the Official Practice Test for both GED® and HiSet® for program participants once they are enrolled in a class.
All prospective students are asked to attend an orientation which entails a discussion about what the ALTA Program and taking the GED® tests can and cannot do for them; Program requirements, area careers-in-demand, and goal setting. Students will also need to take a placement test before being scheduled for classes. For more information about the class times and locations as well as to set up an appointment for orientation please, contact 800-377-5222, ext 7325.
To obtain more information about how to prepare to take a high school equivalency test, you may want to review some of the online resources below.
GED Testing Service (Free Practice test & Testing Centers) - https://ged.com/study/free_practice_test/
HiSet (Free Practice Test and Testing Centers) - https://hiset.ets.org/prepare/overview
GED Video Partners Workbooks - http://www.cdlponline.org/gedprint/
Free Online Practice Test - http://www.4tests.com/
Learning Express Library (need a library card) - http://www.luzernelibraries.org/
Purple Math - http://www.purplemath.com/
Web Math - http://www.webmath.com/index.html
Khan Academy (math video tutorials) - https://www.khanacademy.org/