Preparation for College Testing

Information about ACT, SAT and Accuplacer

WHAT is the ACT?

The ACT is a standardized test to assess college readiness and high school achievement. Most colleges use it as an entrance exam to make admissions decisions.

  • The ACT is divided into 4 multiple-choice tests: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. The cost to take the ACT is $42.50. ACT also offers an optional ACT with Writing that costs $58.50.
  • The ACT registration takes about 40 minutes and students will be asked to provide the names of at least four colleges oto send their scores to. Students will also be asked to upload a picture.
  • ACT offers six testing dates per year. Students can take the ACT during any of the dates, but the content covers 3 years of high school math and science so, the best time for juniors to take the test might be the April 8th, 2017 or June 10th, 2017 dates. For more test dates, registration, test preparation, and other information visit
  • Most CFHS students take the ACT at UNI. However, other sites available include Hawkeye Community College and other schools in the area.
  • Students needing fee waivers or special accommodations need to visit with their school counselor.

How to prepare for the ACT

What about the SAT?

Although most students at Cedar Falls High School take the ACT, the SAT is also available for students to take for college admission. More information can be found at College Board. Information on the difference between SAT vs. ACT can be found at The Princeton Review.

When should my student take the Accuplacer?

For students interested in attending a community college, the Accuplacer test ensures the students' placement in the correct classes. The Accuplacer is available for students to take at Cedar Falls High School after December 1st. Look for more information on our website. Students currently in high school may take the Accuplacer to enroll in Hawkeye Concurrent Classes taught at CFHS.