Adult Basic Education FAQs

What is Adult Basic Education?

Adult Basic Education provides opportunities for Minnesota adults to acquire basic education skills:

  • necessary for literate functioning and meeting their responsibilities with family and community,
  • to benefit from post-secondary and job-training programs,
  • to achieve high school equivalency, and
  • to achieve self-sufficiency.

Who can take Adult Basic Education classes?

Adults who are 17 years old or older who are not enrolled in secondary school and who are functioning below the 12th grade level in basic academic areas, including reading, math, writing and speaking English.

What's the difference between GED and Adult Diploma?

An Adult Diploma is awarded by a recognized Minnesota School District based on a learner satisfying that district's prescribed graduation requirements.

The GED Diploma is granted by the State of Minnesota to learners who meet the passing requirements of the five-subject Tests of Educational Development (GED).

How can you decide whether to get your GED or Adult Diploma?

If an adult needs only a small number of credits to complete his/her high school diploma requirements and has the time to complete them, the Adult Diploma option might be the most attractive choice.

If an adult needs many credits to meet high school graduation requirements or desires to obtain a high school credential in a short time period and has the skills necessary to pass the tests, then the GED path may be a better choice.

Where can I find the latest info on the GED, including content and eligibility?

Go to the Minnesota Department of Education website. To sign up to take a test, go to

Can I study for the GED on my own?

Yes. The following websites offer free practice tests and information about the GED:

Where can I get my GED records or transcript?

Complete a GED Records Request Form and return it to the Minnesota Department of Education, or visit and click on "Request Transcript."

What are alternative programs?

State approved Alternative Programs (Area Learning Centers, Alternative Learning Programs, and Private Contracted Alternatives) are optional educational programs for learners who want to complete High School in a nontraditional setting designed to meet their individual needs. For more information visit the Minnesota Department of Education web site.

Where can I go to prepare for the TOEFL test?

Most of the programs listed in this database will not help you prepare for the TOEFL exam. There are online TOEFL resources at Dave's ESL cafe.

Where can I learn about post-secondary educational institutions?

The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) is a free educational outreach program helping adults pursue post-secondary education and training. Their office address is:

1501 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone: 612-659-6543

Their website has an assortment of statewide post-secondary educational resources.