Iowa achieves nation’s highest passing rate on high school equivalency exam

Among states and U.S. territories that use HiSET, a high school equivalency exam, Iowa ranks the highest for individuals who passed the exam.

Last year, 95.9 percent of Iowans seeking a high school equivalency diploma passed the exam. The national rate is 80.5 percent.

1,003 Iowans passed the HiSET. It is currently administered in 25 states and four U.S. territories. Used in Iowa since 2014, the exam measures the knowledge and proficiency equivalent to those of an Iowa high school graduate.

“Achieving the highest passing rate on the HiSET is a testament to these hard-working Iowans and the quality of adult education and literacy programming provided through Iowa’s 15 community colleges. I commend these students for their hard work and the commitment of the adult education and literacy coordinators and instructors who are helping them take the next steps to postsecondary education, training and careers,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo.

Opportunities to earn a high school equivalency diploma play an important role in helping build education and careers in Iowa. This aligns closely with the Future Ready Iowa initiative that calls for 70 percent of Iowans to have education or training past high school by 2025.

The exam is offered both online and in written formats. It includes five subjects including writing/essay, social studies, science, math, and reading.

For more information, visit the High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) Program page on the Department’s website.