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Rio Salado College
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2323 W. 14th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281

Tips on Test Taking

National College Testing Association standards and guidelines

High School Equivalency (HSE) Test

The High School Equivalency (HSE) Test measures your knowledge and academic skills against those of today’s traditional high school graduates. It is comprised of four modules:

  1. Mathematical Reasoning
  2. Reasoning through Language Arts
  3. Science
  4. Social Studies
  5. Arizona Civics (Effective January 1st, 2017)

HSE test questions do not focus on memorizing facts, details or precise definitions. The purpose of the exam is to give examinees an opportunity to demonstrate individual abilities to use and relate information at various levels.

The 2014 HSE Test is offered in English and Spanish in all United States jurisdictions.

Hours and Locations

Currently, HSE tests are given at the Rio Salado testing centers listed below.

Testing schedules and availability may vary by location, so check with HSE Testing Service for current information.


Fees are to be paid prior to testing at HSE Testing Service.

General Information

Information for Candidates

Frequently Asked Questions for test-takers

Picture Identification

Picture identification is required. Candidates must present one form of identification in order to be admitted to a HSE testing room.

Primary Identification

The primary form must show a picture, name, date of birth, signature, current address, and be a government-issued ID. The ID document must be an original document; photocopied documents are not acceptable. In addition, examinees 16 or 17 years of age MUST also provide both an: Official Withdrawal Form from previous school AND a Notarized Letter of Permission from a parent/guardian.

  1. Current Driver's License or Government-Issued Identification Card
    ID may be from any state as long as it is valid.
    An Arizona ID card may be obtained through the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles. Social Security card and certified birth certificate are required to get the ID.

  2. Valid Passport
    May be foreign or domestic.

  3. Military ID

  4. Other forms of GOVERNMENT ISSUED ID: Foreign/domestic/tribal
    Must show: Name, address, date-of-birth, signature, and photograph.

  5. Current Matricula Consular Card (College)
    Must show: Name, address, date-of-birth, signature, and photograph.

Titles & Descriptions

  • Mathematical Reasoning
    is 115 minutes
    has 2 parts with a 3-minute break
    does not all the calculator on Part 1
    allows you to use a TI-30XS calculator for Part 2
    gives you an on-screen calculator and allows you to bring your own TI-30XS calculator
    gives you some Math formulas and a calculator reference sheet
  • Reasoning through Language Arts
    is 150 minutes, consists of 3 sections, includes 2 short answer questions that take about 10 minutes per question to write, 10 minute break allowed between Part 2 and 3. Reference guide is provided.
  • Science
    is 90 minutes
    has no breaks
    includes 2 short answer questions that take about 10 minutes per question to write 
    allows you to use a TI-30XS calculator
    gives you an on-screen calculator and allows you to bring your own TI-30XS calculator

  • Social Studies
    is 70 minutes
    allows you to use a TI-30XS calculator
    gives you an on-screen calculator and allows you to bring your own TI-30XS calculator

    Total Time: Approximately 7 hours
    (Time is based on the English format of the test.)

Preparing for the Test

HSE preparation classes are offered throughout the state at Adult Education centers certified by the Arizona Department of Education. You can study in a classroom, with a tutor, or from home through distance learning classes. Instruction is available at many different times and locations. You can find a class near you by going to, by contacting your local HSE Testing Center, or by contacting the State HSE Testing Office.

HSE Marketplace is an e-commerce site featuring more than 100 products for learners at all levels and interests. The site includes materials to help adults with basic skills programs, computer skills training, and it offers the Official HSE Practice Test online. Adult learners access these tools by visiting the HSE Testing Service Learning Hub™ at

When you think you are ready, you can take a HSE “practice” test and then schedule taking the official exam at your local HSE Testing Center.


Passing scores on the HSE Test are:

  • The 2014 HSE test will have a passing score of 145 for each subject. Therefore, students will need to reach a score of at least 145 on each subject or higher across the four-subject tests in order to receive the HSE test credential. The honors scoring was replaced by two other options. GED College Ready - must score between 165-174. GED College Ready + Credit - must score between 175-200.

Initial scores will be available online at as soon as 3 to 4 hours up to 1 business day after testing. Final scores will be available on within 2 business days with you access code. Your Diploma packet will be mailed to you within 2 weeks. 


After passing the HSE Test, you will receive an Arizona High School Equivalency Diploma and an official transcript of your scores within two weeks of your tests being scored. Your Official Transcript is your ticket to college, vocational school, employment or the military. Your diploma is the official State of Arizona recognition of your accomplishment, so you will want to keep it with your other important papers.

Additional copies of your Official Transcript are free and easy to obtain at On the transcript you receive with your diploma, you will notice an “ID Number.” This is your personal Access Code to download and print additional copies of your Official Transcript when you need them. Keep this number in a safe place - it gives you private, secure access to your records. If you do misplace it, you can go to your local HSE Testing Center and, by showing your ID, you will be given an unofficial score report with your Access Code printed on it.

Repeating Tests

If a candidate does not pass the HSE Test, it may be retaken. In Arizona, there is no wait period for people who don’t pass the first time. You can take the test again whenever you are ready. After the third attempt, test-takers must wait 60 days after their last attempt before they can test again.