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Recommending Passing Scores for the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) HiSET

Tannenbaum, Richard J.; Reese, Clyde M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), Standard Setting, Cut Scores, Passing Scores


Standard-setting workshops were conducted with 84 educators to recommend passing scores for the 5 HiSET tests: Language Arts–Reading, Language Arts–Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. All tests included multiple-choice items; the HiSET Language Arts–Writing test also included an essay. A variation of a modified Angoff method was applied to the multiple-choice items, and a variation of an Extended Angoff method was applied to the essay prompt. When expressed as a percentage of the number of multiple-choice points available, the passing scores ranged from 52% to 60%; the median was 58%. The recommended passing score for the essay prompt was 3 on a 6-point rubric. Procedural and internal sources of evidence support the reasonableness of the recommended passing scores.

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