The GED and HSED are computer-based high school equivalency tests that measure skills expected of high school graduates. The General Educational Development (GED) certificate is accepted by most employers, technical colleges, and community colleges. However, some employers, universities, and branches of the military require a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). 

Test Overviews

group of graduates smiling in the hallway

The GED test consists of the following:

  • Science ($33.75)
  • Social Studies ($33.75)
  • Mathematical Reasoning ($33.75)
  • Reasoning through Language Arts ($33.75)
  • Civics ($10.00)*

The HSED includes all GED sections and:

  • Health (no cost)
  • Employability Skills (no cost)

*The civics requirement can only be fulfilled by successfully passing the U.S. Citizenship test. You must take the 100 question test and earn a score of 65 or better.

All GED sections are scheduled through and must be taken on a computer at an official GED testing center.
Both of the HSED requirements can be met through previous or current coursework or by passing a standardized test.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to take the GED/HSED in Wisconsin, you must:
  • be at least 18½ years old
  • be a Wisconsin resident, have lived in Wisconsin for at least 10 days, or be a migrant worker or child of a migrant worker
  • not be currently enrolled in a high school
  • not have a high school diploma 

How do I get started?


Get Prepared

Prior to taking the GED/HSED, you must take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). Optionally, you may also attend a Returning to Learning Session in preparation of the exam.

Learn more about preparation steps and assistance.


Attend Orientation

GED/HSED examinees MUST attend an appointment-only orientation session prior to testing.

Learn how to get signed up for orientation.


Take the Test

Once you have completed the steps above, you are ready for testing! 

Learn how to take the official exam(s).

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional information about the GED & HSED:

A person must reside in Wisconsin for at least 10 days, or be a migrant worker or the child of a migrant worker in order to be eligible for Wisconsin's High School Equivalency Diploma or Certificate of General Educational Development.

A person must also be at least 18½ years of age or have proof that the class they entered 9th grade with has graduated.

There are a number of opportunities offered at or through BTC to help adults prepare for the GED/HSED test. Classes, computer-assisted instruction and individualized instruction are available. Based on the location, classes can be available during the day and night. There is no cost for the class; however, material fees may be charged and students may wish to purchase books. No guarantee can be made, but enrollment in preparatory classes has proved to be one of the surest methods leading up to successful performance on the GED/HSED tests. Our Learning Centers offer the course work option for health and civic literacy.

It will depend on what grade you dropped out of, how long it's been since you were in school, and what you have been doing in that time. How much time you dedicate to studying for the tests will also affect the total time it takes to obtain your diploma. Some students can pass all four exams in one month, while other students will take a year or longer to finish.

Most employers today require at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. GED is the acronym for the tests of General Educational Development that were developed by the American Council on Education and are administered in Wisconsin at testing sites approved by the state superintendent and GED Testing Service. The GED test consists of a battery of tests to measure competency in math, science, social studies, and language arts. Persons who pass only the GED test battery qualify for a GED certificate issued by the Department of Public Instruction.

HSED is the acronym for High School Equivalency Diploma, which consists of the GED test battery as well as health, employability skills, and career awareness.

High School Compulsory Attendance Program (Wisconsin Statute 118.15)

Students between the ages of 16 and 18 who are at risk of not graduating from their local high schools may attend BTC as an alternative. These students may either earn credits that will apply to their graduation requirements or work toward their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). It is necessary that the parent or guardian go through the high school to start the process. Once the student has been accepted, the high school contracts with BTC for instructional services.


Contact Information

Testing Center
(608) 757-7666

person stamping piece of paper

Requesting GED/HSED Transcripts

You may order a copy of your GED or HSED transcript by completing the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) form.

Employers, colleges and universities who need to verify that a candidate has a GED or HSED from Wisconsin are able to request this information directly from DPI.

Order GED/HSED Transcripts
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