ACT Test Dates

2021 Testing Dates & Registration Deadlines Explained

act-test-datesWhat You need to Know About ACT Exam Dates And Registration Deadlines

If you plan on taking your ACT exam in preparation for your college application, it is crucial to know the accurate dates to sit for the exam to make early preparations.

Although you can go ahead and sign up for the exam on the next available date, it is essential to consider a date that is ideal for your schedule.

Let’s look at when the next ACT test date is and when you can register.


What are ACT Test Dates & Testing Windows?

Mostly, ACTs are taken on Saturdays, but you can consider taking it on a different date for those with religious exemptions. ACT Inc. sets the dates to take the test, and it is available seven times a year in February, April, June, July, September, October, and December. Although you can take the ACT up to 12 times, it is advisable to take it not more than four times.

Nevertheless, the chances are that if you take the test more than two times, you are likely to score 2.9 points more than those taking it once. The table below shows the 2021 ACT test dates, registration deadlines, and online score release dates for 2021.

Test Date Normal Deadline Late Deadline Score Release Date
February 6, 2021January 8, 2021January 9-15, 2021March 8, 22, 2021
April 17, 2021March 12, 2021March 13-26, 2021May 11, 25, 2021
June 12, 2021May 7, 2021May 8-21, 2021July 6,20, 2021
July 17, 2021June 18, 2021June 19-25, 2021August 10, 24, 2021
SeptemberTBDTBDTBD
OctoberTBDTBDTBD
December TBDTBDTBD

For the date to release the scores, there are two dates, and the first is when the Composite ACT (multiple-choice scores) comes out with the individual section scores for Math, Reading, English, and Science sections. The second date is when ACT releases complete scores, including the writing scores. For students who take ACT without the optional writing section, you can receive your ACT score report in two weeks.

Most importantly, during Fall, the ACT dates are clustered, while in Spring, they are spread out. This allows seniors to attain their ACT score targets before university/college deadlines. Spring tests target juniors and those studying for the test early.

The current dates are similar to the ACT test dates 2020.


How do you sign up for ACT exams?

Signing up for ACT tests is around four to five weeks before the test date, but there is also the allowance for late registration, two to three weeks before the exam date. Signing up for most students is online, which is a quick way to get confirmation, but sometimes you can register through the mail, but this takes time. Mail registration will require you to receive a mail packet from the school counselor or ACT, which has to be mailed back.

To register online, you should create a Web Account on the ACT website, and this is available for both US and international test-takers. After creating the account, you will register for the test by providing personal information, including high school classes, interests, background, identification details, and social security number. During the process, you will specify if you will take the ACT with writing or not, and then pick a preferred test date.

You will also need to select the center to take the exam before confirmation the information and pay to complete your registration.


Where do you take the ACT test?

You can take the ACT exam at your school or a test center, and most students take the paper version of the exam. International students can take the computer version of the exam. Students sit for ACT exams at their local high schools, colleges, career schools, and other centers.

To find a center, you can go to the ACT website to see available centers around you are. Always consider a center where you can easily get to on time because the exam starts at 8:30 am, so you should be at the center by 7:45 am.


How Long Does it Take to get ACT Test Results?

Usually, ACT exam scores will be out after ten days of sitting the exam. You can access the composite score and the section scores online after ten days, but sometimes it can take longer. In the table above, we indicated the expected dates when ACT would make the results available, both the composite score and the writing section results.

Generally, your results will be out by the second Tuesday after sitting your exams since the test is conducted on Saturday. Students should expect their score after two weeks of releasing the section results for the writing test result.


When can you retake an ACT test section? Is there a waiting period?

If you don’t hit your target score after taking the ACT, you shouldn’t worry because there is no harm in retaking the test. Most importantly, colleges and universities will only consider your highest test scores, and if you perform worse in the retake than the first trial, you can still use your first-round results. Students usually take the test twice, and it is worth it because, in the second round, you will be aware of what you expect. You can retake the test up to 12 times, but it is recommended to retake it up to three times.

Nowadays, you have the option of retaking a specific section of the exam instead of taking the whole test. You can use your super score to apply for college because ACT calculates the super score by taking the best performance per section, but not all colleges accept superscore.

There is no “wait period” to retake a section because the retest dates will coincide with the national ACT exam dates. Therefore, those considering retake the test will have seven chances to retake each year. You can retake one, two, or three sections. The cost of taking one section is $44, $48 for two, and $52 for three, while the whole ACT is $55 without the writing section. You might as well consider doing the whole test if you are retaking three sections.

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