Information for Adult Education follows:

GED Classes

The Northwest Shoals Community College Adult Education Program offers free Adult Education/GED® prep classes throughout Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, and Lawrence counties as well as the city of Haleyville. Adult Basic Education classes cover math, language, science, and social studies and are open to anyone. GED® prep classes are available online and at various locations throughout northwest Alabama including the Northwest Shoals Community College Shoals campus. 

Prospective students need to contact the Adult Education Office on the Shoals Campus at 256-331-5440 during business hours. Students are then provided with instructions on class locations as well as information for the online option and how to schedule pre-test assessments. The GED® test is administered at the testing centers on the Shoals and Phil Campbell campuses.

English as Second Language (ESL) and Civics Education classes are also offered to provide English literacy and civics education services to immigrants and other limited-English proficient populations so that they may effectively participate in the education, work, and civic opportunities of this country. In addition, College prep classes are offered to prepare prospective college students and GED® graduates for the college world.

For more information on these classes, please call 256-331-5440.

GED Testing


To register for the GED® exam, go to Students may take any, or all parts of the exam at their convenience, limited only by the availability of testing appointments available on their chosen date and time. Although it is possible, it is not recommended to take the entire exam in one day. It is better for most individuals to take one or two parts on a given day.GED® Test Age Restrictions

ACT-2009-564 stipulates that students between the ages of 7 and 17 are required to attend public school, church school, or be taught at home by a private tutor.  Based on this law, there are specific requirements for students, 16 and 17 years of age, who wish to take the GED® Test. For specific information on age restrictions, please visit the GED® site at

GED Ready® Practice Test

You can take GED Ready® practice tests on your own, without being involved in GED® classes. Afterwards, you will know if you are likely to pass the real tests. You will also receive a score report with specific instructions on what to study to pass the test. The test questions look exactly like the real test, so you will be better prepared on test day. The cost for each test is $6.00 per subject, and it must be taken on a computer. GED Ready® practice tests are typically half the length of the actual tests.

What’s on the GED® Exam?

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts – measures your ability to read closely, write clearly, and edit and understand written text
  • Mathematical Reasoning – includes quantitative and algebraic problem solving
  • Science – includes life science, physical science, earth and space science
  • Social Studies – includes civics and government, U.S. history, economics, geography and the world

How much does it cost?

The cost of each GED® exam is $30 or $120 for the entire test (with no retakes). You may pay for and take one subject at a time or multiple subjects if you choose.

Languages and Accommodations

The GED® is given in English and Castilian Spanish (spoken in Spain and Puerto Rico). Also, Alabama residents are allowed to combine different language versions of the GED® test to earn their credential.

GED® Testing Services provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations to individuals with documented disabilities who demonstrate a need for accommodations. GED® test accommodations may include things such as a separate testing room, extra testing time, and extra breaks. For additional information on accommodations, please visit

Scheduling the GED® Exam

To schedule your GED® Exam, you must pre-register at the GED® website ( You will need to create an account with an e-mail address and be prepared to make your payment with a debit/credit card or earned GED® voucher when you register online. Select the date, time, and location most convenient for you. If you need special accommodations, you will need to submit additional documentation verifying the need for the accommodation at the time of registration.

Test Day

When you register, you choose your date and time. This is your exam start time. You need to arrive at the test center at least 15 minutes early to fill out your paperwork and complete the check-in process so you can begin at your start time.

Bring a government-issued identification card (ex. a driver’s license or passport). Make sure the document is valid (not expired), has your photo on it, has your signature on it, includes your date or birth, and includes an expiration date.

You do not need to bring any materials (calculator, pencil, etc.) with you on test day. You will be provided with any materials that you need.

Any personal belongings will be stored in a storage area in the check-in area. You are not allowed to wear coats, jackets, caps, hats, scarves, or other outerwear in the testing room. Food and drinks are not allowed in the testing room. No cell phones are allowed in the testing room.

When you take the exam, there is no penalty for a wrong answer. Test-takers should attempt to answer all the questions on the test.

What happens after the test?

  • Check your scores – go to and click on Scores to see how you did. You must score a 145 on each module and 580 on the entire test battery (all four parts combined).
  • Receive a Digital Transcript and Diploma – as soon as you pass the test series, you will receive an OFFICIAL secure, electronic PDF document delivered to     your email that contains your transcript and diploma. You have 60 days to download and save the documents. The documents may be sent directly to colleges, employers, etc. without having to contact the NWSCC GED® testing office. If you need duplicate copies, please visit the site, click on Request Transcript, and provide your payment information ($15), or you can call 888-906-4031 to order a copy from Parchment Exchange Customer Support.
  • You receive a free college class – once you successfully complete your exam, you are automatically eligible to take one free 3-credit-hour college-level course at NWSCC or any other Alabama state community college.
  • You are invited to attend the GED® Graduation Ceremony (Once you successfully complete the GED®, you can register to attend the GED® Graduation Ceremony at held each year in July.

For more information, contact the GED® Examiner at 256-331-5440.

GED Transcripts

[Contact 256-331-5440 or for more information]

Nontraditional High School Diploma

The Nontraditional High School Diploma was recently approved by the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) and the Alabama State Department of Education. The new diploma helps students who either dropped out of high school without earning the necessary credits to graduate or did not pass one or all parts of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (which is no longer given).

Steps for receiving your Nontraditional High School Diploma:

  1. Request Official Transcript Audit Form from the high school you last attended using the Nontraditional High School Diploma Options Transcript Audit Request Form.
  2. Choose the Northwest Shoals Community College Adult Education campus location most convenient for you.
  3. Northwest Shoals Community College will receive your official transcript audit along with any test scores (local high school will have this).
  4. Begin attending your Northwest Shoals Community College Adult Education campus location of choice.
  5. A Northwest-Shoals Adult Education instructor will assist you in developing a plan of instruction based on your high school transcript audit.

If you have any questions, please contact NWSCC Adult Education at 256-331-5440 or