Adult Basic Skills
High School Equivalency


Open the door to your future by joining the more than 2,000 students we help prepare for a high school equivalency diploma each year.

Whether you are ready to begin General Educational Development (GED®) exam preparation or need to work your way up through adult basic education or pre-high school equivalency classes, our courses will help you develop your knowledge and skills in math, reading, writing, social studies and science.

  • Basic academic skills through high school equivalency preparation
  • College preparation and transition
  • Supportive and non-threatening learning environment
  • Encourages postsecondary education, training and career advancement

Classes run three times a week in the morning or evening, and class sessions begin in the fall and winter. You must be 19 or older to enroll. Tuition waived for qualifying students.

Earn a high school equivalency diploma and achieve your college and career goals!


To apply for the High School Equivalency – CUNY Adult Literacy Program, you will need to register for and attend an information session. Click here and choose Intake and Information Session for Free High School Equivalency Program to begin the process.


Tenzin Choklang, 24, and Regina Dorch, 53, from LaGuardia’s Adult Basic Skills (ABS) Program are winners of the 2019 Peter Jennings Scholarship Laurel Award.* As a child, Tenzin lived in a Tibetan refugee camp in India before coming to New York with his family at the age of 12. As a young adult, he wanted to get his life on track and enrolled in the ABS Program, earned his high school equivalency diploma, and enrolled at LaGuardia as a computer science major. In his first semester, he earned a 3.89 GPA.
Read moreRegina had been an employee of Pathmark Supermarkets for 22 years when she received word that her store would be closing and she’d be out of a job. Knowing she had to improve her prospects, she enrolled in the ABS Program and after three tries finally passed the exam to earn her high school equivalency diploma. With hopes to one day own a business, she enrolled at LaGuardia as a business administration major and has earned a 4.0 GPA in her first semester. Congratulations to these students on their hard work and achievements! *The Peter Jennings Scholarship Laurel Award, named after the famous journalist who dropped out of high school and later earned a high school equivalency diploma, is given annually to up to 10 students who have overcome hardship to earn their high school equivalency certificate from a CUNY adult literacy/high school equivalency program and who plan to continue their education at a CUNY college. Students must be nominated by a teacher or staff member and provide a personal essay describing their journey to college. Winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship towards their CUNY college education. To learn more, visit here
Peter Jennings
Maurice Fulton
Maurice Fulton

CUNY Peter Jennings Scholarship Laurel Award Winner

Maurice Fulton had been out of school for ten years when he came to LaGuardia’s High School Equivalency – CUNY Adult Literacy Program with the goal of earning his high school equivalency diploma. Starting in the lowest level basic skills class, Maurice did so well that he was able to skip the next level, and within three months he was taking the high school equivalency preparation course, the highest level in the program.

Maurice qualified to take the high school equivalency test, passed on the first try and had his high school equivalency diploma just six months after beginning the program. He wasted no time in enrolling in credit classes at LaGuardia. “I knew that I couldn’t become successful if I kept practicing the same bad habits,” says Maurice of staying up late to watch TV or play video games. “With time and hard work, I got used to it.”

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Having finished his first college semester, the Media Technology major continues to work hard in his studies and also gives back to the program that helped put him on the right path by speaking at program orientations. He also was honored with CUNY’s Peter Jennings Scholarship Laurel Award and is using the $1,000 towards his college education. With plans to become a graphic designer and possibly start his own company, Maurice is thankful for the support he has received at LaGuardia. “I’m so glad I decided to go back to school and feel even more blessed to have great teachers who really care about my education,” he says.




Earning a high school equivalency diploma will open the door to college and jobs. Our program will better prepare you for future career opportunities. Graduates earn on average $200 more a week than non-high school graduates. Our classes will help you develop the critical thinking skills and knowledge required to pass the GED and better prepare you for today’s job market.
The GED is a very challenging test that covers 4 subject areas: math, reading/writing, social studies and science. Depending on your reading and math levels when you enter the program and your progress in class, it can be anywhere from three months to a year. You will take a practice exam that will help you focus on the areas that need improvement.
We offer two classes: (1) reading/writing, social studies, and science and (2) math. The GED is a reading test. Our teachers help you develop critical thinking skills that you will need in all the test subject areas to successfully pass all the test subjects.
We enroll students in the fall and winter sessions. You can choose to attend either morning classes, which meet on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., or evening classes, which meet on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
If you need to change your class schedule due to work or childcare needs, you can complete a Student Request Form and we will try to accommodate your schedule.
There are 4 test subjects: (1) Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA), which covers reading and writing—the test is 150 minutes (2) Mathematical Reasoning, which includes Basic Math, Geometry, Basic Algebra, Graphs and Functions—the test is 115 minutes (3) Social Studies, which includes Reading for Meaning, Analyzing Historical Events and Using Graphs—the test is 70 minutes and (4) Science, which includes Reading for Meaning, Designing and Interpreting Science Experiments, and Using Graphs—the test is 90 minutes. In total the GED exam is a little over 7 hours.
The GED exam is primarily offered on the computer. You will be able to schedule to schedule a test date once you have completed the program. You can take a GED practice exam and consult with your teacher to know when you might be ready to take each of the test subjects. You may schedule just one test or all four tests. Results from the computer based exam will be available for you to view within a day of taking the exam; results from paper based test exams will take longer. Your actual high school equivalency diploma will be mailed to you from Albany, NY within 6-8 weeks of passing all test subjects.
The GED exam is free in New York State.
The passing score for each test subject is 145. If you fail a test subject on the GED, you must wait 60 days before testing for the particular subject again.
Our staff and advisors will assist you in planning your next steps, whether that be applying to LaGuardia Community College, a training program, or getting ready for a job. We provide workshops and information during the time you are in our classes. The Career Development Center (CDC) at LaGuardia works very closely with our students to guide them through the college process or to apply to one of our many workforce training programs. Scholarships are available for both college tuition and for training programs.
Our program partners with City Tutors that match tutors with our students. We also employ college assistants who tutor in writing and math.
In person classes are scheduled to visit our computer lab weekly. During that time, you will learn to conduct research, search websites, and increase your digital literacy skills. You will be able to take practice GED tests on the computer that simulate the actual GED exam.


Phone: (718) 482-5385



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