There are various reasons Iowa high school students face challenges completing the traditional high school coursework and trajectory, and goodness knows those challenges were amplified in a pandemic year. A recent news story on our standing in the results of a high school equivalency exam proves Iowans also don't leave important things unfinished in the midst of said challenges.  According to Iowa's News Now, Iowans led their counterparts across the country in the results of the HiSet exam.

What is the HiSet exam?

Based on information from their website, the HiSet exam is "built on the OCTAE College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education, the HiSET® exam gives out-of-school youth and adults the best opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge and earn a state-issued high school equivalency (HSE) credential."

While it is currently only administered in half the country (25 states and United States Territories), Iowa Department of Education director Ann Lebo highly touts its importance.

Achieving the highest passing rate on the HiSET is a testament to these hard-working Iowans and the quality of adult education and literacy programming provided through Iowa’s 15 community colleges. I commend these students for their hard work and the commitment of the adult education and literacy coordinators and instructors who are helping them take the next steps to postsecondary education, training and careers

Exactly how well did Iowa do?

Iowa has been administering the test since 2014, and to achieve its highest-in-the-nation passing grade meant that 1,003 of the state's students passed it. It's given in both written and online formats and includes testing on five subjects: writing/essay, social studies, science, math, and reading.

Last year, 95.9 percent of Iowa kids seeking a high school equivalency passed the HiSet exam, which is well above the national average of 80.5 percent.

Students age 16 or older wishing to learn more about how to participate in the HiSet exam program can visit this link at the Iowa Department of Education's website.

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