APRIL 26, 2016

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Students seeking a high school equivalency diploma now have the opportunity to choose from two testing options at Guilford Technical Community College: the General Education Development (GED®)  test and the new High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®).

GTCC began offering HiSET® late last year as an alternative to the GED® test. Both tests result in a high school equivalency diploma from the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges upon successful passage.

Produced by nonprofit assessment organizations Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Iowa Testing Programs (ITP), HiSET® is delivered nationally in both a paper-based and computer-based testing format. GTCC only offers the paper-based exam suitable for students who may be apprehensive about taking the computer-based GED® test. HiSET® consists of five tests: reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. Each test costs $10 — or $50 for all five tests.

The GED® test is offered electronically only and consists of four tests: reasoning with language arts, science, social studies and mathematics reasoning. The GED® test costs $20 per test — or $80 for all four tests.

“When the state of North Carolina said we’re going to offer the option to administer HiSET to students, it was decided we were going to be in alignment with the state so that students have some portability,” said Kathleen Washington, GED testing center coordinator for the GTCC Greensboro Campus.

HiSET® was introduced as a response to changes to the GED® test in 2014. Those changes included an increase in cost and a transition to a computer-based testing format exclusively. Providing both testing options for students will further reduce any barriers keeping them from taking that next step in their future.

“One of the main reasons why students are choosing HiSET is because we are offering it in a paper-based format,” Washington said. “It provides an alternative for a student who may have some apprehensions about taking the test on computer. It’s also cost-effective for a student who doesn’t have the resources to pay for the GED® test. There are multiple pathways for students to attain their high school equivalency.”

In addition to HiSET® and the GED® test, students also have the option of obtaining a high school diploma through traditional classroom instruction by completing GTCC’s Adult High School Diploma program.

The Adult High School program is for adults 18 and older. To receive a diploma, students maintain strict attendance and complete 24 credit-bearing courses such as English, algebra, U.S. history and biology.

For more information about obtaining a high school equivalency, visit

Guilford Technical Community College is the fourth largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at


— Carla Kucinski/GTCC