GED TEST - Wisconsin High School Equivalency Diploma

Wisconsin's GED/HSED Program

High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) or GED Certificate

If you have not completed high school and want to seek more education and/or improve your employability, you have some choices that can open the doors to your future.


First, you can take the General Educational Development (GED) tests, pass them, and receive a GED Certificate. Or, better yet, you can go further by taking all of the GED tests and a health, citizenship, employability skills, and career-awareness program - or courses explained below -- and receive a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED).


High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED)

Earning Wisconsin's High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) is similar to the studies required for high school graduation. Five options are available to earn a HSED.

  • Pass the GED tests, complete the health, citizenship, and employability skills requirement, and receive career-awareness counseling
  • Earn any missing high school credits at a local high school or technical college.
  • Finish 24 semester credits or 32 quarter credits at a university or technical college, including instruction in any area of study you didn't cover in high school
  • Complete a foreign degree or diploma program.
  • Complete a program offered by a technical college or community-based group that has been approved by the state superintendent of public instruction as a high school completion program

A high school diploma, or HSED, is a minimum requirement for most jobs today. For all branches of the military, the University of Wisconsin System, and a growing number of employers, the GED certificate is not the same as a high school diploma or HSED.


For most persons, the best option in making the choice is to enroll in a technical college or to participate in a program offered by a community-based group. A counselor there will test your reading skills and talk about your career interest and working skills in a counseling session. In that counseling session, the counselor will further explain all of the high school equivalency diploma options.


HSED Requirements: What you must do

According to 2000-2004 American Community Survey data, 15% of Wisconsin adults over 25 (approximately 500,000) do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. About 10,000 of these adults will decide to earn either a high school equivalency diploma (HSED) or certificate of general educational development (GED) each year. Join them! Open doors for your future.

To earn an HSED in Wisconsin, you must meet certain requirements:

  • Age: You must have proof of age. You must be at least 18 years and six months old to take the GED tests, or the class with which you entered grade 9 must have graduated from high school. Under Wisconsin's Compulsory School Attendance law, 17-year olds may be permitted to enroll in a program that leads to a HSED and to begin taking the GED tests.

  • Class Status: You are required to attend school until the end of the school term, quarter or semester of the school year in which you become 18 years of age. If you are not 18 years and six months old, you may still take the test if the class with whom you entered ninth grade has graduated from high school.
  • Residency: You must be a legal resident of Wisconsin; you may be asked to prove residency.
  • Application: At the time you choose one of the five options, you will need to complete a "preliminary application" form. Bring your social security number with you and be prepared to pay a small fee when you take the tests.
  • And, of course, you need to pass all of the GED tests you take.

Contact:  Bob Enghagen, GED/HSED Administrator, 608-267-2275


Judy Stowell, GED/HSED Program Assistant, 608-267-9245


or call toll-free 800-768-8886


FAX: 608-267-9275

Submit comments regarding this web page to: Judy Stowell

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For questions about this information, contact Robert J. Enghagen (608) 267-2275