Formerly General Educational Development (GED®)

The HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) is an assessment of skills and knowledge comparable to those of a high school graduate. It is not to be considered a substitute for completing high school and earning a diploma. It is an alternative for those who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to finish high school. HiSET has replaced GED in the state of Iowa as the assessment tool used to award the High School Equivalency Diploma.

The HiSET test is a series of five tests covering writing, science, math, literature and the arts, and social studies. These tests require the test taker to apply reading, math, language, and critical thinking skills. Passing the HiSET test series allows students to earn their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) awarded by the Iowa Department of Education.

To meet the educational needs of all students, each site will offer classroom instruction covering all five areas of the HiSET. Students are required to attend an orientation with assessments as well as HiSET classes.

Steps to earn your HSED

  • All students must enroll in an HSED class to be eligible for testing
  • Classes are available throughout the SWCC area
  • Online options are available for accelerated learning
  • Take official practice tests in class
  • Have a current state-issued photo identification
  • 17- and 18-year-olds must turn in documentation of high school withdrawal before pre-registration
  • Each of the five HiSET subtests will be scheduled and paid for through the HiSET online website
  • Testing is computer-based and is offered at the following SWCC Testing Centers: Assessment Center - Creston campus, Osceola Center, and Red Oak Center

Home Schooled will also need:

  • Letter from a parent stating that your education is home-based.
  • If no transcript is provided, the diploma is issued at age 18.


  • Diplomas and transcripts are issued to students through ​Upon the first request, students are issued these documents free of charge. Subsequent requests will cost $15/document.
  • Students who successfully complete their 5 official tests prior to turning 18 will be awarded their diploma with their graduating class.​

The Iowa Department of Education no longer processes duplicate diploma/transcript or verification requests. All Iowa HSED requests are processed through Diploma Sender. No state agency or community college program can assist in HSED requests.

PLEASE NOTE:  The applicant cannot receive a diploma until the applicant has reached 18 years of age and the applicant’s class from ninth grade has graduated

HSED Class Locations

Town Location Phone Number
Creston SWCC Creston Campus
1501 W. Townline Street
Creston, IA
 Room 212/214, Instructional Center
Lamoni United Methodist Church 9th & Maple, Lamoni, IA 641-782-1497
Leon Leon Community Center 203 NE 2nd Street, Leon, IA 641-782-1497
Osceola SWCC Osceola Center
 2520 College Dr.
Osceola, IA
Red Oak SWCC Red Oak Center
 2300 4th St.
Red Oak, IA
Winterset St. Paul Lutheran Church
1120 N. 8th Ave.
Winterset, IA

Please call closest class site for class schedule and orientation appointment.

Online Options

SWCC has online curriculum to supplement instruction for accelerated learning.   SWCC recommends the online and face-to-face classes together for a hybrid class option.  The benefits of the online program are the flexibility to study at your own pace at convenient times, limits travel to and from classes, and the ability to finish the HSED in less time.  Students must be self-disciplined, have good organizational skills, and be motivated to be successful with the online coursework. 

Students must meet CASAS reading and math assessment to be eligible for the program.  Students need internet access or be able to obtain internet access for study.  Students will be given a SWCC login and password to access the online curriculum. SWCC has limited number of seats and will fill seats on availability.  Students not meeting the guidelines of the program will be placed on inactive status and forfeit the seat.

For more information on class offerings, please call the SWCC Business & Community Development adult literacy coordinator at 641.782.1497 or 800.247.4023, ext. 497

For more information on HSED:


FAQs From the National HiSET Website