High School Equivalency Certificate (HSE)

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The HSE test can give you the opportunity to earn a high school equivalency certificate. Our courses prepare students to take the HSE test and cover the five subjects: Reading, Writing, Science, Social Science and Mathematics. The test is available in English or Spanish. Graduates of our HSE program participate in our graduation ceremony, complete with cap and gown. Lecture courses are also available in Spanish.

Both day and evening classes are held throughout the school year.
HSE classes are available at the following sites:

Chula Vista Adult School
(619 ) 796-7000

Montgomery Adult School
(619) 600-3800

National City Adult School
(619) 336-9420

San Ysidro Adult School
(619) 428-7200


HSE Program Information

What is the HSE?
The HSE is the equivalent of a high school diploma for people who did not finish high school. The letters “HSE” stand for High School Equivalency.  It used be call the GED which is the name of one of three HSE assessments authorized by the state of California.

Why do I need a HSE?
It is very hard to get a job without a high school diploma or a HSE. People who have an HSE or high school diploma earn more money than those who don’t.

Will the HSE help me get into college?
Most colleges accept HSE graduates just like high school graduates. If you have your HSE you can apply for federal financial aid to pay for college.

What is the HSE test like?

Is it hard to pass the HSE?
It depends on how long you stayed in school, how well you can read and do math, your ability to think critically, and how much you study for the test.

What do you need to pass the HSE?
To pass the HSE, you need to be able to read and understand basic information, such as a newspaper or a job application. You also have to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide without using a calculator.

Do I need to know everything I learned in high school?
No. The HSE tests how well you think about different issues based on your life experiences. So even if you have been out of school for a long time, you can pass this test if you study for it.

Can I take the HSE tests in Spanish?
Yes, you can take the test in Spanish if that language is more comfortable for you. Several HSE preparation classes at our school are taught in Spanish and use Spanish preparation materials.

What subjects are on the HSE Test?
The five subjects are writing, math, social studies, science, and reading. You can take the tests one at a time and once you have passed all five tests and met the average required you will receive your HSE. What are the HSE preparation classes like?
Your HSE teacher will give you pre-tests and advise you when you are ready to sign-up to take the official tests. You can work at your own pace to prepare for the tests. The teacher will provide a plan for you with what you will need to do to pass the five tests and will be there to assist you as you go along.

Is there a fee for the official HSE test?
Yes, the test costs includes all five subject tests and the certificate but you don’t pay until you are ready to take tests. The preparation classes offered here are free. If you prefer, you can pay for the tests one at a time.  Visit the Chula Vista Adult School Testing Center for the current fee schedule: http://cva.sweetwaterschools.org/test-center/

Is there a graduation?
Yes, the HSE and High School Diploma graduates from all four Sweetwater adult schools have a combined graduation each year. Graduates wear caps and gowns and can invite as many people as they like to attend. Scholarships are available to those who are going to continue their education. They are given at an Awards Ceremony preceding graduation each year.