ACT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing in 2023 & 2024

Aside from preparing for the ACT test itself, it’s also important to know the upcoming ACT test dates so you will know which schedule you should consider in relation to your college application. Once you pick an ACT test date, it will be a lot easier for you to plan out your study schedule.

That said, we have listed down the most updated ACT registration dates and test dates for 2020 and 2021 for the US and international test-takers. Also, we have included the schedule of score release dates for US test-takers.

Test Date Deadline Late Registration Deadline Online Score Release
September 12, 2020 August 7, 2020 August 21, 2020 September 22, 2020 & October 6, 2020
October 24, 2020 September 20, 2020 October 4, 2020 November 3, 2020 & November 17, 2020
December 12, 2020 November 6, 2020 November 20, 2020 December 22, 2020 & January 5, 2021
February 6, 2021 January 8, 2021 January 15, 2021 February 16, 2021 & March 1, 2021
April 10, 2021 March 5, 2021 March 19, 2021 April 20, 2021 & May 4, 2021
June 12, 2021 May 7, 2021 May 21, 2021 June 22, 2021, & July 6, 2021
July 17, 2021 June 11, 2021 June 25, 2021 July 27, 2021 & August 10, 2021

Note: The above ACT schedule of the ACT registration deadline is applicable for test-takers in the US and US territories (Canada and Puerto Rico) only.

Below are the test and registration dates of the ACT for international test-takers.

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
February 7-8, 2020 January 17, 2020 January 31 ,2020
April 3-4, 2020 March 13, 2020 March 27, 2020
June 12-13, 2020 May 22, 2020 June 5, 2020
July 17-18, 2020 June 26, 2020 July 10, 2020
September 11-12, 2020 August 21, 2020 September 4, 2020
October 9-10, 2020 September 18, 2020 October 2, 2020
December 11-12, 2020 November 20, 2020 December 4, 2020

Important Reminders

The scores for the multiple-choice are usually available around two weeks to eight weeks after each ACT national test date. The complete scores with the essay, on the other hand, are available two weeks after the multiple-choice scores are released.

The writing portion of the ACT test is optional. However, if the college you’re applying for requires a writing/essay score, then you need to complete this section of the exam too. 

Registration for the ACT

The ACT test registration can be done online. It takes only around 40 minutes to complete the online registration. The first step in doing so is to find the ACT test date that provides you with ample time to prepare and register. 

What are the things you need for the ACT online registration? 

  • Computer with an internet connection
  • Your ACT student account (1).
  • Your high school course information
  • A recent photo of yourself. The quality of the photo should meet the ACT photo requirements (2).
  • Form of payment to pay for the registration fee (credit card, debit card, and other accepted forms of payment). You do not need to pay for the registration fee IF you qualify for a fee waiver (3).

Once you’re done with the online registration, don’t forget to print out the ticket to the test center. You will need to present it during the ACT test day.

You have the option to refer to the ACT’s Educational Opportunity Service upon registration. This option will help you connect to various financial institutions and colleges, according to your future plans and interests.

Tips When Choosing an ACT Test Date

  1. You can take the ACT test as early as sixth grade, but we recommend you take the test after your sophomore year. This will give you plenty of time to prepare and repeat the test if you need to while being not too early to overwhelm you with concepts that you’re not yet aware of.
  2. Choose an ACT test schedule AT LEAST two months before your college and scholarship applications. Keep in mind that your ACT test results should be available before you submit an application to colleges and scholarship institutions.
  3. We recommend you prepare for the ACT test when you have ample time and when you can truly focus on it without other distractions like extracurricular activities. It is still possible to prep for the ACT test even if you have other obligations, but it’s more ideal to prep when you’re not loaded with many things to do. Having focus for your ACT test prep will give you more chances of attaining high scores.
  4. The best time to prepare for the ACT is during your summer break, which is around September. With this in mind, practice hard before the next ACT test date and while you still have the luxury of time!
  5. If possible, retake the ACT test more than once, so you can target to improve your score each time you try. This will also allow you to be more accustomed to the ACT test itself and how it’s done overall. However, keep in mind that you can retake up to three times only.

Wrapping it up

When is the next ACT test date? You can easily find the answer online. Once you do, make sure to plot your schedule accordingly so you’ll be fully equipped to take the exam and ace it the first time. Also, research on both the ACT test dates and locations so you can time your commute and avoid being late during the actual examination day.