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ABE Frequently Asked Questions


What is the cost of attending classes?
  • The program and services are free to adults, ages 16 and up.
How soon can I get my GED®?
  • It depends on the individual, assessment levels, number of years you've been out of school, how well prepared you are, and your commitment.  Everyone learns at their own pace.
Do I have to go to a GED® class? 
  • It is highly recommended. You can also study at ABE learning centers:  Quintana Learning Center, Chaparral Learning Center, Gadsden Learning Center or Sunland Park Learning Center on an individualized educational plan, attend small instructional groups, study and learn on the computer, review books/videos and, occasionally, be provided one-on-one tutoring.
Do I have to enroll in ABE to study for or take the official GED® test?
  • No.  You have the option of going directly to but must pay the complete fee to take the official tests.  Students who fail official tests are automatically sent to an ABE learning center to study.  It is to the student's advantage to study at one of the learning centers before attempting to take official tests to save on time and cost.  For ABE enrolled students, ABE can pay for some of the official tests through a stipend if the students meet the requirements.
How long are learning assessment valid? 
  • It depends on how long you were gone and whether or not post-tests were taken.  Retesting is required after a six month absence.
When can I start  practice testing?
  • You can start taking your GED® practice tests when you reach  level 5 or 6 on the TABE assessment.
Where do I go to take the official GED® test?
  • To register to take the official GED® exam; please logon to MyGED®.com 
Can I take the GED® tests if I am not a legal resident of New Mexico? 
  • Yes, however, you will receive only transcripts, not a New Mexico H.S. diploma.
Do we need an ID to take the official tests? 
  • Yes, two forms (e.g., driver license, passport, government issued ID card).  A social security card is not required to test.
Who is eligible to take the GED® test? 
  • Anyone who is at least 18 years of age or older and not enrolled in high school, pays, and provides appropriate IDs.  16 and 17 year olds must first obtain permission from their local school district and parent or guardian.
How many tests are there? 
  • FOUR: Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA),  Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies, however test numbers and types are subject to change; please refer to MyGED® for additional information.
How much does it cost to take the GED® tests? 
What if I don't pass all the tests the first time?
  • There is a waiting period of at least 30 days before you can retake your exams.  Please consult your testing center for this information because it is subject to change.
Will passing the GED® test get me into college?
  • Yes, GED® graduates are eligible for college and financial aid, employment, and military service.

ESL and Citizenship

How long does it take to finish the ESL Program? 
  • It depends on your English level at enrollment and on the effort and time you invest. If you are a dedicated student, you can expect to study anywhere from 50-100 hours before passing a level.
Can I be enrolled in two different ESL levels at the same time? 
  • No.  However, you can take more than one class at the same level during the same semester.
What are the ESL/Civics classes? 
  • These classes are designed for the intermediate to advanced level ESL student.  You will become involved in community based learning, learn about the U.S., develop leadership skills, and gain confidence in reading, writing, communication, and interacting with others. 
In ESL, what is the next step to take after Level 6?
  • If you do not already have your GED®, you can also complete your GED® in English.  If you already have a H.S. Diploma, the next step is to register in college or to seek employment if you qualify.
Is the TOEFL practice test given here accepted when asked for by a university or college?
  • No.  It is used solely to assess student learning.
What are the steps to getting my citizenship? 
  • Minimum age is 18, unless a parent is applying, that parent can apply for children under the age of 18 at the same time; lawful admission; a legal resident must live continuously for 5 years in the U.S. and if married to a U.S. citizen, only 3 years are required; basic English literacy, knowledge of U.S. history and government; obtain official application form from USCIS (1-800-870-3676/  Total cost is $675 (cost is subject to change). You will not automatically qualify to apply by enrolling in one of our classes.
What form do I use to file for U.S. Naturalization?
How long does it take to get my U.S. Citizenship? 
  • There is no standard time.  Right now it averages less than 6 months to be called for your appointment with Immigration once you have filed your application.
Can I take the citizenship test here? 
  • No.  Students from New Mexico have to take the test in El Paso, TX.


What is literacy? 
  • The ability to read, write, and speak English proficiently, to compute and solve problems, and to use technology in order to become a life-long learner, and to be effective in the family, workplace, and community.
Who does Literacy Volunteers of Doña Ana County (LV-DAC) assist? 
  • It is a student service program within ABE with a focus on learners whose skills are at the most basic levels 1-3.  LV-DAC volunteer tutors offer free support and one to one tutoring to help lower skilled students reach their educational goals. 
How are learners matched with tutors? 
  • Based on schedule availability, compatibility and commitment.  All learners are pre-assessed using either the TABE test (for literacy and pre-GED® or the TABE ClasE~ (for ESL).  Students referred attend a new student orientation and complete required student paperwork..  An program of study is developed while waiting to be matched with a tutor, students may be assigned computer assisted instruction, educational videos, workbooks or books with cassettes based on their comprehension levels.  Small reading and writing learning groups are also offered.