Adam Groden Reviewed By: Adam Groden
Authored By: Dave Evangelisti
ACT Test Dates

Trying to find the best time to take your ACT? We have listed all ACT test dates below to help you choose the time that best fits your schedule.

The ACT is administered on Saturdays. Special exceptions made for students to take the exam on a Sunday if they cannot take the exam on a Saturday.

Most high school students will elect to take their ACT in the spring of their junior year of high school. Another common time to take the ACT is the fall of senior year. Many students will end up taking the ACT twice (or more).

Summary: Find the best ACT test date for you below. Check out our best ACT prep course reviews for a resource to help you get a top score.

The ACT test dates for the 2021-2022 testing season are shown below.

ACT Test Date ACT Regular Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
September 11, 2021 August 6, 2021 August 20, 2021
October 23, 2021 September 17, 2021 October 1, 2021
December 11, 2021 November 5, 2021 November 19, 2021
February 12, 2022 January 7, 2022 January 21, 2022
April 2, 2022 February 25, 2022 March 11, 2022
June 11, 2022 May 6, 2022 May 20, 2022
July 16, 2022 June 17, 2022 June 24, 2022

ACT Prep Resources

If you are serious about getting a high score on your ACT, try one of the following resources

Free ACT-STYLE Practice Tests

Best ACT Prep Courses

The projected ACT test dates for the 2022-2023 testing season are shown below.

ACT Test Date ACT Regular Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
September 10, 2022 August 5, 2022 August 19, 2022
October 22, 2022 September 18, 2022 October 2, 2022
December 10, 2022 November 4, 2022 November 18, 2022
February 4, 2023 January 6, 2023 January 13, 2023
April 8, 2023 March 3, 2023 March 17, 2023
June 10, 2023 May 5, 2023 May 19, 2023
July 15, 2023 June 9, 2023 June 23, 2023

The ACT is given at local high schools, career schools, colleges, and other locations. To find a test site in your area, go to the official registration website. Tests are typically given on a Saturday. If you require a non-Saturday test because of religious reasons, there are a select number of test locations that can accommodate your needs. 

Please note that you will not be admitted to a non-Saturday test site unless you bring a letter from your cleric or a notarized statement saying that your religious beliefs prohibit you from taking the test on a Saturday. 

Typical high school students choose to take the ACT for the first time during their junior year. It is advised that you select a test date that is at least 2-3 months before the application deadlines of your preferred colleges and universities. 

You should also be aware of any deadlines for scholarships that you are pursuing. It normally takes between three and eight weeks after your test before your scores are reported. If you have taken the ACT plus writing exam, you typicall receive your scores in about 10 days.

What is most important is that students take the exam early enough. Schools will make clear what the last test date is for which they will accept scores. For most schools, this is December of your senior year. Depending on the school, students applying early action or early decision might need to take an earlier test.

The advantages of taking the ACT in your junior year include:

  • You will have completed most of the courses covered by the ACT.
  • If you do not score as well on the ACT as you would like, you can retake the test in the summer or in the fall of your senior year.
  • You will be prepared when colleges contact you during the summer before your senior year.
  • You can use your test results to help plan what courses you want to take during your senior year.

ACT registration can be conveniently completed online. An advantage of online ACT registration is that you will know instantly whether your chosen test center has open availability.  Additionally, you can print your ACT admission ticket.

Beginning with the 2010-2011 testing year, online options were added for students with disabilities who choose to take the ACT at national test centers as well as for students who wish to test in a standby mode.

If you missed the registration period for one of the ACT test dates, you may still be able to register during the late registration period. This late registration period typically extends for 14 days following the regular registratio deadline.

In order to complete your late ACT registration, you will have to pay a $35 fee. Unfortunately, this fee is in addition to the standard registration fee.

ACT Standby Registration

If you missed both the regular and late registration periods, you may still be able to take the ACT via the standby registration period. You can request standby status through the ACT website. You will have to pay a $56 standby fee. This fee is in addition to the regular registration fee.

You will be asked to show up at the testing location on the day of your exam. If a seat is open, you will be able to take the test. If a seat is not open, and you are not able to take the test, your money is refunded.

When should I take the ACT for the first time?

Typically, high school students will choose to take the ACT for the first time during their junior year - usually in the spring.

Taking the ACT your junior year allows you to take the exam again in the summer or fall of your senior year.

What is the best month to take the ACT?

The best month to take the ACT depends on your schedule. Every version of the ACT is standardized, so one exam is not harder than the other.

It is best to find a time of the year where you are not super busy. This will allow you to prepare for the exam and be in a good headspace when it comes time to take the exam.

Remember to keep deadlines in mind. If you need to apply to a certain school before a certain date, ensure you will have enough time to receive your scores.

How many times is the ACT given each year?

The ACT is typically given a total of 7 times each year.

It is typically given in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July.

Last Updated: 12/7/2021

Disclaimer: Not affiliated with or endorsed by ACT, Inc. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. and is used here solely for purposes of identification.


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