Learning Support

High School Equivalency Diploma – HSED (formerly GED®)


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Formerly General Educational Development (GED®)

Welcome. We want adults who are seeking a high school education to realize that graduation is not an impossible dream, but a realistic goal. Transition to postsecondary and/or employment is emphasized and can be achieved by attending classes at your local HSED site or taking HSED classes on-line through i-Pathways. A HSED certificate of completion is the first step to a better paying job, higher education, and more opportunities!

Persons seeking to meet the Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma requirements should be aware of companies that claim to offer the Test of High School Equivalency Exam (HSED) over the internet or through correspondence courses. The American Council of Education does not recognize these. The only way to receive an Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma is to successfully pass the Official HSED Test Battery by Iowa state standards which are to achieve a minimum standard score of 8 on each of the five official HiSET® test battery subtests and a cumulative score of 45. Please contact the Iowa Department of Education at 515.281.3640 for further information.

The previous version of the HSED test battery expired in December of 2013.   Beginning in January 2014, the State of Iowa will begin to use the HiSET® equivalency diploma test, which was developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS).  The test is computer-based and must be taken in NIACC’s testing center located in Beem Center.

HSED brochures, a HSED Class Schedule listing locations, dates, times, and instructors and information about i-Pathways can be accessed by clicking on the links below.

HSED Graduation Ceremony

North Iowa Area Community Auditorium on the NIACC campus
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
7:00 p.m.

Learn More

Links

HSED Brochure [pdf]
HSED Class Schedule
i-Pathways (HSED On-line)

HSED Testing Schedule  Top

HSED Students Top

  • Work at their own pace
  • Must be motivated to succeed
  • Come from a variety of educational backgrounds
  • Are eligible for NIACC scholarships upon graduation
  • Are encouraged to attend NIACC HSED graduation ceremony

HSED Instructors Top

    • Work hard to assist students with their individual needs
    • Provide orientation which includes a syllabus and contact information
    • Provide opportunities for personal goal setting

Align classes and materials with HSED testing

HSED Curriculum Top

  • The HSED contains a series of 5 subject area tests
  • Students are required to pass all five tests in order to receive their HSED certificate
  • Before taking the HSED tests students must first take and pass official practice tests in each subject area
  • Practice tests are given in the classroom and the HSED tests are taken on the NIACC campus

The subject areas and tests times are:

Language Arts, Writing 120 minutes allowed on test
Language Arts, Reading 65 minutes allowed on test
Social Studies 70 minutes allowed on test
Science 80 minutes allowed on test
Mathematics 90 minutes allowed on test

HSED Fees Top

  • There are no class fees.
  • Students pay for the entire HiSET® battery, which is $50 for all 5 tests.
  • Students must register with HiSET® online to schedule a testing appointment and pay for tests.
  • There is a one-time payable $10.00 diploma fee.

HSED Testing Top

  • Students may only take final HSED tests after they have attended a class and successfully completed official practice tests.
  • HSED tests are administered on the NIACC campus in the Student Learning Center in Beem Center (Room 103)
  • HSED tests can only be taken on dates listed on the Student Learning Center calendar. See HSED Testing Schedule.
  • Students must schedule an appointment online at least 24 hours in advance.

HSED Accommodations Top

Accommodations are provided for students with disabilities. For more information regarding accommodations call NIACC at 641.422.4103 or 1.888.GO NIACC ext. 4103


The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has a long history of supporting literacy efforts and assisting undereducated adults, their families, and their communities. NIACC has been the recipient of two grants to help toward this endeavor.