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HS+ and GED® FAQs

What is the difference between HS+ and the GED®?

The certificate you receive after passing the GED® tests is a high school equivalency - a certification that shows that you possess the same general academic knowledge as if you had completed 12 years of school.

However, your GED® certificate may not be as widely accepted by employers as a high school diploma. You also may not have all the skills and knowledge that you will need to be successful in college-level classes or in the workplace. While you are earning credit in HS+, we will be helping you to develop critical skills for success in the college classroom and at your job. The GED® tests cannot offer you this type of preparation.

High School+

High School+ (HS+) is a program at WVC that provides an alternative way for students to earn a high school credential, using previously earned high school credit as well as life and work experience.

HS+ is a program by which you can earn high school credit in ABE classes and graduate with an actual high school diploma awarded by WVC and Washington State. It is not an equivalency like the GED® certificate; it's a real diploma.

If you are 18 years of age or older and lack a high school diploma, you can earn high school credit toward the HS+ diploma through ABE classes.

You may attend HS+ and earn your diploma even if you already have a GED® certificate. You do not have to have any previous high school credit to begin the HS+ program. 

Our High School+ classes are available online and in-person through our Wenatchee campus, our Omak campus, in Nespelem, and on a flexible schedule through SkillSource Wenatchee.

Washington state has set the credit requirements for high school completion. You must earn credits in English, math, history, science, health, fitness, occupational education, art, and electives to receive a diploma.

In our classes, you will complete projects and assignments designed to prove competency in these required subjects. Some assignments can help you demonstrate competencies in more than one subject; for example, you may be working on an assignment in your English class that will address learning goals in math, science, or history. Once you have completed a certain number of learning goals in a subject, we will award you high school credit in that area. There will be multiple ways to complete assignments and prove your abilities in each subject, and you may be working in pairs or groups with other students who need the same credits as you.

If you have previous high school credit, you must provide official copies of all transcripts to WVC for evaluation. You may provide them upon entry or at any time prior to diploma requirement completion, but the earlier you provide them, the more accurately we can assign you work to complete your credit requirements.

We also will accept certain certificates as proof of completing competency work that may be applied to your high school credit. If you have a certificate or proof of training that you think addresses a high school subject, you may present it for credit evaluation.

Students with non-U.S. high school credit need to have that credit translated and possibly externally evaluated before applying it for HS+. WVC has a list of recommended translation and evaluation agencies to which you can submit your transcripts. In some cases, students with non-US high school credit may find the GED® tests, or proceeding through HS+ without applying previous credit to be better options. But if you have a high school diploma in your country, we can help you to work with an external agency to get your diploma evaluated for US equivalency so that you could choose to proceed directly into college-level classes. It is not always necessary to earn a diploma or GED® certificate if you have a foreign credential that is equivalent to the US high school diploma.
No, and in some cases, it may make more sense to take the GED® tests and earn a High School Equivalency (HSE). Since the subject matter for the GED® tests in many cases overlaps what is required for HS+ completion, students can choose to take HS+ classes to prepare for the GED® exams.  One of the big advantages of HS+ is that you will have a very good idea from the start how long it will take to earn your HS+ diploma – something we are not really able to predict with the GED® tests. In all cases, once we see what your prior schooling and experience is, we will be able to help you choose which option is better for you: HS+ or the GED® tests.
You will pay the current adult basic education tuition and fee rate of $35 per quarter. This rate includes all ABE courses for the quarter, and all tests and materials associated with the classes.

General Educational Development (GED®) Tests

The GED® tests are a series of four tests (Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Math reasoning) designed to measure your skills and knowledge in that area to determine if you possess high school graduate-equivalent skills.  If you take all four tests and pass each test with a score of 145 or higher, you will receive a certificate of general educational equivalency that in most cases is equivalent to a high school diploma.

No. You may schedule and take any or all of your GED® tests without taking any preparatory classes.

You must be at least 16 years old. If you are under 19 years old, you must submit an official release form signed by an official at the last high school you attended or from your local school district office. You will need to submit this release form to the location at which you are signing up to take the GED® tests.

You must sign up for all tests online – we cannot schedule tests for you. Go to and create a user account. You will sign up for each of the four tests separately. It is not possible to take all four tests in a single day, and in any case it is highly recommended not to take more than one test per testing session.

Each test costs $30 - a total cost of $120 for all four tests.

There are several ways to prepare for the GED® tests:

  • You may take the MyGED online program
  • You may take Adult Basic Education courses at WVC
  • You may use a study guide (there are many available online or in book form, including at the WVC and public libraries).  If you choose to self-study in this manner, please make sure that you are using materials for the 2014 version of the GED® tests. Older versions meant for the 2002 GED® tests are not recommended.

The GED® Testing Service offers the GED Ready™ diagnostic tests on the website. Each test costs $6. 

Yes, the GED® tests are available in Spanish. The resulting certificate is still an equivalency certificate and is exactly as valid as the certificate earned by taking the test in English. However, taking the test in Spanish may not meet all of your college or career readiness needs; you may not be able to operate at levels of English language use needed for college classes or your workplace.

It is impossible for our department to predict a timetable for GED® test completion. Your starting educational level and experience, your ability to study and prepare, and your motivation will all be key roles in completing the four tests and receiving your equivalency certificate. This is different for every person. We do not promote timeline-style academic plans for GED® preparation and testing.

One thing that we can tell you for sure, though, is that there is no connection between spending time in our classes and passing the GED® tests. Our classes are not connected in any way to the GED® testing process, and the GED® equivalency certificate is meant to be the equivalent of twelve years of schoolwork – making it unlikely to be achieved at the end of ten or twenty weeks of class. We do not give out equivalency certificates at the end of any course of instruction, nor do we make any guarantees of success on the GED® based solely on class attendance

In 2014, the GED® tests were updated and revised extensively. The older tests (2002) were discontinued as of January 1, 2014. This means that any test results from before that date are no longer valid. (However, all equivalency certificates issued before that date are still valid.) This does not mean, however, that you have to start completely over; you probably still possess much of the basic knowledge in the GED® test subjects that is still applicable to the new tests. You may also be a good candidate to switch to the High School+ program.

Each has its merits. If you are a good test taker and already have much of the skills and knowledge required to pass the GED® tests, the GED® tests may be a quicker option, especially if you have little or no high school credit. If you are less comfortable with tests and have some high school credit, the High School+ program may be more suitable for you.

The military service will usually not accept GED® certificates, only high school diplomas. Certain employers may insist on a high school diploma.

Remember, you have the option to change from GED® prep to HS+ at any time while you are a student with our program. 

Not necessarily. If you are intending to go to college, you may be able to finish an associate’s degree and automatically receive a high school diploma on top of your GED®. We only recommend HS+ for GED® completers if you specifically need a high school diploma - for example, military enlistment or employment requirements - or if you know you want to build your English skills or academic experience before starting college-level classes.

 If you tested before January 2014, please visit to request a copy of your transcripts, if you have tested after January 2014 please visit