As of January, 2014 Montana no longer offers the GED. Instead, the Montana Office of Public Instruction is offering a High School Equivalency diploma to applicants who take and pass the HiSET exam.
What is the Format?
The five and three-quarter hour HiSET exam tests you on the following five subjects: Language Arts - Reading, Language Arts - Writing, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics. The entire test has multiple choice questions with the exception of the writing skills portion of the exam. In this section, in a addition to some multiple choice questions, you'll be given 45 minutes to write an essay.
How is the Exam Scored and What if I Don't Pass?
Your possible score on each individual test ranges from 8 (lowest) to 20 (the highest.) To pass the HiSET, you must make at least a 8 on each individual exam AND you must make a total score of 45 for the entire exam. You must have a score of at least 8 to pass each subtest. Thus, you can pass all individual tests with an 8, yet you still wouldn't pass the minimum total score (8 x 5= 40.) In this case, you would have to retake one or more tests to bring your total score up. You may retest up to three times in a year.
Who is Eligible?
You are eligible to take the Montana HiSET if you meet the following requirements:
- You aren't enrolled in school AND you don't have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- You are at least 16 years of age (if you're under 19 years old, you should visit the following link for further instructions: http://HiSET.ets.org).
- You reside in Montana and you have a Montana mailing address.
16-year olds will require waivers, proof of enrollment in HiSET classes and proof that a high school diploma is required by a college or employer in addition to not being enrolled in high school.
How do I Register for the HiSET and What Does it Cost?
You must register online or over the phone. Payment and registration options and requirements are on the HiSET web site (http://HiSET.ets.org). To find a list of local testing centers in your area, visit the following link: http://opi.mt.gov. The cost for the HiSET battery of tests is $50, and some testing centers may also charge a testing center fee up to $15. The $50 fee is good for a year and also covers up to 3 retests in that year.
How do I Prepare?
There are two main ways to prepare for the HiSET: You can study independently or you can take a preparation course. If you choose to study independently, you have several options available. If you want to prepare by spending little to no money, visit your local library and use their HiSET study materials, or go online and take advantage of free HiSET preparation materials at http://hiset.ets.org.
Taking a preparation course is probably the best idea. Here, you will have teacher-guided study, with someone there to answer questions when you get stuck. To find a preparation class near you, contact your local testing center, community college, or adult learning center.