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What Does It Cost To Take A Standardized Exam

Categories: Tips and Tricks |

The standardized test is a major milestone every student must conquer at some point in their education, more than likely they’ll take more than one in their lifetime. With several different tests, there are many factors that going into the preparation processes and one of the first questions you make ask is “how much will it cost me?”

There is no one answer since fees vary by test in a range between about $90 to more than $300. A general breakdown can be seen here, broken down between two different levels of exams:

High Schoolers Testing for Undergraduate School

For students in high school, there are many tests you may take. The first step would be to identify the requirements at your goal schools. Of course having several different applications will help give you a greater chance of getting in somewhere, but you also must take into account the extra cost associated with sending exam reports to each school.

The two common standardized tests for high schoolers, the SAT and ACT, start at $46 each.  Each exam offers the base test with a writing portion for approximately $60 which is the more common option as many colleges prefer to see the writing section.

Some other exams that some high school students might need to take, especially if English is not their first language, could be the IELTS or TOEFL. These exams will help universities determine your grasp of the English language and could be great supplements to the SAT and ACT for acceptance consideration. Pricing for each varies somewhat between testing centers but the TOEFL is usually around $200 while the IELTS is usually a little higher at around $225. Again, each testing center will be slightly different so your exam might cost more or less.

College Graduates Testing For Graduate or Professional Advancement

Anyone looking to further their education beyond undergraduate school will more than likely need to take even more standardized tests. Unfortunately for test-takers, these exams are even more costly than the SAT and ACT.

The GRE is the cheapest of these advanced exams as it generally costs around $195, slightly better than the GMAT which is closer to $250. These exams are generally used for admission to graduate school or MBA programs and often you can choose either one as a lot of schools accept either.

If you’re going into a more specialized field like medical or law, there are other exams you’ll need to take. The LSAT is used for admission to law schools and although the registration for the exam itself starts at only $180, there is a larger associated fee with the LSAT since most laws schools will require you to subscribe to the LAW School Data Assembly Service which starts at $121.

For the medical folks, the PCAT or MCAT might be in your future. The PCAT starts at $210 while registering for the MCAT comes in at a whopping $305.

Additional Fees and Considerations

There are many added fees to consider when your taking these exams including a fee for each individual subject test, different registration fees, change-date fees, waitlist fees and a cost to have the report sent to your desired school or organization (most of the tests will send 1-4 free reports depending on the exam so the fees are for additional schools).

One thing to keep in mind though is that there are fee waivers for many of these exams, especially those for high school students. While the tests are set in place to determine a student’s knowledge and ability to handle a higher curriculum and more difficult work-load, universities and testing services want to provide the opportunity for advancement for all eligible and deserving students, even those from low-income families. So if you feel like you as an individual or as a family qualify as low-income, looking into these fee waivers can help you focus on the test at hand instead of trying to raise the money to fund the exam.

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