Cost of Taking the ACT

How to Minimize your ACT Test Taking Cost?

ACT is a widely recognized curriculum-based examination that measures the aptitude of students to complete their college education. By taking ACT, the test takers also demonstrate the skills and competencies that they have acquired in high school. The scores of the test allow the college authorities to test the academic readiness of the students and help them with admissions and course placement. This test can be taken by high school graduates and those who are studying in grades 6, 7, 8 and 9. However, the test takers must register for the test and pay its required fee before taking this examination.

The ACT contains the following five sections:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Reading
  • Writing test (Optional)

The first four sections of the test consist of multiple-choice questions. The Writing test is to be taken by students according to the requirements of the colleges and the universities in which they intend to apply.

What is the Cost of Taking the ACT?

 Let us consider the fees that the test takers need to pay for taking ACT:

Basic Fees

  • The basic ACT fee without the optional Writing Test is $34.00. By paying this amount, the test takers will have access to score reports for themselves and high school (if it is authorized) and choose four colleges (only if valid codes are provided during registration)
  • The test fee with the inclusion of optional Writing Test is $49.50. The test takers will have similar access as the previous one by paying this amount. However, the test takers can get a refund on the fees ($15.50) that they have paid for taking the writing test only after providing a written request for the same. This is applicable to the absentees and those who decide to switch over to the "No Writing" mode before the beginning of the test.

Additional Fees (Added with the Basic Fees)

  • The additional fee for choosing a 5th and 6th college is $10.00 each. The test takers will have access to this facility by putting an online request and a written request for the refund of this amount, if they are not taking the test.
  • The fee for telephonic registration is $13.00
  • The late registration fee (for US and Canada) is $21.00. This facility is available only for those test takers who have registered late for a national test date.
  • The fee for standby testing (on the test date) is $42.00.
  • The international test takers should pay additional fee of $27.00. However, the Writing Test is not provided in international test centers in February.
  • For absentees or those who are unable to take ACT on the actual test date should pay additional fee of $21.00 along with the full basic fee.
  • For changing the test center, the fee is $21.00 (for original test date).
  • The test takers can access information about the ACT test (Test Information Release Service) by paying $18.00. However, this is applicable for national test dates and centers in December, April and June. The amount is refunded to the students if the information is not available.

How to Minimize the Cost of ACT

ACT aspirants can minimize the cost of taking this examination with the help of fee waivers that are offered to them. However, the test takers should fulfill the following guidelines for availing this facility:

  • The fee waiver facility is offered to high school students and citizens of United States, Puerto Rico and the US territories.
  • For availing the fee waiver facility, a test taker must fulfill the economic requirements present in the fee waiver form.
  • The fee waiver is offered for basic fee or registration. All the additional fees are compulsory and no fee waivers can be availed on them.
  • A maximum of two fee waivers can be utilized by each test taker only on the original test date for which he/she has registered.
  • The cost of taking the test cannot be reduced by directly applying to the ACT authorities. The test takers should approach the high school counselors to avail this facility.


The price of the test can be reduced by the test takers only if they meet the guidelines that are specified by the authorities. The test takers should read the policies for taking ACT before registering for these tests.