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As you consider pursuing Adult Education, you may have some general questions. Below you will find the most common FAQ's with answers and links to additional information.



  1. What offerings or services are provided through local adult education and family literacy programs?

     Adult education encompasses many different programs. These programs include the following: English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), Pre-GED, General Educational Development (GED), GED Illinois Online, and Family Literacy. Each program offers unique services to fit your needs as a learner. You and your local provider will work together to find the best educational courses to fit your needs.

     There is no cost to enroll in Illinois Community College Board funded programs around the state. If you are interested in finding your local free adult education and family literacy provider, the online Provider Locator can assist you in doing this. Click on the link below to access the Provider Locator.
    Note: This link will open a separate browser window.


  3. How long will it take to get my GED?

     This is not an easy question to answer. It all depends. First, it depends on your skill level when you enter the GED program. Your skill level is assessed with a basic test. This test does not determine success level or intelligence. It is just a starting point so that the program can begin with materials that are appropriate for you. The rest depends on your study habits and commitment to regularly attending classes. Once you contact your local adult education program, they will give you information on when you can begin working toward your GED.


  5. What do I need to do to get my GED?

     First, you need to locate a program near you. You can do this by using the Provider Locator ( You can also locate a program by calling The Illinois Adult Learning Hotline: (800) 321-9511. Once you have found a program, you need to make contact with the program to find out what you need to do to become involved and to begin working toward your GED. Before you contact your local program, you need to develop a plan of action concerning child care issues, transportation barriers, and work conflicts. Many programs can help you by providing referrals to other agencies that can assist you overcome these barriers. However, you are responsible for requesting the necessary information or referrals and following through with suggested resources in order to overcome any potential barriers to becoming a successful GED candidate. If you have taken your GED test previously and need to locate your scores, contact your original adult education program and request information about locating official GED test scores.
    Note: This link will open a separate browser window.


  7. How much will the GED Test cost?

     There is no cost to taking GED preparation classes. However, the fee for the test is $35.00 for the entire battery. (All Five Exams) You must take all exams the first time. If you do not successfully complete all areas, you only need to re-take the subject area where you need to improve your scores. At that time, each individual exam except Language Arts Writing is $5.00. The Language Arts Writing exam is $10.00.


  9. What is on the GED Test?

      The GED Test is divided into five separate sub-tests, each reflecting a different content area. For more information about each test, select the following link (link to gedillinois site that details the information) The chart below will help you understand the time limits and number of questions for each test.

    Test Area Number of Questions Time Limit (minutes)
    Language Arts, Writing, Part I
    Language Arts, Writing, Part II
    Social Studies 50 70
    Science 50 80
    Language Arts, Reading 40 65
    Mathematics, Part I- Calculator
    Part 2 - No Calculator
    TOTAL 240 + Essay 435=7 1/4hr.

    Language Arts, Writing

      The Language Arts Writing Test has two parts: Part I- 50 multiple-choice questions and Part II - Essay writing. These two parts are scored independently and combined into one score. If you do not pass the essay portion, you will be required to take the entire Language Arts Writing Test again.

      In Part I, the candidate's knowledge of standard written English will be tested. This will be accomplished by using business communications such as letters, memos, and reports; "how to" texts such as leasing a car and planning a trip; and informational documents such as the history of chocolate. These documents are 12 to 18 sentences long, and, when corrected, are examples of good writing. Candidates will demonstrate their ability in (1) correction - sentence structure, grammar and usage, capitalization, and punctuation; (2) revision - rewriting sentence using correct sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation; and (3) construction shift - changing sentence structure to improve or clarify meaning.

      Part II requires one to compose an expository essay and support the essay through personal observations, knowledge, and experience. A single topic will be provided, and 45 minutes will be allowed to write on the assigned essay topic. The test directions encourage planning the essay, making notes before writing, and revising and editing the final product. An answer sheet booklet and scratch paper for prewriting and drafting and two lined pages for the final draft will be provided. Two evaluators will score the essay according to its overall effectiveness. Their evaluation will be based on the following features: well-focused main points, clear organization, specific development of the tester's ideas, control of sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, word choice and spelling. A passing score is required on Part II - Essay to pass the Language Arts Writing Test. A tester that does not pass the Part II - Essay will be notified by mail of this fact and will be required to take the entire Language Arts Writing Test again.

    Social Studies

      The Social Studies Test is designed to measure the candidate's ability to understand and use knowledge, information about important social studies concepts, principles, developments, and issues in national and global contexts taught in a high school social studies education. It has 50 multiple-choice questions. The Social Studies Test includes U.S. history, world history, civics and government, economics, and geography. In the questions, candidates will see portions of these fundamental historical documents: Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Federalist Papers, and landmark Supreme Court cases. Visuals and graphics will play a prominent role in this test appearing in 30 questions. They may be in the form of maps, graphs, charts, tables, diagrams, political cartoons, and photographs. The Social Studies Test will also include a "practical" document such as a budgeting form, tax information, consumer protection policy, or voter guide. To successfully complete this test, candidates will need to be able to read passages, interpret the visuals, apply this knowledge to a new situation or examine relationships, and make decisions based on the data presented.


      The Science Test is designed to measure the candidate's ability to apply science knowledge, and the intellectual ability to participate in civic and cultural affairs, and ability to become an economically productive citizen. There are 50 multiple-choice questions:


    • Twenty-three questions will be from
    • Life Science- biology, environmental, and health topics - recycling, pollution, disease prevention, climate and heredity; eleven questions from
    • Earth and Space Science and sixteen questions from
    • Physical Science-chemistry and physics.

      These questions will be divided into six categories:


    • 30 items will address fundamental understandings.
    • Two items will address 'unifying concepts and processes.'
    • four items will address 'science as inquiry,'
    • two items will address 'science and technology,'
    • Eight items will address 'science in personal and social perspective.
    • Four items will address 'history and nature of science.

      Visuals will play a significant role in the Science Test. They will be in 25 of the 50 questions on the test. They will be in form of graphs, tables, photographs, and cartoons. Interpretation of non-text data (visuals) is seen as a natural and integral part of the scientific arena.

    Language Arts, Reading

      The Language Arts Reading Test is designed to evaluate the candidate's ability to read a variety of passages reflecting diversity in perspective (e.g., gender, ethnicity, age, and religion). The passages will range in length from 300 to 400 words and will include one poem (8 to 25 lines), and one excerpt from a drama. The test will have 30 questions from literature and 10 questions from nonfiction sources. Each passage will be preceded by a "purpose question" to provide a framework and a purpose for reading. Each passage will be followed by a series of multiple-choice questions that require the candidate to demonstrate reading language arts skills at several levels of difficulty. The literature passages are selected from three periods: Pre - 1920, 1920-1960, and 1960-present. Nonfiction passages can come from biographies, critical reviews of fine or performing arts, and business documents. Examples of business documents that might be included would be excerpts from an employee handbook or contract/lease agreement.


      The Mathematics Test measures the candidate's ability to solve or find the best method to solve mathematical problems typical of those studied in high school mathematics courses. In today's world, many workers are expected to be able to use statistics, logic, probability, and measurement systems. The Mathematics Test reflects these changes as well as the national and state standards in mathematics. The test will cover four major areas: (1)number operations and number sense, (2)measurement and geometry; (3)data analysis, statistics and probability; and (4) algebra, functions, and patterns. Math problems are presented in practical, everyday contexts and address more than one math concept. There are 50 questions with 50% including visuals such as graphs, charts, diagrams, or tables. Two separate booklets are used for the Mathematics Test with one answer sheet and one score for the test. Booklet 1 has 25 questions and the use of a calculator will be permitted. Each candidate will receive a calculator to use for this portion of the test, an information sheet on its use, and time to become familiar with the calculator prior to taking the GED Test. The Casio fx 260 solar scientific calculator is the calculator selected for the GED Test. Booklet 1 has 18 questions with multiple-choice answers and seven questions with answers to be filled into grids. Booklet 2 has 25 questions, and the calculator is not permitted. Twenty-two questions have multiple-choice answers, and three of the questions require answers to be filled into grids. To complete the Mathematics Test successfully, the candidate must recognize the appropriate procedural setup required for finding a solution. Testers must be able to determine whether sufficient information to solve the problem is given. Remember, a formula page is included as part of the GED Test for testers to use.


To Submit A Question

  To submit a question click on the email address below and send your question to ICCB.

  Questions submitted this way will be answers within 30 days of submission. If your question requires a faster response call the Illinois Community College Board's Adult Education and Family Literacy Division at 217.558.4679.