Adult Basic Education (ABE) is available statewide at no cost to adult learners. It is administered through the Minnesota Department of Education. Each year, more than 500 delivery sites serve approximately 75,000 adult students. About one-half of these students are enrolled in English Learner (EL) programs. Licensed teachers provide ABE instruction and are assisted by more than 3,000 trained volunteers.
The ABE curriculum umbrella includes Adult Diploma, GED, English as a Second Language (ESL or EL), Family Literacy, Basic Skills Enhancement, Workplace Literacy, and U.S. Citizenship/Civics. Programs are delivered primarily through public school districts, non-profit organizations, some technical colleges, and state and local correctional institutions.
Last session, the Minnesota Legislature raised the K-12 age of compulsory attendance from 16 to 17. So you must be at least 17 years old, not enrolled in K-12 public or private school, and lack basic academic skills in reading, writing, speaking and/or mathematics in order to be eligible for ABE services.
Local contact information, policies, administration resources, and professional development opportunities related to ABE services can be found on the Minnesota Literacy Council website.
General Educational Development (GED) Test
In Minnesota, individuals who do not have a high school diploma may be able to earn a state of Minnesota GED® Diploma by passing the General Educational Development Test. The four tests in the GED battery measure academic competencies similar to many of those required of a Minnesota high school graduate.
If you are 19 years of age and are not currently enrolled in high school, you are eligible to take the GED® in Minnesota. If you are 17 or 18 years old and are not currently enrolled in high school, apply for an age waiver before testing. The waiver form and instructions are available below. In addition to the form, you will need to bring a valid, current government-issued photo ID to the testing site.
Warning Regarding Misleading GED® Claims
The state of Minnesota GED® Diploma cannot be earned or obtained on the Internet or through correspondence programs. The Tests of General Educational Development developed by the GED Testing Service® often require extensive preparation in order to demonstrate the high level of high school knowledge and academic skills needed to pass. Tests are administered only at Pearson VUE® Testing Centers under the direction of Pearson VUE® and the GED Testing Service. Any other GED diploma or “high school equivalency certificate based solely on the GED” not issued by the Minnesota Department of Education may not be accepted by employers, colleges and universities or the military.
GED® and the GED Testing Service® are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education® and may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the American Council on Education®.