ACT Test Dates

You have seven ACT test dates that you could potentially use for college admissions. If you are planning to apply Early Decision or Early Action (application deadlines between November 1 and December 15), you have four ACT test dates: April, June, July, and September. You can also sign up for October as well when you sign up for September.

National test dates are for the United States, United States territories, and Puerto Rico.

National Test Dates for Fall 2020

September

  • Saturday, September 12
  • Sunday, September 13
  • Saturday, September 19

October

  • Saturday, October 10
  • Saturday, October 17
  • Saturday, October 24
  • Sunday, October 25

University of California System and ACT Test Dates

More than 200,000 students apply for undergraduate admission to one of the UC campuses each year. They have an application filing period from November 1 to November 30. This means you have five test dates to choose from: April, June, July, September, and October. You should plan on September with October as a backup at the very latest.

Later Deadlines and Rolling Admissions

There are some colleges that have application deadlines that run into February, or that have rolling admissions policies, which means they make decisions on applications as they come in and may continue evaluating applications into late spring and summer.

When You Should Take ACT

You should pick a test date that is at least two months ahead of the application deadlines of all the colleges and scholarships you might want to apply to. Scores for the ACT are normally reported within 2 to 8 weeks after the test date. If you take the ACT with writing, scores will be reported only after all of your scores are available, including writing, normally within 5 to 8 weeks after the test date.

Advantages to testing in junior year:

  • You've probably completed the coursework corresponding to the test material.

  • You'll have your test scores and other information in time to help you plan your senior year. For example, you may decide to take an additional class in an area in which your test score was low.

  • Colleges will know of your interests and have your scores in time to contact you during the summer before your senior year, when many of them are sending information about admissions, course placement, scholarships, and special programs to prospective students.

  • You'll have information about yourself and the schools you're considering prior to your campus visits, making your visits more focused.

  • You'll have the opportunity to retest if you feel your scores don't accurately reflect your abilities in the areas tested.