Iowa top in nation for high school equivalency exam

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Iowa bested 28 other states and U.S. territories using HiSET, a high school equivalency exam. Last year, 95.9% of Iowans taking the exam passed, versus 80.5% nationally.

A total of 1,003 Iowans passed the HiSET, developed by the nonprofit Educational Testing Service. The exam is administered in 25 states, including Iowa, and four U.S. territories.

The HiSET has served as the state-approved test since 2014. It measures the knowledge and proficiency equivalent to those of an Iowa high school graduate. The exam, available in written and online formats, has subtests of reading, writing/essay, social studies, science and math.

Passing the HiSET exam is one possible option to earn a high school equivalency diploma in Iowa. State law allows for alternative pathways for students to demonstrate competency that would lead to the issuance of high school equivalency diplomas by the Iowa Department of Education. Additionally, they may be earned by accumulating of high school credit, postsecondary degree or foreign postsecondary degree.

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