It just got easier for Penn Yan residents to take the state test for a high school equivalency diploma.

The New York State Department of Education has approved a new TASC Test Center at Finger Lakes Community College’s Geneva Campus, 63 Pulteney St., which is a much shorter drive for Penn Yan residents. Since 2016, local residents have had to drive to Canandaigua or Newark to take the test at FLCC.

Before granting approval, NYSED had to certify the classrooms and computer lab for the test. In addition to offering the standard English version of the test, FLCC’s Adult Basic Education program can now offer the test in Spanish in Geneva.

The first test was given Feb. 19 and 20. FLCC offers free high school equivalency test preparation classes around the area, including in Penn Yan and Geneva. For information, call 585-785-1544.

“Having a testing center in Geneva will provide local access to the TASC test (which replaced the GED in 2014),” said Kathleen Guy, FLCC’s Adult Literacy Education coordinator. “This is especially helpful to those who do not have transportation to out-of-town test centers.”

After students pass the five TASC subtests — math, social studies, science, reading and writing — they will be issued a high school equivalency diploma by NYSED.

“This can open many doors to career advancement, jobs and college and training opportunities,” Guy said.

The two-day test is given once a month and rotates among FLCC’s three testing sites. The schedule for this year is:

April 23- 24 (Newark)

May 21-22 (Geneva)

June 11-12 (Canandaigua)

July 23-24 (Newark)

Aug. 13-14 (Geneva)

Sept. 24-26 (Canandaigua)

Oct. 15-16 (Newark)

Nov. 19-20 (Geneva)

Dec. 17-18 (Canandaigua)

Depending on need and availability, computer-based and paper-based tests will be offered on each date. Testers must submit applications at least one week before testing. For more information, call Guy at 585-785-1431.

The advantages of taking the test on a computer include much quicker notification of whether a tester passed each part and the ability to move from one subject exam to the next upon completion of each. With the paper test, all testers are given the same start time for each of the five tests.