How To Save Money on the ACT and SAT

Saving money on ACT SAT costs

Flickr user Cindy Shebley

Between taking the SAT or ACT (or both) and preparing for them, you may be worried about the cost. Currently, the SAT without an essay is $47.50 and with the essay is $64.50. The ACT is $50.50 without the essay and $67 with the writing section. On top of these costs, prep classes and tutors can cost hundreds of dollars. However, it is possible to save money on the SAT and ACT and still do well. Here are some tips to keep the cost lower.

You May Qualify For the Fee Waiver

Both the SAT and ACT have fee waiver options. To qualify for the fee waivers, you have to be in 11th or 12th grade and be in need of federal assistance. However, you can only use the waiver for two tests, so if you plan on taking either more than twice, you will have to pay for it. If you are low income and in 9th to 12th grade, you may also qualify for SAT Subject Test fee waivers. You can take up to six tests under this program.

If you think you might be in need of either of the fee waivers (or both), talk to your counselor. They can help you complete the necessary forms and submit the documentation to apply.

Take Advantage of Free Test Prep

Not all SAT and ACT prep has to be done through an expensive tutor. There are many low cost or even free resources available to you. You can ask a teacher for assistance, join a school study group or program, or practice with a friend. You may also be able to find a low cost tutor in your area, but make sure you check recommendations.

The internet is also a great resource. You can use it to find free practice tests, videos going over each test section, and tips on how to get the best score possible. 

Prepare Now

Studying for the SAT or ACT is a must and preparing now can help you save money in the long run. It’s advised that you take either test at least twice, but getting ready in advance for your first test date can help ensure you don’t have to take the test more than the two times.

Create a study schedule and stick to it. Focus on your weaker areas and take SAT or ACT practice tests to see where you have improved and what may need more attention.

Choose Between the SAT or ACT

You may also want to consider taking only the SAT or ACT, rather than both. This will cut down on costs, but will also cut down on the amount of time you need to study. Look at both exams, weigh the pros and cons, and decide which would be better suited for your talents. Then devote your study time to that test.

The SAT or ACT doesn’t have to be expensive. By looking into your options now and preparing as soon as possible, you can save money while still earning the best score possible.

Check out how your ACT/SAT scores affect your acceptance odds with College Raptor!

Hilary Cairns

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