Pellissippi State: GED requirements change, free prep classes offered

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What could you accomplish if you didn’t complete high school but went back and earned your GED? Quite a lot, judging by the list of successful people who did just that. They include, for starters, Delaware’s governor, the founder of Wendy’s fast food chain, a NASA astronaut and the 17th surgeon general.

The Adult Education Program at Pellissippi State Community College offers free GED preparation classes that can help you prepare for and pass the GED test and get started on the life you deserve.

Whether you need to start studying for the GED or finish taking the multipart test, now is the time to do it, says Joan Newman, the college’s director of Adult Education. The reason is simple: The current version of the test (the 2002 series) changes at the end of 2013, and any incomplete scores expire at that time.

After that, test-takers will have to start all over again with the 2014 GED. That test will be based on emerging national and state standards. It will be delivered only on computer—no paper and pencil allowed—and it will be more expensive, Newman says.

“According to the statistics, there are more than a million working-age adults who have started but not finished the current GED test,” she said. “These adults need to complete the test as soon as possible. It will open doors to college, training and better jobs for them.”

The current GED arranged through the college is $65. The test contains five parts. They may be taken separately, but all parts must be passed to receive the corresponding credential.

The GED preparation classes offered at Pellissippi State are free.

“Our GED classes are also small in size,” said Newman, “and our teachers are knowledgeable, encouraging, and caring. They know how to work with adults and teach the material students need in order to pass the GED tests. Many students are ready to take the GED after only two to 12 weeks of study.”

Day and evening GED prep classes are available at several locations in the Knoxville area, and new student orientation sessions take place weekly. One-on-one tutoring is available, as are computer programs that students can access outside of class.

Instructors are available to help students reach their goals after passing the test, by connecting them with a Tennessee Career Center for employment information or a postsecondary institution such as Pellissippi State to enroll in a training program or college classes.

For information about class locations and upcoming orientation sessions, call the Adult Education Program at (865) 539-7109. To learn more about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit