Homeschool and High-School Diploma Equivalent Tests (CHSPE and GED)
Tests provide a limited means of measuring test-taking ability and maybe other things. Don't let them be any kind of measure of who your kids are. They can, however, serve important practical purposes such as high school completion or college admissions and credit.
There are two tests by means of which to earn a high-school-diploma-equivalent certificate: the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) and the General Educational Development (GED). The CHSPE has a narrower focus and tests skills and knowledge in reading, math, writing, and language. The GED includes these areas and also tests in science and social studies. Opinions vary about which test is more difficult, and different perceptions probably arise from kids with different strengths. The GED is more widely known and may be more readily accepted, although it is a myth that the CHSPE Certificate is unacceptable outside California.
In California (different states have different rules), anyone 18 or older can take the GED, and there are exceptions for somewhat younger people under some circumstances. It is administered by adult education schools in public school districts and is offered frequently. Contact your local adult school for information on the GED or call the GED Office at the California Department of Education at (800) 331-6316.
The CHSPE may be taken by anyone who, on the day of the exam, is 16 or older, or has finished the tenth grade, or is enrolled in the second semester of the tenth grade. This exam is offered two or three times a year at test sites throughout the state. CHSPE information bulletins can be found at high schools and libraries or at http://www.chspe.net/. For questions not answered in the bulletin, call (866) 342-4773. There is a great deal of misinformation about the CHSPE floating around, especially within the public schools. Check the official bulletin to confirm anything you hear. A student who passes the CHSPE still has the right to attend public high school if desired.
Reprinted with the permission of the HomeSchool Association of California. © 2007–2008 by HomeSchool Association of California. All rights reserved.
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