Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


High School Equivalency  (GED or HiSET)


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 can be taken either as a paper-pencil test or computer based.


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 pass 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 or an online test is $36.   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.


When can I start?

After attending our New Learner Orientation & TABE Testing, you can start classes!  Orientation and TABE testing are scheduled 2-3x each week. Sign up for a date that works best for your 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 Locator Reading and Math and then either the Math, Reading 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 in person classes at one location at this time.

AASD Adult Education Program at The ArtsAltoona Center, 2212 6th Avenue Second Floor, Altoona


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. Call us for more information about those class times.

What classes  are available?

We offer (Adult Basic Education) ABE Reading & Math and (Adult Secondary Education) ASE Reading & Math Pre HSE, HSE Prep and Refresher classes.


What happens in an Adult Education Class?

Our classes are Open Entry/Open Exit, meaning learners can enroll and start classes at anytime during the year, and exit when they have met their goal. The teacher teaches using a combination of group lessons and customized instruction.  Each learner works on assignments from the teacher in subjects and skills they want to practice. 


Regular attendance is very important when enrolled in our classes. Information taught each day builds on the previous day’s lesson.


Our 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 will discuss your options and your schedule for evening classes.


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.


Refresher Classes


Why did PA CareerLink (or OVR) refer me to your program to take the TABE Test?

The TABE test is an approved assessment that measures literacy and math skill levels of adults seeking WIOA funding. The PA CareerLink and community partners have WIOA funding available to assist you with the tuition costs of trade school certifications or college. WIOA (Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act) is a federal law designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.


Why does the PA CareerLink or OVR say I need to score at least a 577 on the TABE Math test to receive funding for training/college? What does the 577 mean?

To be eligible to receive WIOA funding, the adult must have math skills on at least an 8th grade level. The TABE Math score of 577 is equivalent to the beginning of 8th grade.


How long will I need to attend Refresher Classes?

The length of time you’ll need to attend Refresher Classes to brush-up on your math and reading skills will depend on your current math and reading levels. The more often you attend class and complete your Supplemental Distance Learning at home, the quicker you’ll learn the math concepts and your skills will improve. Our program requires that you attend classes for at least 15 hours and have at least 3 weeks between your pre and post TABE tests. However, very few learners successfully attain the 577 TABE Math score with only 3 weeks of instruction. Most learners attend 50-60 hours of instruction to learn the math concepts needed to attain the 577 TABE Score.