ACT Test Dates – Everything You Need to Know 2024

ACT Test Dates

Everything about getting ready for college requires a pretty considerable amount of preparation, and there are a lot of important dates that you need to be aware of. If you’re in starting to feel the threat of application deadlines casting a cloud over your spring semester, then you will want to know everything you can about the ACT test dates this year.

The 2022-2023 test dates for the ACT started as early as September 2022, but the remaining dates include 15 April, 2023, 10 June, 2023, and 15 July 2023. Each testing day has its own registration deadline, a late registration deadline for which a fee will apply, and a standby test deadline.

In this article, we’ll go over all the important information you need about these dates and deadlines for anyone hoping to take the ACT over the next couple of years, as well as other key information like how to register, how to plan, and how to get ahead with your ACT prep.

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2023 ACT Test Dates and Registrations

ACT Test Dates - Everything You Need to Know 2023

First and foremost, let’s go over the basic ACT dates that you need to be aware of when it comes to the ACT test this year. Most of the testing dates have already passed (as many of them took place in the fall semester of 2022), but there are still a number of dates remaining for 2023.

Test DateRegistration DeadlineLate Fee DeadlineStandby Test Deadline
11 Feb6 Jan20 JanFeb 3
15 Apr10 Mar24 MarApr 7
10 Jun5 May19 MayJun 2
15 Jul16 Jun23 JunJul 7

Of course, the tests on the 11th of February test date may already have passed by the time you get to reading this, and the deadlines for registering certainly will have.

The different deadlines that are listed might seem a little confusing, but they are relatively straightforward.

·        Regular Registration Deadline. This is when you want to have completed your registration by if you don’t want to pay any additional fees.

·        Late Registration Deadline. You will still be able to register by this date, but you will need to pay late fees if you are past the regular deadline.

·        Standby Test Deadline. This is the same as the “Photo Upload Deadline”, and it is the date by which you can still request a test, even if you missed the Late Registration Deadline. You are not guaranteed a place, and you will need to fulfill other requirements to apply this way (including uploading a recent photo).

Can You Request An Alternate Test Date?

There are some very limited circumstances in which you might be able to take your ACT test on a different date than the one listed, and you need to apply directly with one of the eligible test centers to do so. The alternate dates will almost always be on a Sunday – the day after the regular test date.

The alternate dates are known as Non-Saturday tests, and they are only available to students who are unable to take their test on a Saturday for religious reasons. To apply for one, you need to find a local test center that carries out Non-Saturday tests within 75 miles of your home.

You can use the Test Center Locator on the ACT website to search specifically for a Non-Saturday test center, and each test center will give you its location, center code, and the Non-Saturday dates that they have available.

International Test Dates 2023 ACT

ACT Test Dates - Everything You Need to Know 2023

Of course, not all test takers are going to be applying from inside the US. Many international high school students will also be taking the ACT as well, and their dates are a little bit different.

Test DateRegistration DeadlineLate Fee DeadlineStandby Test Deadline
10-11 Feb13 Jan27 Jan3 Fed
14-15 Apr17 Mar31 Mar7 Apr
9-10 Jun12 May26 May2 Jun
14-15 Jul16 Jun30 Jun7 Jul

There are two main differences that you need to be aware of if you’re applying from abroad. First, the international tests are taken over the span of two days for each date and, secondly, the registration deadlines are different.

The deadlines to register for the ACT test internationally are, on average, one week after the national test dates’ deadline. The standby deadline, however, is generally the same.

Is It Too Late To Register For The July Test Date?

The big question on a lot of people’s minds at this point in the spring will be, am I too late? Do I still have time to register for the ACT test?

There is still ample time to register for the April, June, and July test dates in most states, however, there are some differences in New York for the July test date. There are no ACT tests scheduled in New York for July, due to a law that is specific to the state.

In New York, they have what is known as the “Admissions Testing Law”. This states that test takers have the right to obtain copies of the test, the answer sheet to the test, and a key to what the correct responses should be along with their results.

This currently only applies to half of the tests given in a year, so (since the ACT has three Test Information Release dates) New York only has six national tests rather than the standard seven.

ACT Test Dates 2023-2024

Although it is a little too early to be applying for the tests that take place in the next academic year, you should certainly keep them in mind if you want to be prepared.

The test dates for the fall and spring semesters of the 2023-2024 academic year are most likely to be one day after the 2022-2023 dates so that they still fall on the same Saturday within the month. That means that next year’s test dates will be:

2023-2023 Academic Year National ACT Test Dates
September 9, 2023
October 21, 2023
December 9, 2023
February 10, 2024
April 6, 2024
June 8, 2024
July 13, 2024

These dates are subject to change and have not been officially released by the ACT yet, but they are quite likely as the dates follow a standard pattern almost every year.

How To Register For The ACT

ACT Test Dates - Everything You Need to Know 2023

Now that we have a good idea of when the ACT tests are actually going to be, we can talk about the process of registering. It’s relatively straightforward, as long as you know when you are applying for and you have a few important things to hand.

The online registration process takes about 30 minutes, and you will need:

·        A computer, connected to the internet

·        A recent photo of yourself

·        A credit card or other form of payment

·        Details of your high school education

Then, you just need to go through a few simple steps.

Step 1: Create an ACT account.

First, simply go to the website and make an account. You will need to fill in personal details such as your name, date of birth, email address, home country, and telephone number, and you will need to agree to their terms and conditions.

You will also need to verify your account through text or email.

Step 2: Select “Register for the ACT”

There are numerous locations on the ACT website where you will find a link to the registration page, but it is easiest to do through your ACT dashboard.

Step 3: Choose your location, support needs, and with/without writing

First, you will need to state whether you are testing in or out of the U.S., then you will need to state whether you need to apply for special accommodations or English Learner support, and whether you want to take the “ACT with writing” or the “ACT, no writing”.

Step 4: Choose a date and center

This is where you decide where and when you actually want to take the test. This can be a tricky decision, so we’ll talk more about it in a moment, but you can either search by test center or test date to find the specific test you want to register for.

Step 5: Review and add additional information

Make sure to check your test date is correct before continuing, then you have a chance to add more information.

Some information will be required, like your Photo ID and personal info, while others are optional. You can choose to purchase additional services and practice materials, you can indicate your score preferences and college choices, and you can add your parent/guardian’s information as well.

Step 6: Pay and confirm

The final step is to make the payment before confirming your registration and sending it off.

How To Choose The Right ACT Test Dates

ACT Test Dates - Everything You Need to Know 2023

So, how do you actually go about selecting a test date that is going to work for you? Well, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

First, it is worth checking the test centers closest to you, as not every center will carry out tests on every single date. Then, you need to consider how much time you have to register and prepare for the test itself, and how much time you have to receive the results.

Most people will choose based on college application deadlines, as this is obviously crucial. Check the deadlines for every college and scholarship agency that you want to apply to, and make sure to pick a date that is well in advance.

Don’t rely on priority score reports, and give yourself time to carefully go over each application.

College Application Deadlines and Score Release Dates

It is advised that you try to take your ACT test at least two months before you need to apply for your college or school.

The deadline for applying to most colleges generally falls between November and February, with the majority occurring sometime in January.

Due to processing time, the release dates for ACT scores vary. Multiple choice scores are usually reported within 1 or 2 weeks of finishing the test, but they can take up to 8 weeks to come back. Scores for the ACT with writing normally take 5-8 weeks to be reported.

Also, don’t forget to plan around your obligations and make sure the date fits into your overall schedule. In your senior year, or even your junior year, you often have a lot going on. You don’t want to be double-booked on the day, and you also want to have enough time beforehand for proper ACT test prep.

How To Prepare For The ACT Test

Preparing for the ACT test can be a pretty daunting prospect, but there are a few tips that can help you give it your best shot.

1.     Register early.

2.     Take practice tests and look at past versions of the ACT test to familiarise yourself with the different sections, content, and style of questions – particularly for the optional writing portion.

3.     Use the results from your practice tests to acknowledge areas for improvement and set a goal score for your next attempt.

4.     Build regular ACT test practice and study into your overall schedule leading up to the test itself.

5.     Review the content areas that you struggle with the most in order to gain more points.

How Much Time Do You Need To Prepare For The ACT?

It’s almost impossible to say exactly how long it will take to get yourself ready for the ACT, as every student is different. With that being said, there are a couple of general rules that are worth keeping in mind.

You should start your ACT prep two to three months before the test itself and dedicate multiple hours a week to practice and study.

Keep in mind that it’s estimated to take around 10 hours of study to improve by just 1 point overall.


ACT Test Dates - Everything You Need to Know 2023

When Should Juniors Take The ACT?

Most high school students take their first test in their junior year, often in the spring semester. It’s not essential, but it gives you a lot of time to retake the test and try to achieve a higher score if you need to.

When Should Seniors Take The ACT?

It’s always better to have taken the ACT at least once within the fall semester of your senior year, however, it is possible to take the test all the way up to July – as long as it is well before the deadline for applying to your further education.

How Many Times Should You Take The ACT?

You can take the ACT up to 12 times but, for most people, you should aim to take it around 2 or 3 times. This will give you a chance to improve your scores without taking too much away from the rest of your academic obligations and extracurricular activities.

Is The ACT Easier Than The SAT?

The ACT and the SAT are considered to be the same level of difficulty, though some students do prefer one over the other. Both the ACT and the SAT cover the same topics and are used to apply for colleges and obtain merit-based scholarships.

Dates For The ACT: Summary

Taking the ACT is a big deal for any student, and test dates for 2022-2023 are already in the books. The available options remaining in the year are 15 April, 10 June, and 15 July.

You need to make sure that you are getting your registration in a good amount of time before the deadline, especially if you want to avoid the late fee that you will incur with late registration.

Then, you will need to put the time in to properly prepare yourself and even retake the test if you need to, so that you are not too anxious when you’re waiting for those score release dates.

Josh Hutcheson

E-Learning Specialist in Online Programs & Courses Linkedin

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