When Should You Take The ACT?

When you decide which colleges or universities you are going to apply to, find out if they required the ACT. Then you need to know when they need your ACT scores. It normally takes four weeks after your test date for your scores to be reported, so be sure to allow enough time.

The ACT is offered nationally several times a year, between September and June. However, it's not offered at every test center on each test date. The Saturday dates are more frequent and are held at more test centers.

The first thing you should find out is where and when the ACT is being offered in your area. Your high school guidance counselor should be able to give you this information. It's also printed in the booklet Registering for the ACT Assessment, which is available from your school counselor.

Most students take the ACT in the spring of junior year or in the fall of senior year. A good case can be made for taking it at the earlier date. For one thing, you'll have a better idea of where you stand. If your score satisfies you, you can spend the summer visiting the colleges in which you're interested, or getting started on your applications. If your score is lower than you want, you can use the summer to prepare to take the test again in the fall.

If you take the ACT in:
Junior YearSenior Year
1. You will get a clearer picture of your prospects for admission to the colleges you are interested.1. You are likely to earn higher scores, because you will have more courses and experience.
2. You will have enough time to do more practice and to take the ACT again if your scores are not satisfactory.2. You will have very limited time to do more practice and to take the ACT again if your scores are not satisfactory.
3. You can apply to colleges for an early decision. Deadlines for most early decision applications fall between October 15 to November 15.3. You will meet regular college application deadlines, which usually fall between January 1 to March 15 for September admissions.

On certain dates, the ACT offers "Test Information Release." If you take the ACT on one of these dates, you can, for a small fee, receive a copy of the test that you took and a photocopy of your actual answer sheet. We advise that if possible, you take the test on one of these dates for your won protection. In case that you find out any mistakes in scoring, you can point them out to ACT, and ACT will correct the mistakes by hand-scoring your test. Check your registration booklet for the exact dates.

If the schools you'll apply to also requires SAT II (subject tests), take the test immediately after you complete your subject(s) in school (probably in June) when your memory is still fresh. This will save you a lot of review time. The ACT and SAT II are registered separately. You can't take the two tests on the same day.

Remember, try to allow you enough practice time at this Web site before your test date.

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