Preparing Your Home Schooler for the HSE

Posted by on September 17th, 2015

As your home schooler nears the end of his secondary schooling, you both are sure to be thinking about next steps. Though each state has different requirements for home school graduates, most post-secondary educational institutions, the military and many jobs have a distinct requirement for entry. Part of your next step plan should include preparing your home schooler for the HSE exam or GED® test. Below are 10 ways to prepare your home schooler for High School Equivalency testing.

  1. Find out which test is used by your state for high school equivalency. As of 2014 the GED test is no longer the only secondary equivalency test. Other tests include the HiSET® exam and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ (TASC). Each state has been allowed to adopt one of these three to meet their equivalency requirements.
  2. Identify the content covered by each test. The GED exam now covers science and social studies in addition to reading comprehension and math. Your student should study each area thoroughly.
  3. Utilize test preparation resources. Many resources, including books and study guides, are available to assist you with test preparation. PrepPath is an online resource with materials and practice tests readily available.
  4. Consider a test preparation program. A number of test preparation programs are available to students through local school districts, educational facilities and independent providers. This may be a helpful option especially if your home schooler is not as familiar with standardized testing.
  5. Learn the test format. Each high school equivalency exam has a specific format. Typically, they include a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions delivered via computer. Help your student by knowing what to expect.
  6. Review the directions. Familiarizing your student with the test directions should be a part of testing preparation. Remind your student to read the directions carefully on test day as well.
  7. Practice Testing.  Practice tests are available for students seeking to take the GED test. The practice tests are a tool to reinforce the formatting and directions while helping students identify areas of strength and weakness.
  8. Use a timer. The sections on the high school equivalency exams are timed. Using a timer during preparation activities can help your student get acquainted with the amount of time they have for each portion. This will also help them prepare to complete the written response sections in a timely manner.
  9. Make studying a regular habit. As these exams carry a lot of weight, it is important to make studying a regular habit.  Students should be exposed to content and preparation materials on a frequent and consistent basis.
  10. Practice stress reduction. A final component of your test preparation should be to practice reducing stress and anxiety. There are many ways to combat test-related stress including eating a balanced diet , exercising and breathing techniques. Help your student identify which methods work best for them.


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