How do I earn my High School Equivalency (HSE) credential?
To earn your HSE in Pennsylvania, you must pass all subtests of either the GED or the HiSET exam. The GED exam consists of 4 subtests (Math, Reasoning Through Language, Science and Social Studies) and is taken on a computer. The HiSET exam consists of 5 subtests (Math, Reading, Writing, Science and Social Studies) and is a paper-pencil test.
Learners do not take all of the subtests in one sitting. We encourage our learners to focus on learning one or two subjects at a time and passing those subjects. Then focus on learning and passing the remaining subject(s).
How much does it cost?
We will never charge you for our services. TABE tests, GED Official Practice Tests, classes, and instructional materials are provided free of charge. We are funded by your state and federal tax dollars.
When you take your GED or HiSET exam, you will pay the testing service directly for the subtest(s) you take. Each GED subtest is $30. HiSET subtests costs $23 each.
Why is it called a High School Equivalency credential and not a “GED” anymore?
The credential you earn is your High School Equivalency. GED is the company who develops the GED exam.
How long will it take to get my HSE?
How long it takes depends entirely on you. Learners who attend class regularly and are focused on learning are more likely to pass the GED or HiSET exams in a short amount of time. Another factor to consider is the grade at which you left junior high or high school. Typically, people who left school in 11th grade have less information to learn than someone who left school in 8th grade. We’ve helped adults earn their GED in a month and others took a year or more. Each person is different. Our best advice is to attend class regularly, approach your goal with determination, trust our staff to guide you, and give yourself the time you need to learn the content.
Can I get my HSE if I’m only 17yrs old?
No, you must be 18yrs old to take the GED or the HiSET exam, unless you have special permission from the PA Department of Education. However, you may enroll in adult education classes if you are 17 and not currently enrolled in high school.
When can I start?
After attending our New Learner Orientation & TABE Testing, you can start classes! Orientation and TABE testing are scheduled 3-4 times/month. Sign up for a date that works best for your schedule! Visit our website for the Orientation & TABE Testing schedule.
Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE)
What is the TABE test?
TABE is the Test of Adult Basic Education. Before you start class, you will take the TABE Math, Reading, and/or Language test. Then, our Student Support Coordinator will meet with you to explain the results of your TABE. Your teacher(s) will use your results to plan your instruction. They will identify skill areas you do well and others that will require more practice to reach your goal..
Classes are Free of Charge / Locate a Class Near You
Where are classes held?
In Blair County, we offer classes at 4 different locations.
- AASD Community Education Center, 200 East Crawford Ave (formerly Stevens School), Altoona
- PA CareerLink Blair, 3001 Fairway Drive, Altoona
- Juniata United Methodist Church, 808 North 4th Street, Altoona (Juniata section of Altoona)
- The Nehemiah Project Wright, 1809 11th Street, Altoona
We also offer classes in Huntingdon, Mount Union and McConnellsburg.
Call us for more information about a class location near you. (814-946-8330)
When do classes meet?
We realize adult learners have adult responsibilities, such as jobs, children, and ever-changing schedules. Learners can sign up for the class(es) that fit their schedule the best. Classes meet during morning, afternoon and evening times. If your personal schedule happens to change while enrolled in a class, please just let us know! We want to help you reach your goal! We can adjust your class schedule so you can continue working towards your goal.
We also offer classes in Huntingdon, Mount Union and McConnellsburg. Call us for more information about those class times.
What classes are available?
We have (Adult Basic Education) ABE Reading & Math and (Adult Secondary Education) ASE Reading & Math Managed Classes at the AASD Community Education Center. Our Open Classes are held at Juniata United Methodist Church, The Nehemiah Project Wright, PA CareerLink Blair. Career Prep classes include Healthcare Fundamentals, Healthcare Math, LPN Prep, Fast Track Math, Algebra, Geometry, Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology, and College Prep Math. Career Prep classes are held at the CEC and at the Greater Altoona Career & Tech Center.
How is a Managed Class different than an Open Class?
In an Open Class, the teacher moves from student to student to teach and support each person. Each learner works on assignments from the teacher in subjects and skills they want to practice. An open class resembles a study hall.
A Managed class is a traditional classroom. The teacher teaches a lesson to the whole class. Regular attendance is very important when enrolled in a managed class. Information taught each day builds on the previous day’s lesson.
Both Managed and Open classes have a combination of learners. Some are preparing for their HSE exams and others already earned their high school diploma and are attending classes to brush-up on their Reading, Math, and/or Language skills. Every learner is aiming to reach their own personal goals.
I work during the day, can I attend class in the evening?
Yes, we have an Open Class and our Career Prep classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5PM-7:30PM at the AASD Community Education Center, 200 East Crawford Ave. Altoona. We also offer special 4-week sessions of our Career Prep classes at the GACTC from 4:30-7PM.
What are Career Prep classes?
Career Prep classes help to prepare adults to begin a Career Training program. These classes are an excellent way for adults to get back into the groove of learning if they’ve been away from school for a while or if they simply want to refresh their skills again! Most of these classes center around the Healthcare fields. They are not the actual career training.
Will there be a lot of other students in my class?
Each class has between 5-10 students. Our students receive a lot of individual attention from our teachers allowing them to accomplish their goals at their own pace.