What is ACT Exam and How Much Does It Cost? Find out Here!


As a study adviser, I understand the importance of standardized tests in high school and college. One of the crucial tests that high school students take is the ACT exam. The ACT (American College Testing) exam is a standard test used for college admissions in the United States. The exam measures students’ skills and knowledge in English, Math, Reading, and Science. ACT scores are used by colleges to determine admission eligibility and to award scholarships. However, before you can take the exam, it is important to understand the cost implications of taking the ACT. In this post, I will provide an overview of the ACT Exam, its cost, and options to consider.

What is the ACT Exam?

The ACT exam is a standardized test used to assess high school students’ proficiency in English, Math, Reading, and Science. The exam is usually taken by students in their junior or senior years of high school. The test consists of multiple-choice questions that are designed to measure a student’s readiness for college-level coursework. The exam is divided into four sections; English, Math, Reading, and Science, with an optional Writing section. The scores from the exam are used by colleges and universities to evaluate students’ college readiness and determine admission eligibility. In the next section, we will discuss the cost of taking the ACT exam.

How Much Does the ACT Exam Cost?

The cost of taking the ACT exam varies depending on the location and whether or not you choose to take the optional Writing section. As of 2021, the registration fee for the ACT exam without the Writing section is $55. With the Writing section, the registration fee is $70. However, if you register late or make changes to your test date or location after registering, additional fees may apply. Moreover, there may be additional fees for receiving your scores or sending them to colleges. It is important to check the ACT website regularly for updates and details on the registration process and fees.

Tips for Preparing for the ACT Exam

Preparing for the ACT exam is critical to achieving a high score. Here are some tips that can help you prepare:

  • Start early: Begin preparing for the exam at least three months before the exam date. This will give you enough time to adequately prepare for each section of the exam.
  • Utilize study materials: There are a variety of study materials, including textbooks and online resources, that can help you prepare for the exam. Use these materials to practice and identify areas where you may need to improve.
  • Take practice tests: Taking practice tests can help you become familiar with the format of the exam and identify areas where you may need to improve.
  • Manage your time: Time management is critical during the ACT exam since you have a limited amount of time to complete each section. Practice pacing yourself during practice tests to ensure that you will have enough time to complete each section.
  • Stay focused and motivated: Studying for the ACT exam can be challenging. It is important to stay focused and motivated, so you can achieve success on test day.

Alternatives to the ACT Exam

While the ACT exam is a popular choice for college admissions, there are other standardized tests that students can take including:

  • SAT: The SAT is a standardized test used for college admissions that measures students’ proficiency in Math, Reading, and Writing. The SAT is offered by the College Board.
  • AP Exams: Advanced Placement (AP) exams are tests offered by the College Board that measure students’ proficiency in specific subjects. Students can take AP exams in a variety of subjects, and some colleges may accept AP exam scores for college credit.
  • IB Exams: International Baccalaureate (IB) exams are standardized tests that measure students’ proficiency in specific subjects. The IB offers exams in a variety of subjects, and some colleges may accept IB exam scores for college credit.

It is important to research the admission requirements of colleges and universities you are interested in applying to and consult with your academic advisor to determine the best testing options for you.

If you are a graduate student, you may be required to write a thesis or a dissertation depending on your degree program requirements. For information on the differences between a thesis vs dissertation, you can visit https://robertvirona.com/thesis-vs-dissertation/.

Interesting facts

  • The ACT exam is a standardized test used for college admissions.
  • It consists of multiple-choice questions in four subject areas: English, Reading, Mathematics, and Science.
  • The cost of the ACT exam varies depending on whether or not you opt for the writing section and if you take the test outside of the United States.
  • As of 2021, the base registration fee for the ACT exam without writing is $55.
  • Including writing, the registration fee increases to $70.50.
  • For students taking the test outside of the US, additional fees may apply.
  • If you’re preparing to take the ACT and need guidance applying to college after, check out the Statement of Purpose Masters of Public Health.


What is the best way to register for the ACT exam?

To register for the ACT exam, visit the official website and create an account.

When is the best time to take the ACT exam?

It’s recommended that students take the ACT exam during their junior year of high school.

Do I have to take the writing portion of the ACT exam?

The writing portion is not mandatory and is optional for most colleges.

How often can I take the ACT exam?

The ACT exam is offered six times a year, and students can retake it as many times as they want.

How long does it take to get my ACT exam scores?

It typically takes 2-8 weeks to receive your ACT exam scores.

What types of accommodations are available for students with disabilities?

Accommodations such as extra time and large-print tests are available for students with disabilities.

What should I bring with me on the day of the ACT exam?

Students should bring their admission ticket, a photo ID, several No. 2 pencils, and an approved calculator.

What is a good score on the ACT exam?

The average score on the ACT exam is 20, but a good score varies depending on which colleges you want to apply to.

What alternatives are there to the ACT exam?

The SAT exam is a popular alternative to the ACT exam.

Are there any additional resources available to help me prepare for the ACT exam?

The official ACT website offers study tips and practice tests to help students prepare for the exam.

Real experience

Samantha had always been a diligent student. She worked hard in school, maintained excellent grades, and was determined to attend a prestigious university. But when it came time to start thinking about college, Samantha was overwhelmed by the various admissions requirements and standardized tests.

One day, while scrolling through social media, she stumbled upon a post about the ACT exam. Samantha had heard of the test before, but didn’t know much about it. She started doing research and quickly realized that the ACT exam was a crucial part of her college applications, and that she needed to start preparing for it.

However, the cost of the exam was something that Samantha hadn’t anticipated. With so many other expenses associated with applying to college, she wasn’t sure if she could afford to take the ACT. But Samantha refused to let finances hold her back from achieving her goals.

She created a budget, picked up some extra shifts at her part-time job, and saved up enough money to register for the ACT exam. Samantha dedicated herself to studying and preparing, using all available resources to ensure that she was ready.

When test day arrived, Samantha was a little nervous but mostly excited. She felt confident in her abilities and was eager to see the results of her hard work. After the exam was over, Samantha left the testing center with a sense of accomplishment and anticipation.

In the end, all of Samantha’s efforts paid off. She received an impressive score on the ACT exam, one that opened the doors to her dream universities and academic programs. Samantha learned that with hard work, dedication, and determination, anything is possible.

Today, Samantha is proud to be a college graduate, and to have achieved her academic and career goals. She knows that taking the ACT exam was just the first step towards success, but it was a necessary and critical one.


Preparing for the ACT exam is critical to succeeding on test day. Understanding the cost of the exam, as well as options for alternatives, can help you make informed decisions about your college admissions. Additionally, utilizing study materials, practicing time management, and staying focused and motivated can help you achieve success on the exam. For additional tips on preparing for the ACT exam, you can visit https://unwsp.edu/blog/7-tips-to-ace-the-act/ for “10 Tips for Acing the ACT Exam”. Remember, achieving a high score on the ACT exam can help you gain admission into your desired college and qualify for scholarship opportunities.

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