116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Iowans ranked the highest for the percentage of individuals who passed a high school equivalency exam administered in 25 states and four U.S. territories, state officials announced Tuesday.
Last year, 95.9 percent of Iowans seeking a high school equivalency diploma passed the HiSET exam compared with 80.5 percent nationally. A total of 1,003 Iowans passed the exam, which was developed by the nonprofit Educational Testing Service.
“Achieving the highest passing rate on the HiSET is a testament to these hardworking Iowans and the quality of adult education and literacy programming provided through Iowa’s 15 community colleges,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo said in a statement.
“I commend these students for their hard work and the commitment of the adult education and literacy coordinators and instructors who are helping them take the next steps to postsecondary education, training and careers,” Lebo added.
According to the department, the HiSET has served as the state-approved test since 2014. The exam measures the knowledge and proficiency equivalent to those of an Iowa high school graduate. Passing the HiSET exam is one possible path for Iowans to earn a high school equivalency diploma.
Iowa law allows state providers to offer alternative pathways for students to demonstrate competency that would lead to the issuance of high school equivalency diplomas by the state Education Department. In addition to passing the state-approved exam, providers may offer high school equivalency diplomas based on the attainment of high school credit, postsecondary degree or foreign postsecondary degree.
Department officials noted that opportunities to earn a high school equivalency diploma play an important role in helping build Iowa’s talent pipeline for the careers of today and tomorrow — a key element of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa initiative that calls for 70 percent of Iowans having education or training beyond high school by 2025.
The exam, which is offered both online and in written formats, has five subtests: reading, writing/essay, social studies, science and math. The cost to take all five subject area tests is $53.75. The cost to take a single-subject test is $10.75.
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