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frequently asked questions


                                                                                                          Adult Education Home   


1. When/where do adult education classes meet?

GED, ESL, and Adult Reading classes are held in the morning and evening hours at various locations across DeKalb, Jackson, and Marshall Counties. Open enrollment permits students from all levels to enroll at any time. These FREE classes allow students to gain academic instruction from very basic skills up to a college level. Click here to view class locations and schedules.



2. How can I contact my Adult Education Instructor?

Students may contact their Adult Education Instructors to let them know they are going to be absent from class, are having technological difficulties, or if they have any questions pertaining to class. They may call or email their instructor using the contact information found in the staff directory



3. How will I know when classes are closed due to bad weather?

During inclement weather, pay close attention to your local radio and TV stations. Your class will do whatever the local school district (where your class is located) decides to do. Most importantly, use your best judgment in deciding whether or not to travel to class; your safety is top priority.



4. What is ESL?

Individuals for whom English is not their native language are usually directed, at least initially, to an ESL class. ESL stands for English as a Second Language; however, we also incorporate civics skills. Emphasis here for the beginning student is on acquiring conversation and survival skills in English. More advanced learners tackle difficult vocabulary, confusing usages (like idioms) and greater concentration on reading and writing English. Many ESL learners go on to enroll in reading or GED classes.



5. What is the GED test?

GED stands for General Educational Development. The GED test is a four-subject high school equivalency test that measures skills required by high schools and requested by colleges and employers. The four subjects assessed are science, social studies, mathematical reasoning, and reasoning through language arts. The test may be taken in Spanish, but it is generally taught only in English. A basic knowledge of English is strongly recommended.


6. How much time does it take to complete the GED Test?

The complete battery is about 7 hours long with the timing for each subject as follows:

  • Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA)-150 minutes (including a 10-minute break)

  • Mathematical Reasoning- 115 minutes

  • Science- 90 minutes

  • Social Studies- 90 minutes

* Please Note: If you schedule all four parts of the test on the same day, you will need to schedule the parts separately to include a lunch break. If you do not schedule the tests separately, test-takers will only have a short ten-minute break before the next test begins.


7. How long will it take me to get fully prepared to take the GED Test?

The time required to prepare for the test varies. Some factors include the length of time out of school, the highest grade completed, how much time will be spent studying and if a person has continued to develop learning skills. Usually, an instructor can give learners a general idea of how long the process will take after the initial academic assessment is performed. After classroom preparation, our enrollees may take GED Ready:the official GED Practice Test. This practice test gives the student a good indication of what their scores will be like on the actual GED Test.



8. Who is allowed to take the GED test?

The requirements to take the GED exam specify that a person is not enrolled in a K-12 school and has not previously earned a high school diploma. Those 18 and over have no additional requirements, however 16 and 17 year-olds must meet additional criteria:

A public school student aged 16 may attend class with a Certificate of Exemption signed by his/her local superintendant. This should be very rare, because the legal dropout age is 17.

A public school student aged 17 may attend class or take the GED Test with a copy of the Student Exit Interview Form from the school system. If the student has been classified as a "no show" for the exit interview it will be documented on the form. Refusal to attend the Exit Interview will not bar a student from enrolling in an adult education class, but he/she must present a notarized letter from his/her parent or legal guardian stating that the student has dropped out of school and has permission to enroll in an adult education program and take the GED Test.

A student aged 16 or 17 who has dropped out of private school, church school, or a private tutor program may attend class with a notarized letter from his/her parent or legal guardian. This letter should name the school, provide the drop-out date, state the student has dropped out of school and has permission to enroll in an adult education program and take the GED Test.

Students, who are 17 years of age and have dropped out of school in a state other than Alabama, may enroll in an Alabama Adult Education Program if they provide written proof of withdrawal from the high school administration of  the out-of-state school from which they dropped out.


9. How much does it cost to take the GED?

The test costs $30 for each subject area, or a total of $120. Retests are available for $10 per section for the first 2 times. After three (3) total tries, the price resets to $30 per section. Examinees may schedule tests separately and only take the subjects they are prepared for.



10. If I fail a subject, when can I retake that subject and what is the cost?

You are required to wait 30 days before taking the subject again. The first two retakes will be $10 if the retakes occur within one year. An examinee must make a minimum score of 150 on each part of the test in order to pass. Candidates who are unsuccessful at passing all four parts only have to retest on the part(s) that do not meet the minimum score requirements.


11. Where do I take the GED test?

GED testing centers are located throughout Alabama, with two centers in our area at Northeast Alabama Community College and Snead State Community College. Prospective GED examinees can phone Northeast at 256-638-2957 or 256-228-0021 or Snead at 256-840-4151 for scheduling/testing information. Applicants must register and pay online prior to testing. However, the test cannot be taken anywhere other than an approved testing facility.


12. What items should I bring with me on the day of the test?

You only need to bring your ID with you on the day of the test. GED examinees must provide a valid photo ID, such as a driver's license or learner's permit, passport, national/state/country identification card, or any other form of government-issued ID card. You must register using the exact name on your ID.

All other items (i.e. jackets, hats, wallets, keys, purses, etc.) will be locked in a locker while you test. No food or drinks are allowed in the testing facility.



13. How do I register to take the GED test?

The test is only available on computer in Alabama and must be taken at an official GED Testing Center. Our testing centers do not offer on-site registration. To register and pay for the test, test-takers must go to or call 1-877-EXAM-GED (392-6433).


14. What happens if I need to reschedule my GED test?

Examinees should be able to reschedule their exam as long as you contact GED Testing Service/Pearson VUE at least 24 hours in advance. Emergency situations would be handled through Pearson as well.
Contact (800) 626-9433.



15. How will I get my scores?

Test-takers will be able to log into their MYGED account on and see their scores any time they want. It would always be a few clicks away. Students could even access scores on their smart phones.
Once an examinee has passed all four subjects, they will be mailed an official high school equivalency diploma from the state.



16. What do my scores mean?

The 2014 GED scale runs from 100 to 200, with 150 scaled score points as the Passing Standard for high school equivalency and 170 scaled score points as the GED Score with Honors, reflective of readiness for career and college. To pass the test in Alabama, you must score 150 points on each of the four tests/modules.



17. When is the GED Graduation?

Each May we enjoy celebrating our students' progress with a GED graduation. Invitations are mailed out approximately four weeks prior to the graduation date. Anyone who has passed the GED and has not attended a previous graduation is eligible to attend, but pre-registration is required. Please call the adult education office at 256-638-2957 or 256-228-0021 if you have any questions.



18. I lost my GED certificate. What steps do I need to take to get an additional copy of my scores?

To request your certificate, transcripts, verification or name change, you must fill out GED Form 3. It costs $10 to get your certificate, and payment must be made with cash, a money order or a certified bank check in the correct amount and payable to GED Testing Program. The Department of Postsecondary Education does not accept personal checks or credit cards. Return completed GED Form 3, copies of required identification, and payment to:
GED Testing Program
P.O. Box 302130, Montgomery, AL 36130
**Priority or Express mail address: 135 S. Union Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104**



19. Are GED Graduates eligible for college scholarships?

Yes! If you have scored well on the GED test, apply for a GED scholarship! Full-tuition 2-year scholarships and summer scholarships are given out each year to GED graduates with the top test scores. Other private scholarships, such as the Pete Turnham Scholarship, are given out specifically to GED recipients. Additionally, a scholarship for one FREE college class is awarded to all students who have passed the GED test.



20. I have received my GED, and now I am considering going to college. Who should I contact to help me make the transition to college?

Our Program Assistant Juliah Sanford helps students make the transition to college by assisting students with the application process, exploring financial aid opportunities, deciding on a major, and answering any other questions you might have about attending college. Contact Juliah Sanford by calling 256-638-2957 or 256-228-0021 or send an email to



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