Currently, there are three main assessment options for individual who wish to earn their High School Equivalency Certificate, commonly referred to as the HSE. The tests range from the GED(r) , HiSETTM, and the TASC TestTM. Each state determines which assessment is used, with many states offering multiple options.
So, as a student, where do you begin preparing for your HSE? As an instructor attempting to meet the CCR Standards, include job-skills training, and prepare students for life beyond the HSE, where do you begin?
While each assessment differ slightly with each other, they are all grounded in the College and Career Readiness standards. i-Pathways is an approved curriculum for the GED(r) and HiSETTM. Let’s explore the commonalities in each assessment area.
Language Arts Writing
Language Arts includes both Reading and Writing. Each assessment will require students to provide an example of their writing skills and ability to address a prompt by providing a clear, concise, and coherent response with organized ideas. In addition to demonstrating their ability to write a persuasive argument using effective writing techniques and supporting details that improve your argument, students need to recognize the correct use of standard written English and are asked to make revisions. At the foundational level of writing and editing, students need to develop an understanding of sentence structure and appropriate punctuation.
Basic Writing. The sequence of instruction is:
- Sentence Structure
- Paragraph Writing
- Effective Sentences
- Introduction to Referencing Materials
- Essay Writing
Language Arts: Reading
Students need to demonstrate an understanding of written passages by reading closely and answering questions with both in fiction/literary texts and nonfiction/informational texts. The passages range in complexity and style and include cross-curricular reading such as passages in the Science and Social Studies Content areas. Students need to learn how to determine key ideas and important details. Additionally, students need to develop an understanding of craft and structure of a passage. They need to analyze a passage to determine why an author uses certain words and phrases to convey meaning. How does the author’s structure demonstrate point of view, tone, or purpose? Finally, students need to learn how to compare and contrast ideas in different passages.
Reasoning Through Language Arts. The sequence of instruction is:
- The Reading Process
- Vocabulary and Word Skills
- Reading Comprehension Skills
- Patterns of Organization
- Purpose and Tone
- Graphics and Electronic Texts
- Writing Process
All of the Science assessments are grounded in the development of scientific reasoning. Students need to build background knowledge in Science content areas such as Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science in order to apply the principles of scientific inquiry to various ideas or domains.
- Life Science is the study of all living organisms, heredity, and evolution.
- Earth and Space Science is they study of the physical make up of the Earth, as well as understanding the universe.
- Physical Science includes the study of chemistry, Newton’s Laws, and basic physics.
Science. The sequence of instruction is:
- Scientific Methods and Technology
- Life Science
- Physical Science
- Earth and Space Science
The Social Studies assessments are designed to help adults understand their role as productive citizens in the United States. By developing an understanding of American History, Economic principles, Civics and Government, and Geography. All of these areas include the expectation students will know key influential people and events. By building background knowledge in these key areas, students can make inferences and apply knowledge to current events.
Social Studies. The sequence of instruction is:
- Civics and Government
- United States History
- Fundamental Economic Concepts
- Geography and the World
Math is often the most difficult subject for adults. At the most fundamental level, students need to develop strong number sense, algebraic thinking, problem solving, and familiarity with geometry and data analysis. These concepts are applied in real world scenarios for students.
Basic Math. The sequence of instruction is:
- Whole Numbers
- Fractions and Mixed Numbers
- Ratios and Proportions
Math. The sequence of instruction is:
- Introduction to Real Numbers
- Variables and Algebraic Expressions
- Introduction to Geometry
- Linear Inequalities in One Variable
- Linear Functions
- Polynomials and Factoring
- Rational Expressions
Providing a solid instructional foundation is critical for students preparing for their High School Equivalency Exams. By understanding the core elements of each test, students will improve their opportunities for being successful on any of the HSE exams.