Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between HiSET and GED?

Both the HiSET and GED are high school equivalency exams. The HiSET exam  is administered via paper or computer based testing, while the GED is only offered in a paper version. The only equivalency exam offered in Tennessee is the HiSET exam. 

How much does it cost to take HiSET prep classes?

In-person classes, online study, and the official HiSET exam (after 12+ hours of instruction and preparation) are all FREE to Tennessee residents.  

Is there an age limit on who can attend classes or take the exam?

Students must be 16 years of age to enroll in the Adult Education program and 17 years of age to take the official HiSET exam. Other than that, we have had students of all ages successful in completing the program. **Students under 18 require a special recommendation from the Superintendent of Schools and parental consent before beginning classes. 

How long does it take to complete the program? 

Students work at their own pace and therefore, there isn't a set time frame for completion of the program. However, in order to qualify for the FREE exam, students must attend in-person classes or do online study for a minimum of 12 hours. 

What is the process for enrollment?

Potential students can call 1-833-749-0779 to schedule an appointment with their local Adult Education facility.  When students arrive, they are given general paperwork to fill out.  After completing the registration paperwork, students then take a TABE 11 assessment.  The assessment assists our teachers with proper placement based on each student's individual educational needs.  During this time, we will go over the results and layout a plan which successfully guides students on the path to obtaining their equivalency diploma. 

What is on the HiSET exam?

The HiSET exam contains 5 subjects: Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Writing with an essay requirement. 

Are students required to take the full exam at one time?

No. Students are not required to all 5 subjects at the same time.  Instead, students choose which subjects they are ready and comfortable taking and can spread the exam out over multiple testing dates.  Once a passing score is received, the student does not need to retake the exam in that area. 

How many chances are there to pass the official exam?

If the test taker does not pass the exam the first time, they can try again 2 more times within the same year.  The State will pay for the associated retesting fees after a minimum of 12 hours instruction between each exam is completed. Once a student passes a subject, that subject does not need to be repeated. 

Are there any accommodations for parents with young children and working students?

The Upper Cumberland Adult Education program offers online study and day and evening class options available to all students. We work with students to the best of our ability to remove any barriers in the way of reaching their goals. 

Does the Upper Cumberland Adult Education program offer ESL (English as a Second Language) classes?

Yes. The UCAE program does offer ESL classes and online study. These classes are beneficial for anyone needing to learn or improve their English reading, writing, and comprehension skills.

Are there HiSET prep and ESL classes near me?

Tennessee offers classes all across the state. The Upper Cumberland Adult Education program offers classes in the following locations:

  • Cannon
  • Clay
  • Cumberland
  • DeKalb
  • Fentress
  • Jackson
  • Macon
  • Overton
  • Pickett
  • Putnam
  • Smith
  • Van Buren
  • Warren
  • White

Please call 1-833-749-0779 for registration and meeting schedules for the UCAE program. For information about classes outside the Upper Cumberland area, phone 1-844-224-5818 or email [email protected].


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