What's on the HiSET: Math

The HiSET Mathematics Test assesses your ability to reason with numbers. You will have 90 minutes to answer 50 multiple-choice questions that will target skills such as:

  • Performing number operations to solve problems
  • Solving word problems
  • Understanding proportions and percentages
  • Interpreting graphic representations of data
  • Finding averages
  • Understanding and performing operations with algebraic expressions
  • Solving linear and quadratic equations
  • Solving problems using geometric formulas



On the Mathematics Test, two tools will be available to you to help you answer questions.
Calculator: Whether you take the paper or computer version of the HiSET exam, you will have access to a calculator for the Mathematics Test. See below for more information.
Formula sheet: You will also be provided with a formula sheet that lists common mathematical formulas.

A Note About Calculators

The Mathematics test is calculator neutral. This means that a calculator is not required and you are NOT allowed to bring one with you on Test Day. If you are taking the paper version of the test and request a calculator, however, the test center is required to provide either a four-function or scientific calculator (the type of calculator provided is at the testing center’s discretion). Please refer to the state policies for the state in which you are testing. If you are taking the computer version of the test, an on-screen calculator is available to you that you can access at any time during the test. It contains all of the basic functions you’ll need: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root.
While it is unknown which calculator you will receive on Test Day (if taking the paper version of the test), for illustrative purposes, this lesson will walk you through how to use one sample scientific calculator, the Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiViewTM. On this calculator, you use the white numeric keypad to enter numbers, the decimal point, and the negative sign (–) for a negative number such as −213. The operation keys, on the right, allow you to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. The four arrows at the top right of the calculator allow you to move the on-screen cursor up, down, left, or right as needed. The delete key to the left of the arrows allows you to correct mistakes as you work.
The following Casio® calculators have the same basic key functions as the TI-30XS MultiView™, but some of the keys are in different locations and/ or have slightly different symbolic representation for various functions. For example, the Casio® calculators use an “equals” key, whereas the TI-30XS MultiView™ has a button that says “enter,” which performs the same function.

  • Casio FX-115ES PLUS
  • Casio FX-115MS PLUS
  • Casio FX-300ES PLUS

Question 1
The scale on a map reads, “2 cm = 150 km.” How many kilometers would be represented by a distance of 4.6 centimeters?
A. 300
B. 345
C. 690
D. 830
E. 1,380

B. 345
Calculate: 2 cm / 150 km = 4.6 cm / x km ; 150 × 4.6 ÷ 2 = 345.

Question 2
If the length of the diameter of a sphere is 8, how many square units is its surface area?
A. 16π
B. 64π
C. 256π
D. 512π
E. 768π

B. 64π
The formula for the surface area of a sphere uses the radius, and the radius is half the diameter, so 8 ÷ 2 = 4 = r. Now use the formula for the surface area of a sphere: SA = 4πr^2 = 4 × π × 4^2 = 64π.

Question 3
Cynthia is 6 times as old as Rebecca. In 6 years, Cynthia will be only 3 times as old as Rebecca. How old is Rebecca now?
A. 3
B. 4
C. 8
D. 12
E. 18

B: 4 Cynthia’s age right now is six times Rebecca’s, or 6r. Thus, in six years, Cynthia will be 6r + 6 years old, and Rebecca will be r + 6 years old. Write an equation and solve for r: 6r + 6 = 3(r + 6).

Question 4
What is the sum of the coefficients in the expression a − 3b − c + 2d?
A. -3
B. -1
C. 1
D. 2
E. 3

B. -1 The coefficients in this expression are 1, −3, −1, and 2. Add those values: 1 + (−3) + (−1) + 2 = −1