Skip to main content

High School Equivalency FAQ


Find what you need in our searchable FAQ.


What types of classes are offered, how do I progress, and do I have to take all the classes?

Staff will recommend classes based on your placement tests and your progress with the material. You may not have to take all of the classes offered. ECC offers a variety of HSE preparatory classes, including:

  • reading/writing
  • math
  • computers
  • science and social studies, including Constitution material, are integrated into the highest level reading/writing classes.
Read more

How do I register to take the HSE exam?

74 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    registration HSE/GED exam

For more information about the GED and HiSET exams, including taking the HSE exam, pricing, testing locations, and exam content, please visit GED.com and hiset.ets.org. You may choose the exam you wish to complete.

Read more

How long are classes, when are classes offered and where do classes meet?

64 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    classes online

Classes range from 10 to 16 weeks long. Classes are offered in the mornings and evenings. Most classes meet in Building K on ECC’s Spartan Drive campus in Elgin. ECC may offer off-site class locations. Online classes are also available.

Read more

What is high school equivalency?

62 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    HSE/GED

There are two high school equivalency exams currently approved in Illinois, the GED® exam and the HiSET® exam.

Read more

If I passed a particular subject in high school, do I have to test in that subject area for the HSE exam?

60 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    test HSE/GED exam

In certain cases, if a student completed a significant portion of high school and can obtain their high school transcript, they may seek an alternative credentialing method. Please visit Transcript-Based Alternative Methods of Credentialing.

Read more

How much do ABE/ASE classes cost?

59 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    classes cost

All of our HSE preparatory classes are offered free of charge.

Read more

What subjects are covered on the HSE exam?

The subjects covered on the HSE exam are language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies (including the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions).

Read more

What do ARW and AMT stand for?

57 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    writing math reading HSE/GED

ARW stands for Adult Reading and Writing, and AMT stands for Adult Math. We offer ARW and AMT classes to help students prepare for the HSE exam.

Read more

What does GED® stand for?

57 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    HSE/GED

GED® stands for General Educational Development. The GED® exam is one of Illinois's two approved high school equivalency exams.

Read more

What about the Constitution test or if I already passed the Constitution test?

56 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    Constitution test

The Constitution test is an additional requirement in Illinois. Our upper-level HSE classes cover the Constitution, so our students are prepared to pass the Constitution test. Students and non-students can take the Constitution test at their county's ROE or ECC's testing center. Please note that the constitutional requirement is waived for those who complete all HSE exam subjects through Jun 30, 2022. The end date of this suspension may change. For updates on the Constitution test requirement in Illinois, please visit Constitution test updates.

If you passed the Constitution test in an Illinois high school or another institution (other than a junior high), you most likely would not have to take it again. You will need to obtain a letter or transcript from your high school or other site showing that you passed the Constitution test. You will need to take that document to your county's Regional Office of Education (ROE). If you passed the Constitution test in junior high or another state, it would not count towards the requirement for Illinois.

Read more

Do you have classes in Spanish?

54 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    classes Spanish

Yes, we offer HSE preparatory classes in Spanish. You may also choose to take the HSE exam in Spanish.

Read more

What does HSE stand for?

54 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022   

HSE stands for high school equivalency, which is the credential that is equivalent to a high school diploma.

Read more

I’ve heard you have to wait until your class graduates from high school to take the HSE exam. Is this true and what are the requirements for taking the HSE exam?

54 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    HSE/GED exam

This is no longer true. To test in Illinois, you must be at least 17 years old and a resident of Illinois for at least 30 days. Additionally, you cannot be currently attending high school, a high school graduate, or have previously passed the HSE exam.

Read more

Do I have to attend classes before I begin taking the HSE exam?

53 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    classes HSE/GED exam

You are not required to take HSE preparatory classes to take the HSE exam in Illinois, but many students feel more confident after studying in our classes.

Read more

What does ABE/ASE stand for?

53 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022   

ABE stands for Adult Basic Education, and ASE stands for Adult Secondary Education. We offer ABE and ASE classes to help prepare students for the HSE exam.

Read more

What is the difference between ABE and ASE?

ABE classes include instruction in reading, math, writing, and computers and focus on improving basic skills. ASE classes are more advanced and cover secondary-level skills in reading, math, writing, computers, science, and social studies. ASE instruction includes reviewing the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions.
Read more

Do you have classes online?

49 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    classes online

In addition to in-person classes, ECC offers online HSE preparatory courses. Before signing up for an online course, you will want to think about your comfort level with technology and your ability and motivation to work independently. If you are interested in online classes, you will be required to complete an online orientation to better prepare for online learning in our program.

Read more

What does ECC’s adult education program offer?

49 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    HSE/GED

We offer HSE (GED®) preparatory, ESL, and transition services. Many of our students also take advantage of ECC’s workforce development services.

Read more

How do I get more information about HSE preparatory classes at ECC?

43 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    classes online

Sign-up for classes using our online form, and we will contact you to complete the process. Wait to receive a call from ECC or call us back if we leave you a voicemail. If you have a specific question, please call 847-214-6904 or email ABECRegistration@elgin.edu.

Read more

In addition to passing the tests in all subject areas, what do I need to do to receive my HSE certificate and transcript?

43 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 09, 2022    Constitution test

Deliver proof of passing the Constitution test (as needed), pay applicable fees to your county's Regional Office of Education, and request your certificate and transcript.

Read more

Contact

Adult Basic Education Center

Building K, Room K100
847-214-6904
Fax: 847-931-3919