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ACT Test Dates and Registration

Scheduling your ACT test dates will help you plan your prep. We've got all the info you need on ACT test dates, registration deadlines, scores back dates, and fees below.

The ACT is offered 6 times a year in the U.S. In 2018, the ACT will be offered 7 times a year in the U.S., as it will be adding a July test date.  The ACT is also offered internationally 5 times a year. Many students take the ACT for their first time during their junior year of high school and many opt to take the ACT more than once. Students can take the ACT through the fall of their senior year in high school.

How to Register for the ACT

There are two ways you can register for the ACT — online or by mail.  To register online, you must first have an ACT account. Setting one up is pretty easy! Just visit the ACT website to set up your free account. Once you have your account, you’ll need a few things to register:

  • Your photo I.D. - you’ll also need this on test day!
  • A photo of yourself that you can upload to the registration site
  • A credit card to pay the registration fees (more on this later)
  • A printer to print your admissions ticket - you’ll also need this on test day!
  • Your high school course details
  • Your high school code
Do I need to register by mail? You need to register by mail if you are younger than 13 years old or if you cannot pay by credit card. You’ll need to request a Register-by-Mail packet. For more information on registering by mail visit the ACT website.

ACT Test Dates and Deadlines

Below is a table with ACT test dates and registration deadlines. Don’t wait until the deadline to register! You should register as soon as you know which test date you are going to choose to take the ACT. Test date locations may fill up and you’ll want to take the ACT at your high school or close to your home so that you don’t have to drive too far on test day.

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline Scores Back
Saturday, September 9, 2017 Friday, August 4, 2017 August 5-18, 2017 TBD
Saturday, October 28, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 September 23-October 6, 2017 TBD
Saturday, December 9, 2017 Friday, November 3, 2017 November 4-17, 2017 TBD
Saturday, February 10, 2018* Friday, January 12, 2018 January 13-19, 2018 TBD
Saturday, April 14, 2018 Friday, March 9, 2018 March 10-23, 2018 TBD
Saturday, June 9, 2018 Friday, May 4, 2018 May 5-18, 2018 TBD
Saturday, July 14, 2018* Friday, June 15, 2018 June 16-22, 2018 TBD

*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February and July test dates. For more information regarding ACT score release dates, please visit 

Can I make changes to my ACT Registration? Life happens. Sometimes you make a mistake, or you need more time to prep for the test and want to change your test date. Maybe you decide you do want to test with the optional essay. The test-maker understand this, so they enable students to make some changes to their ACT registration. For more information on what you can change and the fees associated with changes visit the ACT.

How much does it cost to take the ACT? The cost to take the ACT without the essay is $42.50. If you decide to take the ACT with the essay then the cost is $58.50. Make sure to research the schools to which you plan to apply before you decide to skip the essay section - some schools require it!

There may be additional fees to take the ACT. See the test-maker's site for more information.

Can I get a fee waiver? Fee waivers are available for 11th and 12th grade students who:

  • Are either a US citizen or testing in the US, US territories, or Puerto Rico.
  • Meet one or more indicators of economic need listed on the ACT Fee Waiver form

You cannot request a fee waiver directly from ACT; you must contact your high school counselor. For more information and to find out if you are eligible for a fee waiver review the ACT website.

Where do I take the ACT? There are ACT test centers across the U.S. To find out where you can take the test on the test date you’ve chosen visit the ACT test center tool.

Additional ACT Resources

About the ACT 

What is a good ACT score?


Test Day Checklist