Information about the High School Equivalency Test

To be admitted to a degree or certificate program at Middlesex, you must have earned a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential (GED or HiSET). Massachusetts recently replaced the GED test with the HiSET test.  

To take the HiSET exam in the state of Massachusetts, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Age: You must be 18 or older to be eligible to take the HiSET test in Massachusetts with no qualifications. If you are 16 or 17, you must bring the official letter of withdrawal from your last school of attendance. Failure to provide documentation will prohibit you from taking the exam.
  • School Enrollment Status: You must NOT be enrolled in any secondary school program and must not have received a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential.
  • Residency: You must be a resident of Massachusetts, living at a Massachusetts address. You will be required to sign an eligibility form verifying your address and bring it to the test center. Download the form.
  • Test Preparation or Instruction: Massachusetts does not have any test preparation or instruction requirements to take the HiSET exam. However, instruction is encouraged before retesting.
  • Practice Test: Massachusetts does not require you to take practice tests prior to taking the HiSET exam.
  • Identification: You must present proper identification at the test center for each test session. Outdated or expired identification will not be accepted. Failure to provide documentation will prohibit you from taking the exam. The approved identification documents include:
    • A valid passport
    • A valid driver's license from any state
    • A state-issued ID card
    • National ID card
    • Military ID card

The test is both computer and paper based and assesses

  • Language Arts -Writing Skills
  • Language Arts - Reading
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Mathematics

Select this link, for a complete list of HiSET testing centers in Massachusetts or for additional information.

We do recommend that you prepare for the tests.  Many adult education programs provide instruction for the tests.

The Adult Learning Center, located on MCC's Bedford campus, is a free program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.  Call 781-280-3665 for additional information. 

Middlesex also has an Out of School Youth (OSY) Development Center located on the Lowell campus which serves youth between the ages of 16-24 who are not currently enrolled in high school.  Students residing in Lowell and surrounding towns are eligible to enroll in the program. In addition to classroom instruction to prepare for the HiSET examination, students are eligible to receive assistance with career, employment and college options.  The Center is located in Room 117C of the Dr. Carole Cowan Center. For more information contact Maria D. Cunha @978 656-3104.


Last Modified: 9/26/23