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

Registering for the ACT used to be a very strenuous process. However, it has become very easy to register for the ACT. The whole ACT registration process can be completed online (preferred method) or by mail. 

The ACT registration process will take around 30 minutes and will include various tasks such as submitting a headshot photo and entering payment details.

Summary: Review everything needed to register for the ACT in our guide below. Consider using an ACT online course if you are preparing for the ACT.

Online registration is the easiest method to register for the ACT. The first step is to create an online student account. Online registration gives you the advantages of being able to confirm that there is an open spot at your selected test site as well as the ability to print your admission ticket.

Online registration is a straightforward process that simply asks for your contact information, address, and high school information. Once your student account is created, you will be able to select and modify your test dates, pay for your registration via credit card, view your test scores, select colleges to send your score reports to, and enter/update your high school grades.

The simplest and fastest registration method for the ACT is online. When you register online, you will be immediately informed about the availability of a seat at your preferred test center.  Additionally, you will be able to print your admission ticket. Mail-in registration is only required if you are under 13 or are unable to pay via a credit card.

Standby testing is available if you missed the late registration deadline. To request standby testing you should create an online account and complete the downloadable request form.

If you plan on using an international test center, then you must sign up for the ACT using the online ACT test registration. If you plan on taking the ACT within the US, US Territories, Puerto Rico or Canada, you can use either an online or mail-based ACT test registration process.

Arranged Testing

In certain circumstances, you may be able to have special testing accomodations. Typical reasons to request for arranged testing include

  • You are homebound or confined.
  • You require a test to be given on a non-Saturday and a test center is not available within 50 miles of your home.
  • Test centers are not available in your country or within 50 miles of your home in the U.S. or Canada.

ACT Fees

ACT Fees Breakdown

Type Fee Notes
Full ACT (No Writing) $60 Reports for you, your high school, and up to 4 colleges.
Full ACT (Writing) $85 Reports for you, your high school, and up to 4 colleges.
Late Registration $36 Additional fee if you register after the deadline.
Standby Testing $57 Additional fee if you want to test on standby. Refunded if not admitted.
Change Fee $40 Additional fee for test date change or test center change.
Score Reports to 5th and 6th Colleges $16 Additional fee to send score report to additional schools. 
Test Information Release $30 Additional fee if you want a copy of your test questions and answers. 

Virtually every student is allowed to take the ACT. Students typically take the ACT in their junior year, but students may take it anywhere from 6th grade to 12th grade. High School graduates are also allowed to take the exam.

It is important to prepare for the ACT so you can get a good score the first time around. Make sure you are ready by reviewing the best ACT prep courses.

You should take the ACT at least a few months before your college or scholarship applications are due. Test scores are typically available to the students in under two weeks. Schools get them later than this, but exactly when depends on a few factors. Students can check with the school to see the last test date they can take. This is typically the December exam.

Most college bound high school students choose to take their exam their junior year. Use our practice ACT questions to help prepare for your upcoming exam.

Advatges of Taking ACT Junior Year

  • Coursework Completion - you'll have finished a majority of the courses that you will be tested on.
  • Senior Year Planning - your scores may indicate what courses you should be taking in your senior year of high school.
  • College Interest - Colleges will know your interests and scores and will contact you in the summer after your junior year with information regarding admissions, scholarships, and specialized programs.
  • Retesting - If you don't reach your desired ACT scores, you'll have plenty of opportunity to retake the test

ACT Test Dates

In most states, the ACT is offered 7 times a years. ACT test dates are on Saturdays and are usually offered in the following months: September, October, December, February, April and June, and July.

Your basic test registration fee and service fees are non refundable. Some optional service fees (5th and 6th college choices, test information release and ACT writing test) are refundable on request.

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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