People who did not finish high school have a hard time finding decently paying employment and do not qualify for a college education. For these people, the HSE (high school equivalency) program may be a great option as it offers them the chance to earn an equivalent degree.
West Virginia stopped using the GED® for HSE testing and switched to the TASC™ exam (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) a few years back.
West Virginia High School Equivalency Testing Requirements
- Test-takers cannot already possess a high school diploma.
- Test-takers cannot be registered for some other school program.
- In West Virginia, the minimum age for HSE testing is 16, but test takers 16 or 17 years old must have parental consent and have permission from their school district.
- West Virginia does not require test takers to first take a TASC practice test.
West Virginia is one of only four states that offer High School Equivalency testing entirely for free.
So the test is only available to state residents. The five TASC subtests will require just under eight hours to complete, usually divided over a couple of days, and include the production of an essay. The TASC exam is modular meaning you can, if you wish, take the five subtests one at a time.
West Virginia replaced the GED® (General Education Development) with the cheaper TASC in January 2014. The GED was getting very expensive and is offered exclusively in a computer-based format whereas the TASC is available both on-paper and on-computer though, in West Virginia, only computer-based testing is allowed.
The TASC has five tests in the academic subject fields of Math, Language Writing, Language Reading, Science, and Social Studies.
The West Virginia High School Equivalency (HSE) credential is equivalent to a standard high school diploma and is recognized and accepted by virtually all American employers, government agencies, and institutions of higher education.
So in West Virginia, the TASC is free for WV residents and most prep sites in the state are providing prep classes at no charge as well. To pass the five TASC subtests, you need to attain at least a 500 score (out of 800) on each subtest and your essay must have at least a 2-score (out of a possible 8). So your overall TASC score cannot be less than 2500 points.
The TASC exam is quite challenging. The passing standards are set up in such a way that of all high school graduates, some 40 percent would not be able to pass the exam on the first try so be wise and get optimally prepared.
You can attend a physical TASC prep class (offered all over West Virginia) or sign up for a well-respected online GED prep course, an ideal solution for students living in remote areas and those with busy schedules.
Whichever way you prefer, just make sure you’ll get optimally prepared to take the West Virginia High School Equivalency test successfully. Online TASC testing is not possible. You must come to an official WV testing center and sit for the five tests in person.