California HiSET® Proficiency Requirements

About the California HiSET Proficiency Exams for the California Proficiency Program (CPP)

If you’re a high school student searching for a way to start your higher education or career journey, then HiSET® Proficiency is the solution you’re looking for to achieve your goals!

The HiSET Proficiency provides students with the opportunity to take the HiSET language arts and mathematics subtests, which assess their proficiency in the standards taught up to the 12th grade level. Upon successfully passing each of the three subtests, eligible students will be awarded a California Certificate of Proficiency, which holds the same legal equivalent as a California-issued high school diploma.

The California Certificate of Proficiency is widely accepted at all California Junior Colleges, State Universities, and Universities of California. It is also recognized as a legal equivalent to a high school diploma by California employers. Students who wish to take the HiSET Proficiency are advised to check with their prospective college to ensure that the California Certificate of Proficiency is accepted and that all necessary coursework for admission has been completed.

Upon receiving CPP Official Score Report and exiting high school, individuals become eligible to take the remaining two subtests of the HiSET for high school equivalency (Science and Social Studies) to obtain a California High School Equivalency Certificate, which is recognized nationally and internationally. This certificate can open more opportunities than a California Certificate of Proficiency alone.

See the California Proficiency Program for more information.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the California HiSET Proficiency a test taker must be:

  • Currently enrolled in their second semester of 10th grade or,
  • Has been enrolled in the 10th grade for one academic year or longer or,
  • Is 16 years of age.

If you are not eligible for the CPP, you may be eligible for the California High School Equivalency program.

Residency: There is no residency requirement for CPP.

Test Preparation or Instruction: The California Department of Education recommends taking HiSET preparation courses prior to the test.

Practice Test: The California Department of Education recommends taking HiSET practice tests prior to the actual test.

Identification:  Identity and age must be confirmed with current photo ID before testing. Acceptable forms of ID include name, birth date, signature, photograph, and address.

Examples include:

  • Photographic driver’s license, with a signature, issued by any U.S. state or foreign government
  • Photographic identification card, with a signature, issued by any of the U.S. Armed Forces, any U.S. state, or any foreign government
  • Photographic Tribal enrollment card with a signature
  • Photographic identification card or badge, with a signature, issued by a California department or agency (e.g., California Conservation Corps)
  • Photographic passport, with a signature, issued by the United States or a foreign government

Application Requirements

Step 1: Create a California myHiSET Proficiency account: This is the first step in your application and registration process and requires basic information such as name, date of birth, email, and phone number to get started. Create your account here.  

Step 2: If needed, submit a request for Exam Accommodations. Most available accommodations require pre-approval. HiSET exam accommodations can be found on our HiSET ADA Accommodations Policy and Process web page.

Submit your Requests for Accommodations using the PSI Accommodations Request Form prior to scheduling. Once documentation has been received and reviewed, the test taker will receive a notification on the status of approval/denial. The email will include instructions to contact our accommodation department for scheduling if approved or a request for additional information before approval can be provided.

Step 3: Submit your HiSET Proficiency Approval Request and high school transcript here.

Transcript: To register for the HiSET Proficiency, you need to provide your high school transcript. The transcript can be unofficial, but it should be issued by your high school or downloaded from the school’s information system. To ensure that you have the latest transcript with all the necessary information, you may need to work with your school counselor. Please note that we only accept transcripts. We will not accept grade reports, individualized learning plans, or any other non-transcript documents.

Acceptable transcripts must be current and include:

  • Student’s full name and date of birth
  • Evidence of current enrollment in high school
  • Evidence of enrollment in at least the second semester of grade 10
  • Name of school

Applications must include an accurate CDS code (that matches the student’s school listed on the transcript) and the student’s HiSET ID.

Reviews and approvals of eligibility applications may take up to four weeks. Accurate test taker details and appropriate required documentation will expedite the review and approval process.

If any student information or documentation is missing, approvals will be denied or delayed.

Currently, approved test takers may take computer-based tests in a test center or via an online proctored test. Paper-based tests will be available by March 2024.

Step 4: Before you may schedule your Proficiency subtests, we must verify and apply your eligibility and approve any requested accommodations.

HiSET Proficiency Passing Criteria

Passing scores for the CPP are different than the passing scores for HSE. To meet the HiSET Proficiency passing criteria, a candidate must –

  • Score at least 15 out of 20 on each of the three (3) subtests (Mathematics, Reading and Writing)
  • Score at least 4 out of 6 on the Writing subtest essay
  • Achieve a total scaled score on all three (3) HiSET subtests of at least 45 out of 60

HiSET California Testing Options and Fees

In California, you can take the HiSET Proficiency either at a participating test center via computer-based or paper-based subtests or Test @ Home (online-proctored).

Total fees per paper subtest including test center and state admin fees

$65

Total expected fees to take all three HiSET Proficiency subtests assuming no retake attempts and completion in a single calendar year:

$195

Subtest fee breakdown:

Test Fee: $51

State Admin Fee: $14

Test Location: Test Center

Total fees per computer subtest including test center and state admin fees

$65

Total expected fees to take all three HiSET Proficiency subtests assuming no retake attempts and completion in a single calendar year::

$195

Subtest fee breakdown:

Test Fee: $51

State Admin Fee: $14

Test Location: Test Center

Total fees per online-proctored subtest including test center and state admin fees

$65

Total expected fees to take all three HiSET Proficiency subtests assuming no retake attempts and completion in a single calendar year:

$195

Subtest fee breakdown:

Test Fee: $51

State Admin Fee: $14

Test Location: Offsite, remote proctored. System requirements and test environment guidelines must be met.

Included with Your Fee: The State of California collects a state administration fee of $14 per initial subtest. The HiSET Proficiency test fee includes the cost of one printed transcript and one printed certificate.

Retesting

What to know: HiSET Proficiency test takers may take each subtest a maximum of three (3) times in a calendar year.

How it works: If you take your first official HiSET subtest in the month of January and then take two retakes at a test center in the months of February and March, you would not be permitted to take that subtest again until the next calendar year starting in January, and you would then need to pay the full test price.

What it costs: You may retake each subtest two times over the 12 months following your first attempt by paying only a $14 test center fee or the at-home online proctor fee ($17.50 for each at-home subtest).

California Homeless and Foster Youths: Fee Waiver for High School Equivalency and Proficiency Tests

If you are under the age of 25 (and certified as a homeless youth by a homeless services provider) or a foster youth as defined in Education Code Section 48412, you qualify for a fee waiver for high school equivalency and proficiency tests.

What’s Covered:

The fee waiver covers fees for services related to test administration; it does not cover fees for services or documents required to verify the need for testing accommodations, test preparation,or other services not related to the administration of the tests.

What to Do:

To receive a fee waiver at the time of registration for a test administration, you must submit all standard required registration materials, including the documentation required for all testing accommodations that you may need, and certification of your foster or homeless youth status to the test contractor.

Return your completed certification form to [email protected].

Access your myHiSET account on PSIExams.com