Looking for information on ACT test dates? It's essential to know the correct ACT test dates to plan your test-taking strategy effectively. The ACT is a critical element in the college admissions process, and achieving a high score can make all the difference in being accepted into your dream school unless you plan to pursue for admissions. However, acing the ACT requires not only diligent studying and preparation, but also strategic planning in choosing the best test dates. With so many ACT test dates available throughout the year, it can be overwhelming to decide which dates to choose. In this comprehensive guide, we provide an overview of the upcoming ACT test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates for 2024-2025. We will also offer tips on choosing the best ACT test date for you based on your academic timeline and commitments.
The most recent ACT test dates have been confirmed by ACT, Inc. Here are the upcoming ACT test dates, along with the normal registration deadlines and late registration deadlines.
Selecting the right ACT test date for you depends on several key factors. Here are five important considerations to keep in mind when choosing your ACT test date:
1. Know When Your Applications Are Due
One crucial factor to consider when choosing an ACT test date is the application deadlines for the colleges or universities you plan to apply to. ACT scores are typically released 10-14 days after the exam. After that, ACT, Inc. sends score reports to schools in batches as frequently as the schools choose to receive them, usually at least once every two weeks. It's important to take the ACT well in advance of your application deadlines to ensure that your scores reach your schools on time.
We recommend taking the ACT at least four weeks before your applications are due. If you're taking the ACT with Writing, give yourself even more time, ideally at least six weeks. Common application deadlines are January 1 for regular decision and November 1 or 15 for early action/early decision, so you should be taking your ACT in September-October at the latest.
It's crucial to submit your scores on time as late or delayed scores could lead to disqualification of your application. Early test dates provide a buffer to ensure that your application is not affected by any unforeseen delays.
2. Don't Rely on Priority Score Reports
In the past, the ACT offered priority score reports that allowed students to send their scores to universities sooner. However, as of 2020, the ACT no longer offers this service. It's essential to be aware of this change and plan your test date accordingly. Make sure to take the ACT well before your application deadlines to ensure that your regular score reports reach your universities on time.
3. Consider How Many Times You May Want to Take the ACT
Another factor to consider is how many times you're willing to take the ACT to achieve your goal score. You can take an ACT practice test to establish your baseline score and gauge where you’re at to begin with.
We recommend taking the ACT two or three times in total: once in the fall and once in the spring of your junior year, and once in the fall or summer before your senior year.
If you didn't take the ACT in your junior year, aim to take it for the first time in February. This will give you enough time to receive your scores in March and decide whether you want to retake the ACT in June, July, or later.
Avoid registering for back-to-back dates in the fall of your senior year, as this may not provide sufficient time for effective preparation and improvement in scores. Balancing your test dates strategically allows you to make the most of your study time and achieve your desired results.
4. Determine How Much Time You Can Dedicate to ACT Preparation
The amount of time you can devote to ACT preparation is a significant factor in choosing the right test date. Consider how many months you can commit to ACT prep and how many points you need to improve your baseline score to reach your goal score. You should also research what is considered a and ACT score and the average accepted scores at the colleges on your . This way, you’ll know what scores you need to aim for when applying.
We recommend studying for the ACT for three to six months. This duration provides ample time to develop test-taking skills and strategies without overwhelming yourself. However, the total number of hours you dedicate to studying is more important than the number of months. Here's a rough estimate of the number of hours you may need based on the desired score improvement:
- 0-1 ACT point improvement: 10 hours
- 1-2 ACT point improvement: 20 hours
- 2-4 ACT point improvement: 40 hours
- 5-6 ACT point improvement: 80 hours
- 6-9 ACT point improvement: 150 hours or more
Keep in mind that the larger the improvement in points, the more hours you'll need to study. It's crucial to create an ACT study plan and start preparing as early as possible to ensure sufficient time for effective preparation and score improvement.
5. Plan Around Your Obligations
Consider your overall schedule and any commitments or obligations you may have when choosing an ACT test date. Consider any potential conflicts, such as major school events, extracurricular activities, AP exams, school projects, family vacations, or other personal events. Using a planner or calendar can help you keep track of important dates and identify potential conflicts. This will allow you to choose an ACT test date that aligns with your schedule and ensures that you have ample time to prepare without any hindrances.
While the choice of an ACT test date ultimately depends on individual circumstances, here are some general recommendations for juniors and seniors:
Wondering whether or the ACT, or both? ACT is an alternative to the SAT as a standardized test that is commonly used for college admissions in the United States. Both tests are widely accepted by colleges and universities, and students can generally choose to take either test based on their own preferences and strengths. While there are some differences in the format and content of the tests, both the ACT and SAT are designed to measure a student's academic skills and readiness for college-level work.
While the ACT and SAT are both standardized tests used for college admissions, there are some key differences between the two tests. It is essential to learn the differences between the before selecting the one to write. Some students may prefer the ACT if they are strong in math and , while others may prefer the SAT if they are strong in reading and writing. Ultimately, the best test for you will depend on your personal preferences, as well as the requirements of the colleges you're interested in applying to.
The ACT is offered seven times a year, providing flexibility for students to choose the best test date based on their circumstances.
Key factors to consider include the application deadlines, the elimination of priority score reports, the number of times you plan to take the ACT, the time you can dedicate to ACT prep, and any obligations or commitments that may affect your availability.
By carefully considering these factors and planning strategically, you can select the ACT test date that aligns with your goals and maximizes your chances of achieving your desired scores. Remember to register early and create a study plan to ensure effective preparation and success on the ACT.
Now that you have a comprehensive guide to ACT test dates for 2024-2025, you can confidently plan your test-taking strategy and embark on your journey towards success.
1. How many times can I take the ACT?
You can take the ACT as many times as you want. However, it's recommended to take it two or three times in total to allow for score improvement and retakes if necessary.
2. Should I take the ACT in my junior or senior year?
It's advisable to take the ACT at least twice: once in the fall and once in the spring of your junior year. If you didn't take it in your junior year, aim to take it for the first time in February of your senior year. This timeline provides ample opportunities for score improvement and aligns with college application deadlines.
3. How should I plan my ACT test dates around college application deadlines?
You should aim to take the ACT at least four weeks before your application deadlines. This ensures that your scores reach your schools on time. Consider early action/early decision deadlines, regular decision deadlines, and the time it takes for score reports to be sent to schools.
4. What factors should I consider when choosing an ACT test date?
Factors to consider include application deadlines, the elimination of priority score reports, the number of times you plan to take the ACT, the time you can dedicate to ACT prep, and any personal obligations or commitments that may affect your availability.
5. What are the best ACT test dates for juniors?
For juniors, it's recommended to take the ACT at least twice: once in the fall and once in the spring. The fall test provides ample time to receive scores and decide on retakes, while the spring test allows for additional improvement before senior year.
6. What are the best ACT test dates for seniors?
For seniors, consider the application deadlines and timing of score releases. The best test dates are typically in July, September, and October, offering opportunities to improve scores before application deadlines.
7. Can I take the ACT instead of the SAT?
Yes, the ACT is an alternative to the SAT as a standardized test for college admissions. Both tests are widely accepted, and students can choose based on their preferences and strengths. Research the requirements of the colleges you're interested in to determine which test they prefer.
8. How much time should I dedicate to ACT preparation?
It's recommended to study for the ACT for three to six months, depending on the desired score improvement. The total number of hours dedicated to studying is more important than the number of months. Create a study plan and start preparing early to allow for effective preparation and score improvement.