LCC HSE Program

LCC HSE Program

Welcome to the LCC HSE Program

What is a HSE? (High School Equivelency)

The HSE was created in 1942 during World War II. Originally, it was meant to allow veterans to quickly get a credential that would be equivalent to a high school diploma so that they could go on to college. Later, it was available to all adults.

The HSE Test measures how well someone has mastered the skills and general knowledge that are acquired in a four-year high school education. The test does not expect someone to remember numerous details, definitions, or facts. You are expected to demonstrate the ability to think about a variety of issues. You are tested on knowledge and skills you have acquired from life experiences, radio, television, books, newspapers, consumer products, and advertising. Therefore, one should not be at a disadvantage if he/she has been out of school for a period of time.

The HSE Test has changed periodically to keep up with the knowledge and skills needed in our society. The last change was in January 2002. The changes reflect what a high school graduate in 2002 knows and can do. The HSE test in use today is the January 2002 version.

You must have a minimum of a 9th grade reading level. This means that you have the ability to read and understand newspapers, forms, and letters. You must also have the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide by hand. Developing strong reading and thinking skills are the keys to succeeding on these tests. Regular study is also needed to earn your HSE.

Underage Permission Form

What subjects are included on the HSE Test?

LANGUAGE ARTS, WRITING: This is a two-part test.

Part I - You will read passages of several sentences or real-life documents like resumes, reports, e-mails. In each, you will be asked to correct grammar, sentence construction, spelling or other common writing mistakes. The test has 50 multiple-choice questions and is 75 minutes long.

Part II - You will write an essay of approximately 250 words on a topic familiar to most adults. The topic will be given to you at the start of the test and you will have 45 minutes to write your essay. The score for the Language Arts, Writing test is a combination of the score from Part I and the score from Part II.


In this test you will answer Economics, Geography, Civics and Government, United States and World History questions. You will also interpret maps, charts, political cartoons, speeches, articles, and photographs. Questions will also come from the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and landmark Supreme Court decisions. The test has 50 multiple-choice questions and is 70 minutes long.


In this test you will answer Life Science, Earth and Space Science and Physical Science questions. You will be asked questions requiring critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The test has 50 multiple-choice questions and is 80 minutes long.


In this test you will read stories, essays, plays, poetry, fiction, and possibly a review of a movie or television show. You may be asked to restate, summarize, or explain what you have read. You could also be asked to apply what you have read to another situation. The test has 40 multiple-choice questions and is 65 minutes long.

MATH: This is a two-part test.

Part I - This part allows the use of a Casio FX-260 Solar calculator.

Part II - This part does not allow the use of a calculator.

A basic knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division is required. Questions relating to Geometry, Algebra, data analysis, number operations, and problem solving will be included in both parts. In addition to multiple-choice answers, this test includes some "grid" type answer formats. The test has 50 multiple-choice questions and is 90 minutes long.

How long will it take me to earn a HSE?

Since everyone is different, there is no answer to this question. A lot depends on how long you stayed in school, your reading and math levels, your ability to think critically, and your willingness to study. We do know that people who study regularly, follow directions, and work hard may earn their HSE more quickly than those who do not. We recommend studying at least 2 hours a day, 5 days a week.

HSE Statistics

  • Certifies that the test taker is competent at a high school level.
Subjects Covered
  • Language Arts: Reading
  • Language Arts: Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
To Qualify for the HSE
  • Non-high school graduates
  • 16 years of age or older
Number of People with Certification
  • 1 in 7 high school students
  • 1 in 20 college students
  • Total: 15 million since inception
Common Reasons HSE is received
  • Immigration
  • Home-school
  • Lack of interest in high school
  • Lack of ability to pass high school
  • Personal/Financial problems
Education Level of Recipients
  • 70 percent of HSE recipients complete at least the 10th grade
  • Average Age of HSE recipients: 24
Languages Offered
  • Spanish
  • Large Print
  • Audiocassette
  • Braille
Year Developed
  • 1942

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