High School Equivalency (HSE)

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The Higher Education Department welcomes you to learn more about the different paths you can take to achieve a High School Equivalency (HSE) in New Mexico. Here are answers to frequently-asked questions about HSE.
Am I eligible to attain a High School Equivalency credential?

You may be eligible to attain a High School Equivalency credential if:

  • You are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in high school.
  • You do not already have a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential.
  • You are 16 years of age or older. If you are 16 or 17 years old, your parent or legal guardian must fill out the Underage Permission Form and send it to New Mexico High School Equivalency administrator, Katya Backhaus (Katya.Backhaus@hed.nm.gov).
What are differences between High School Diploma and High School Equivalency?
  • High School Diploma is what you earn when you take the traditional high school path and complete four years of coursework, typically as a teenager.
  • A High School Equivalency Credential, on the other hand, can be earned by adults and other non-traditional students without completing four years of traditional high school.
How do you obtain a High School Equivalency Credential?

In New Mexico, HSE can be obtained in three different ways.

  • The General Educational Development (GED®) test
  • The High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®) 
  • or the National External Diploma Program (NEDP®)

The HSE Credential will look the same no matter which pathway the individual takes.

Explore the sections below to learn more about each credential pathway. 

GED Test

  • The GED includes four separate subject tests -  Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science.
  • You must pass all four tests to receive your GED credential.
  • To register for GED tests, you will need to create an account online at GED.com (Please remember to save your GED ID, asyou will need it to get your credential from Diploma Sender)
  • You are allowed to retake the same subject test 3 times. You can retake it again after 60 days.
  • GED tests are available in both Spanish and English. You can choose which language you prefer in each subject test.
  • The GED exams are administered in-person at an official GED testing center, but online testing could also be available. (Click here to see available Testing Centers around New Mexico).

HiSET Test

  • The HiSET is a standardized test created as an alternative for the GED. Like GED, HiSET is meant to help people who did not graduate from high school and would like to earn their HSE credential.
  • To register for HiSET tests, you will need to create an account online at PSI Online - One stop Solution for Test Takers (psiexams.com). (Please remember to save your HiSET ID, as you will need it to get your credential on Diplomasender.com)
  • Once your registration is approved, you may sign up to take your tests at a testing center or with remote proctoring.
  • The HiSET includes a total of 5 subject tests. You must pass all five sections to get the credential. You don’t have to take each section of the test all at once or in any order.
  • HiSET tests are available in both Spanish and English. You can choose which language you prefer in each subject test.
  • You are allowed to retake only three subject exams per calendar year.

Click here to download info on the HiSET

National External Diploma Program (NEDP)

  • The State of New Mexico also offers another path to HSE through the National External Diploma Program (NEDP). NEDP allows students to obtain HSE through learning important life skills without taking tests.
  • To determine eligibility, diagnostic assessments (Math, Reading and Writing) are performed before starting the program.
  • NEDP is designed for self-directed out-of-school youth and adults with life and work experiences and a general familiarity with the computer.
  • NEDP is now totally remote. You need to have access to a computer and internet connection.
  • NEDP offers flexible scheduling and confidentiality. This program can take between 6 to 10 months if the person spends 6 hours weekly working on the program.

If you are interested in NEDP, please send us an email with your first and last name expressing your interest to the New Mexico HSE administrator.

Click here to download info on the NEDP

How can I prepare to attain the High School Equivalency Credential?

Enroll in a FREE Adult Education Program/ Literacy Program. There are many Adult Education programs all around New Mexico just waiting to help you prepare for HSE tests. Adult Education programs can also help you with career exploration and advancement, getting into college or job training programs, master the English language, and/or help you support your children's learning and education more effectively.  These free services are designed to meet everyone’s personal education and career goals.

To learn more or enroll into one of Adult Education programs, begin by filling out the online form with our Adult Education Student Portal.  This will allow you to be matched with Adult Education programs across the state that can help you meet your needs.  

Click Here to Access the Portal

Prepare by yourself:  You can study for GED or HiSET tests on your own and take GED or HiSET exams when you are ready. There are different books, websites, and materials available online. For example, ged.com has practice tests available named GED Ready.

What’s GED Ready?

GED Ready refers to practice tests designed to help individuals determine if they are ready to take their GED exams.

GED Ready exams are optional, and you can choose to take just 1 test, only a few tests or all 4.

A customized study plan is provided to all individuals who take the GED Ready practice tests as part of their Enhanced Score Report. Test takers can also choose from available resources to help shape their personalized study plan.

If you would like to have access to GED Ready vouchers, please contact the New Mexico HSE administrator.

What are the Free HSE Vouchers for?

The State of New Mexico offers financial assistance to cover the cost of HSE exams. Testing vouchers are available to cover the cost of the High School Equivalency (HSE) tests. These vouchers cover the testing fees, but they do NOT cover other costs, such as remote proctoring fees if you choose to take the test remotely. Please fill out the Voucher Request Form and send it via mail to HSE administrator.

What is Total Transcript?

Total Transcript allows those who have previously taken portions of the GED and/or HiSET to combine test scores to earn an HSE Credential. The student must take and pass all the subject tests to get the credential.

HiSET tests must have an average score of 9.GED tests are eligible only if they were taken in 2014 or after.

How can I get my Credential and Transcript?

You can order your credential and transcript from Diploma Sender by visiting  DiplomaSender.com or calling 855-313-5799

All testers are encouraged to register for an account with Diploma Sender. You will have access to your academic record with the ability to order your HSE documents. Be sure to visit DiplomaSender.com and select “Register”.

You will need to give your GED or HiSET ID (If you don’t remember your HiSET or GED ID, please contact HSE administrator)

Documents are $20.00 each. When you earn the credential, the first set of documents is free. Documents can be emailed or mailed via USPS First Class. 

Diploma Sender can also send documents directly to your college, university or employer.

Please let us know if we can assist you further and reach out again with any other questions.  We wish you the best of luck as you work to reach your goals!