ACT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing (2023 and 2024)

The ACT is one of the most popular standardized tests for high school students in the United States. The test measures a student’s proficiency in English, math, reading, and science, and is scored on a scale of 1-36. Preparing for the ACT can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, you can set yourself up for success. It is accepted by most colleges and universities and serves as a measure of a student's academic abilities. If you're planning to take the ACT, it's important to choose the right test date that suits your schedule and gives you enough time to prepare. In this article, we'll provide a full guide to choosing the best ACT test dates for 2023 and 2024.

ACT Test Dates

In 2023, the ACT will be administered on seven different test dates throughout the year.

The registration deadlines for these test dates vary, so it's important to plan ahead and register early to avoid late fees. 

Here are the ACT test dates for 2023 with their corresponding registration and deadline dates:

February 11, 2023 - Registration Deadline: January 6, 2023
April 8, 2023 - Registration Deadline: March 3, 2023
June 10, 2023 - Registration Deadline: May 5, 2023
July 15, 2023 - Registration Deadline: June 16, 2023
September 9, 2023 - Registration Deadline: August 4, 2023
October 28, 2023 - Registration Deadline: September 22, 2023
December 9, 2023 - Registration Deadline: November 3, 2023

The registration deadlines for the 2024 ACT test dates are as follows:

February 10, 2024 test date: January 12, 2024 (without late fee) / January 19, 2024 (with late fee)
April 13, 2024 test date: March 8, 2024 (without late fee) / March 22, 2024 (with late fee)
June 8, 2024 test date: May 3, 2024 (without late fee) / May 17, 2024 (with late fee)
July 13, 2024 test date: June 14, 2024 (without late fee) / June 21, 2024 (with late fee)
September 7, 2024 test date: August 9, 2024 (without late fee) / August 16, 2024 (with late fee)
October 26, 2024 test date: September 27, 2024 (without late fee) / October 4, 2024 (with late fee)
December 14, 2024 test date: November 8, 2024 (without late fee) / November 22, 2024 (with late fee)

It's important to note that there are additional fees for late registration, standby testing, and changes to your test date or center, so be sure to check the ACT website for the latest information on fees and deadlines.

Kindly note that these dates are subject to change, so it's always a good idea to double-check with the ACT website to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.

Choosing the Best ACT Test Dates for You

Here are some tips to help you choose the best ACT test dates.

• Consider Your Schedule

When selecting ACT test dates, consider your schedule and availability. Choose a date that is convenient for you, keeping in mind your academic and extracurricular commitments. Avoid scheduling the test on dates that conflict with other important events, such as school exams, sports tournaments, or family celebrations. Plan ahead and give yourself enough time to prepare for the test, including taking practice tests and studying the material.

• Check Application Deadlines

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing ACT test dates is college application deadlines. Ensure that you take the test at least two months before your college application deadline to allow for the score report to arrive on time. Check the admission requirements of the colleges you are interested in to determine the latest ACT test date they will accept. Some colleges require students to take the test multiple times, so plan ahead and schedule accordingly.

• Consider Test Format

The ACT test is available in two formats: paper-based and computer-based. Consider which format works best for you when selecting the test dates. If you prefer a paper-based test, check for available test dates in your area. The computer-based test is becoming more popular and is available on selected dates. Consider taking the computer-based test if you are comfortable with technology and prefer a more flexible testing environment.

• Plan for Retakes

Many students choose to take the ACT test multiple times to improve their scores. If you plan on retaking the test, plan ahead and schedule the retake dates early enough to meet college application deadlines. Give yourself enough time to review the test material, identify your weaknesses, and focus on improving your score. Plan for at least one retake, but don't overdo it, as taking the test too many times may reflect poorly on your application.

• Consider the Time of Year

The ACT test is offered on specific dates throughout the year. Consider the time of year when selecting the test dates. For instance, taking the test in the fall or winter may be more convenient for students who have a busy schedule during the spring or summer. Additionally, the test dates may affect the availability of test centers and the number of students taking the test. Choose a date that works best for you while considering these factors.

• Summary

→ When choosing an ACT test date, it's important to consider your schedule and how much time you'll need to prepare for the test. Most students take the ACT during their junior year of high school, but you can take it as early as your sophomore year or as late as your senior year. It's generally a good idea to take the test at least twice, with enough time in between to study and improve your score.

→ Another factor to consider when choosing an ACT test date is the availability of test centers near you. Some test centers may fill up quickly, so it's a good idea to register early to ensure you get a spot at a convenient location.

→ In addition to the standard ACT test, there are also options for taking the ACT with writing or for non-native English speakers. These tests have different registration deadlines and fees, so be sure to check the ACT website for more information.

→ Overall, choosing the right ACT test date is an important part of the college admissions process. By considering your schedule, availability of test centers, and registration deadlines, you can ensure that you have enough time to prepare for the test and achieve your best score.

Choosing the best ACT test dates is a crucial step in your college application process. Take time to plan ahead and consider your schedule, application deadlines, test format, retake options, and the time of year when selecting the test dates. Remember to give yourself enough time to prepare for the test and retakes if necessary. With proper planning and preparation, you can select the best ACT test dates that work for you and increase your chances of success.

Tips for Preparing for the ACT

Preparing for the ACT is essential if you want to achieve your desired score. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the test:

• Familiarize yourself with the test format

Before you start studying, it's important to understand the format of the test. Take some time to review the structure of the test and the types of questions you will be asked. This will give you an idea of what to expect on test day and help you focus your preparation efforts.

• Create a study plan

Once you have a good understanding of the test format, it's time to create a study plan. This should include a schedule of when you will study, what you will study, and how long you will spend on each subject. Set realistic goals for yourself and try to stick to your schedule as closely as possible.

• Use practice tests

Practice tests are a great way to prepare for the ACT. They give you an opportunity to get familiar with the types of questions you will be asked and to identify areas where you need to improve. Take practice tests regularly and use them to track your progress.

• Focus on your weak areas

As you study for the ACT, it's important to focus on your weak areas. Spend more time studying the subjects and types of questions that you struggle with. This will help you improve your overall score.

• Use study materials

There are many study materials available to help you prepare for the ACT, including textbooks, online courses, and study guides. Choose materials that are designed specifically for the ACT and that align with your learning style.

• Get help if you need it

If you're struggling with a particular subject or concept, don't be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to a teacher, tutor, or mentor for assistance. You can also use online resources, such as forums and study groups, to get help from other students who are preparing for the ACT.

• Take care of yourself

Preparing for the ACT can be stressful, so it's important to take care of yourself. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking breaks when you need them. Don't overwork yourself or cram the night before the test.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for the ACT takes time and effort, but by following these tips, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to stay focused, stay motivated, and stay positive. With the right preparation, you can achieve the score you need to get into your dream college or university.