How Much Does ACT Prep Cost?

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$ Self-Guided Books or Software: $10-$30 $ $ Online Courses: $20-$600 $ $ $ Private Tutoring: $95-$250 Per Hour

ACT or the American College Test is a college entrance exam that is covering four subjects: English, reading, math, and science, with an optional writing component.

The students are welcome to choose to prepare for the ACT, SAT or both tests, having scores sent to prospective colleges.

Typical Costs

The study tools of the self-guided ACT including books and software cost $10-$30.

The Real ACT Prep Guide book, for example, is priced at $20 and Cracking the ACT 2011 by The Princeton Review has a price of $15.

At the same time, The Kaplan ACT 2011 Premier study book with CD-ROM costs $17 and the study software SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 by Topics Entertainment costs $30.

The online courses for ACT study are priced at $20-$600.

Barron’s Test Prep, for example, offers 6 months online access to the study tools of ACT for $20.

Inside are to be found full-length ACT practice tests with instant scoring, and customized tests focusing on areas where improvement is needed.

At the same time, Kaplan offers a 2-3 month online class for $500, which covers practice tests and online lessons, and a money-back guarantee if the student doesn’t earn a higher score.

The ACT prep classes led by instructors usually cost $75-$600.

A review course held at Southeast Missouri State University, for instance, costs $75 for 12 hours of classroom instruction and covers all four subjects of the ACT.

The Princeton Review offers an 18-hour, in-person ACT prep course for $599, and courses are held at locations across the country.

ACT private tutoring costs $95-$250 per hour and can take place either in-person or online.

Revolution Prep, for example, offers private ACT tutoring for packages ranging from $95 per hour ($3,799 for 40 hours of private ACT tutoring) to $250 per hour ($2,000 for 8 hours of private premium ACT tutoring), for tutoring in locations across the country.

The packages with more hours are generally cheaper per hour.

For instance, BWS Education Counseling in Columbus, OH, charges $100 per hour for individual tutoring.

Tutoring for smaller groups is offered at $50 per hour (per student with 4 students) to $70 per hour (per student for groups of 2 students).

What Is Included

The study materials for the ACT include test-taking strategies and tips, as well as an overview of the test format.

In each of the four test sections: English, reading, math, and science there are multiple-choice practice questions.

One or more full-length practice tests have to be available too.

The study materials for the option ACT writing section may or may not be included.

Additional Costs

  • ACT registration is $34, while some colleges require applicants to take the writing portion of the test, which costs an additional $15.50.
  • A graphing calculator is required to take the SAT, as well as to complete test prep courses.
  • This graphing calculator can cost $20 for a used, older model to $150 for a new, upgraded model.
  • The used TI-82 calculators are usually available for $30 or less on eBay, while a new TI-84 calculator from Texas Instruments costs about $115 including shipping.

Additional Costs

A free ACT practice test is offered at Peterson’s College Search.

Shopping For ACT Prep

  • The Accrediting Council of Continuing Education and Training has a searchable directory of accredited test prep organizations.
  • ACT scores were accepted by all U.S. four-year colleges or universities in 2007, although the SAT still had more total test-takers nationally.
  • USA Today compares the ACT and SAT.
  • “10 tips to remember when shopping for ACT prep products or services” is listed by The Smart Money magazine.

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