frequently asked questions for attending ged / hiset classes

To enroll in classes or for specific questions, please call the Friends of Literacy office, 865-549-7007.


1.    How long will it take to get my diploma?

It’s different for every single student that comes through our doors. We test you on the first days of class to find out what skills you already know and what you need to sharpen. For most students, it takes 40 hours of class time (approximately 10 weeks with perfect attendance) before we can retest you to see if you have the necessary skills to move forward to the Official Practice Test (OPT).

2.     How much will classes cost?

All classes and services provided by Friends of Literacy are FREE. We are a non-profit organization, and we offer these classes because we want our community to have better opportunities and access to education—for free. 

3.     What is the difference in the GED and the HiSET?

The State of Tennessee now offers a less expensive alternative to the GED test called the HiSET test. Passing either test grants you the same High School Equivalency Diploma issued by the State of Tennessee. When it comes to employers and colleges, there is no difference between the HiSET and the GED. For more information, read our guide What Is a High School Equivalency Diploma?

4.     How much will the HiSET test cost?

Right now, eligible students can take the HiSET test in the State of Tennessee for free. For students with qualifying scores on the Official Practice Test, the State will offer a voucher for your testing fees and you have 3 chances within a calendar year to pass all portions of the test. For students who have taken the OPT but did not make qualifying scores, you can attend 10 hours of class time and take the OPT again, or pay the $75 testing fee out of pocket.

5.    What if I need extra help?

Another service we provide is free tutoring for any student who wants extra help. If you would like a tutor to help you outside of class, please let your teacher know and we will find someone to help you. There are also websites such as Khan Academy that can help you sharpen your skills outside of class.

6.     I have been out of class for so long, and I wasn’t successful in school before. Can I learn             and be successful now?

Yes, you can learn and succeed now. We treat each student as an individual and focus on your needs. Your instruction will be individualized so that you can work on each skill until you master it.

7.     Is there more than one class available?

We offer classes in a few different locations with morning, afternoon, and evening hours. Some classes are smaller and have a tight knit family feel, while some are more traditional and structured in the way you might be used to. Switching to another class is always an option if your schedule or needs change. To enroll in classes, call Friends of Literacy at 865-549-7007.

8.     Where will I take the HiSET test?

We conduct all of your initial testing in class, until you qualify to take the OPT (Offical Practice Test). After students qualify, we make an appointment with the state sponsored programs that administer the OPT. When you have qualifying scores, you can then book the HiSET exam, which is offered Pellissippi State Hardin Valley Campus (West Knoxville). 

9.      Does Friends of Literacy provide other kinds of help?

Yes! Aside from GED/HiSET classes, we offer Computer Skills classes and a program called Next Step to help you move forward after you’ve completed your diploma.