When Is the ACT?

ACT Test Dates and Registration Deadlines for 2017 - 18

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For the 2017-18 admissions cycle, U.S. students have seven testing dates a year to choose from for taking the ACT. The exam is offered in September, October, December, February, April and June. New in 2018 is a July testing date. To get applications completed on time, high school seniors often need to take the September or October exams. The winter and spring test dates are a good choice for high school juniors who want to see how they perform.

If their scores aren't what they want, they will then have the summer to build their test-taking skills and retake the exam early in senior year.

How many times your take the ACT is entirely up to your personal preference, but twice is common: once in junior year and once at the beginning of senior year. If your junior year score is on target for your top choice colleges, then there's no need to take the exam again.

When is the ACT in the United States?

For the 2017 - 18 academic year, the ACT test dates are:

Important ACT Dates — 2017-18
Test DateRegistration DeadlineLate Registration Deadline
September 9, 2017August 4, 2017August 18, 2017
October 28, 2017September 22, 2017October 6, 2017
December 9, 2017November 3, 2017November 17, 2017
February 10, 2018January 12, 2018January 19, 2018
April 14, 2018March 9, 2018March 23, 2018
June 9, 2018May 4, 2018May 18, 2018
July 14, 2018June 15, 201June 22, 2018

Note that the February and July ACT is not offered in New York State. Students whose religious convictions prevent them from testing on a Saturday can test on a Sunday at a limited number of testing locations.

At the time of registration, you will need to pay the fees for the ACT. For the 2017-18 academic year, the fees are as follows:

  • $46.00 for the basic ACT. This fee includes score results for the student, the student's school, and four colleges
  • $62.50 for the ACT with Writing
  • $29.50 additional fee if you register late
  • $53.00 additional fee if you register for standby testing (after the late registration deadline)
  • $13 for additional score reports

For more information about testing deadlines, check out these articles:

  • When Should You Take the ACT?: Many students take the exam more than once, and it's important to be strategic about when you take the exam.
  • Senior Year Timeline: For most colleges, students won't want to wait too long into senior year to take the ACT. The December and February exams can be too late for many college applications.
  • Junior Year Timeline: Taking the exam too early in junior year can also be problematic since the ACT tests information taught in 11th grade.
  • SAT Test Dates and Registration Deadlines: The ACT and SAT are never offered on the same weekend, and many students find it advantageous to take both exams to see which one suites them best.

For students planning ahead further, the ACT test dates for the 2018 - 2018 academic year are:

Important ACT Dates — 2018-19
Test DateRegistration DeadlineLate Registration Deadline
September 8, 2018TBDTBD
October 27, 2018TBDTBD
December 8, 2018TBDTBD
February 9, 2019TBDTBD
April 13, 2019TBDTBD
June 8, 2019TBDTBD
July 13, 2019TBDTBD

When is the ACT outside of the United States?

If you're taking the ACT outside of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, or U.S. territories, you should register online for the exam. The test dates are the same as for the United States with the exception of February when the exam is not offered at international test locations. There is a $57.50 fee for international testing and late registration is not available.

You can learn more about the ACT with these articles:

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Grove, Allen. "When Is the ACT?" ThoughtCo, Oct. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/when-is-the-act-788775. Grove, Allen. (2017, October 28). When Is the ACT? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/when-is-the-act-788775 Grove, Allen. "When Is the ACT?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/when-is-the-act-788775 (accessed December 18, 2017).