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FAQ Group: High School Diploma

What is a high school equivalency diploma (HSD)?

Pennsylvanians who don’t have a high school diploma and are not currently enrolled in a high school can earn a high school equivalency diploma from an adult learning center such as OIC. You must be at least 18 years old (or obtain a waiver from the state that permits you to  test).  If you earn a passing score on all sections of an HSD test, you will receive a diploma. OIC offers preparatory classes for a test called HiSET®, which like the GED® test, but a different brand.

You may take HiSET as a paper test or by computer. It has a different scoring and pricing system than the GED, and has n five tests, rather than GED’s four. In our experience, our students are more successful taking the HiSET.

You will need a current Pennsylvania driver’s license, permit or PennDOT photo identification card.

How long will it take to get my high school equivalency diploma (GED or HiSET)?

There is no single answer. Potential students come to us at all different levels of ability. You may have been in school recently, or maybe you have been out of school for years and lost knowledge and studying skills.  People learn at different speeds and in different ways.  Maybe you learn better by yourself with guidance from teachers, or maybe you learn better in a class with other students. Perhaps you need assistance because English is not your first language.

Because everyone is different, we start with a state-approved assessment of your academic needs, the T.A.B.E test, to target the best ways for you to meet your goals. Most of our students need to start with refresher courses and then move on to the more challenging material. Some students move faster. You can take the time you need.


Tri-County OIC is a community-based, non-profit, Federal, State, local, foundation and supporter funded organization, which is part of a greater nationwide alliance of OIC’s. 


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