Sometimes, circumstances arise that make it difficult for some students to attend and complete their high school studies. There are many reasons why people might not finish high school; but whatever the reasons, they still have a chance at a promising future by earning a high school equivalency credential. The High School Equivalency Program in Texas allows students who are at risk of dropping out of high school or those who previously dropped out of school to earn a high school equivalency credential in place of a diploma.

The High School Equivalency Program (HSEP) is offered to people who want a recognized/state-approved education credential, an alternative to a high school diploma, so they can have access to higher education or get jobs, most of which require such documentation. The program provides an alternative opportunity for the success of at-risk students and those who dropped out of high school before earning a diploma.

There are specific requirements for student eligibility to participate in the HSEP in Texas. The main requirements include a minimum student age of 16 years (at the beginning of the school year or semester), application at least two school years after the student first enrolled in the ninth grade, and the completion of fewer than one-third of the credits required for graduation by the student applicant.

HSEP students must take an assessment test at an authorized testing center to receive a high school equivalency credential. They are required to register for an HSEP exam, after the district high school submits an “authorization to test” form noting participation in the program. Upon the successful completion of a single provider’s exams, the test taker will be issued a State of Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency. Sometimes students in the program have to travel outside of their assigned school district or education region to take the test; they can reach out for more information from HSEP contacts at the specific location closest to them—the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has a list of HSEP program locations published online.

Though HSEP test-takers are not required to take any preparatory classes or practice tests, it is advisable that they do if possible. Many people experience nervousness ahead of taking an exam or test, and advanced preparation can be the key to overcoming test anxiety. Though they experience nervousness ahead of exams, they should know that it is a normal response and a signal to prepare so they can feel more confident on test day.


HSEP participants can prepare for the equivalency exam by engaging the services of a tutor. Tots ‘N Tutors is a professional mobile and remote tutoring company based in Austin, Texas. Tots ‘N Tutors offers support to anyone who needs academic assistance. The caring and capable tutors provide support to people as they attempt to achieve their academic goals, either traditionally or by way of a high school equivalency program. Tots ‘N Tutors is ready to offer quality services through structured tutoring tailored to the individual needs of their clients. Our learning guides are available to meet with each student individually or multiple students in small groups, either in person or via a video teleconference platform. Contact Tots ‘N Tutors today to discuss the in-person and virtual availability of tutors who are committed to helping clients stay on track throughout their educational journeys, regardless of which avenue they travel to reach their goals.

Written by Erika Mehlhaff