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Rio Salado College
Testing Center
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 five tests:

  1. Language Arts - Writing/Essay
  2. Social Studies
  3. Science
  4. Language Arts - Reading
  5. Mathematics

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 HSE Test is available in English, Spanish and French.

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 two forms 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.

Secondary Identification

The secondary ID must have either a photo OR a signature. However, you may be required to provide a secondary ID with BOTH a photo and signature if the test administrator questions your primary ID document and/or if your primary ID document is otherwise acceptable but does not bear your full name, photograph or signature. Secondary ID documents may not be used to resolve last name discrepancies.

  1. Certified Birth Certificate - Photocopies not acceptable.
  2. Signed Social Security card - Must not be laminated.
  3. Fingerprint card - Arizona DPS Class One/Class Two fingerprint card
  4. Current Credit cards - Must have photo.
  5. Current Bank cards - Must have photo.
  6. High School Student ID - When combined with any primary photo ID.
  7. Workplace ID - When combined with any primary photo ID.
  8. COSTCO or Sam's Club ID cards - When combined with any primary photo ID.

Titles & Descriptions

  • Language Arts - Writing
    Part I: 50 questions, 75 minutes
    Part II: One essay, 45 minutes
  • Social Studies
    50 questions, 70 minutes
  • Science
    50 questions, 80 minutes
  • Language Arts - Reading
    40 questions, 65 minutes
  • Mathematics
    Part I: 25 questions, 45 minutes
    (with calculator use)
    Part II: 25 questions, 45 minutes
    (with no calculator use)

    Total Questions: 240

    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

  • A minimum of 410 on each part; AND
  • A combined total of 2,250 points on all five parts.

Most scores are posted within 24 hours. For your results, go to and enter your personally assigned, secure Access Code.


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 in Arizona for people who don’t pass the first time. You can take the test again whenever you are ready.

Please note that examinees are required to take the initial five tests at the same Test Center. Under special circumstances, an exception may be granted.