The ACT is America’s most popular college entrance exam, and in 2023, millions of high school students will take it in hopes of improving their scores and increasing their chances of getting into college.
Whether you are an ACT test taker or a parent of an ACT test taker, knowing the dates of upcoming ACT tests can help you prepare for the upcoming test. Plan ahead with this list of ACT test dates, deadlines, and registration cut-off dates for the 2023 testing year.
An Introduction to the ACT Exam
If you’re just beginning your ACT journey, then you might be wondering just what is the ACT exam exactly? The ACT exam is a college admissions test that has long been used by American colleges and universities to help them make admissions decisions. The ACT test can also be used by international students who want to study in the United States.
The ACT exam is offered through two programs: the ACT Student (previously known as the ACT High School or Regular) and the ACT College Prep (previously known as the ACT Plus Writing). These are both certification programs, meaning that they’re recommended for students who want to earn college credit.
The ACT is a four-hour exam that tests students’ knowledge of English, mathematics, reading and science. The test consists of roughly 215 multiple-choice questions, and we’ve broken down the sections of the ACT below:
- English Section: 45 minutes. 75 questions covering grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, rhetorical skills, language, and topic development
- Math section: 60 minutes, 60 questions covering algebra, functions, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, volume measurements, trigonometry, statistics & probability, rates & percentages, proportional relationships
- Reading Comprehension: 35 minutes, 40 questions covering the ability to find & interpret details, comparative relationships, understand context-dependency, make generalizations, analyze voice, tone, and style, claims and arguments
- Science Section: 35 minutes, 40 questions covering biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, data representation, research summaries, conflicting viewpoints, evaluating theories & hypotheses
There is also an optional 40 minute essay, known as the Writing Section, that assesses a student’s ability to develop unique perspectives, critical thinking & reasoning, relationships between differing viewpoints, expository writing, evaluating arguments, and rhetorical analysis
ACT scores range from 1 to 36, with 36 being a perfect score on all four sections of the exam. The average composite score on the exam is around 22, which means that most students will get somewhere between 20 and 23 on each section of the exam if they take it seriously and prepare adequately for it.
An Overview of 2023 ACT Test Dates
The ACT exam is administered more than 1.5 million times each year and is offered on 19 different dates each year at hundreds of locations across the USA; it’s also offered on all seven continents, including Antarctica. In fact, in a single year there are more than 1 million students who take the ACT globally — and this number is growing each year.
The below tables lists all of the upcoming ACT dates for the upcoming 2023 test year, complete with the registration deadline for each of the dates. Note that these test dates are only for the United States, Puerto Rico, and other United States territories.
|2023 ACT Test Date||Registration Deadline||Late Registration Deadline||Photo Upload Deadline|
|February 11, 2023||January 6th, 2023||January 20th, 2023||February 3rd, 2023|
|April 15th, 2023||March 10th, 2023||March 24th, 2023||April 7th, 2023|
|June 10, 2023||May 5th, 2023||May 19th, 2023||June 2nd, 2023|
|July 15th, 2023||June 16th, 2023||June 23rd, 2023||July 7th, 2023|
At the time of this article’s publication, only 4 of the 7 test dates for the ACT have been officially announced, and the August, September, and October test dates will be published as soon as they become officially available. However, since there is little fluctuation year-over-year, experts are usually able to project ACT test dates that have yet to be announced. The projected ACT test dates for the remainder of the year can be found below:
|Projected 2023 ACT Test Date||Projected Registration Deadline||Projected Late Registration Deadline|
|September 10th, 2023||August 5th, 2023||August 19th, 2023|
|October 20th, 2023||September 16th, 2023||September 30th, 2023|
|December 10th, 2023||November 4th, 2023||November 17th, 2023|
2023 ACT Special Testing Windows
ACT offers special testing windows for students with disabilities and English language learners (ELLs). These special testing windows are offered to accommodate students who need extra time on their ACT exam.
|Regular 2023 ACT Test Date||Special Testing Window|
|February 11th, 2023||February 11th – February 26|
|April 15th, 2023||April 15th – April 30th|
|June 10th, 2023||June 10th – June 25th|
|July 15th, 2023||July 15th – July 30th|
When Is The Best Time To Take the ACT?
The answer to this question depends on how soon you need to know your score and what kind of admissions process you are going through. If you are applying early decision, then taking the test on one of the early dates will give you an edge over other applicants who take it later in the year.
If you aren’t applying early but still want to get an idea about where your scores stand before sending in applications for regular admission, then taking the test on one of these earlier dates will help with that too.
There are pros and cons to taking either early or late in your high school career. If you take it early, you’ll know whether or not you need to study more for certain sections of the test and what areas need improvement before applying to college. However, if you take it late in high school, your scores will likely be higher due to maturity and experience gained over time.
Generally speaking, the earlier you take the ACT, the better your score will be. Additionally, if you miss your test date due to illness or other issues, you’ll have to wait six months before retaking it — a long time for many high schoolers!
How To Register for the ACT Exam
After you’ve chosen an ACT test date, the next step is actually registering for the exam. There are a few different ways to sign up for the exam, and you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it correctly to ensure that you get your best score possible without any complications.
The easiest way to register for the ACT is online. You’ll find this option on the ACT website, which is where most students sign up for the exam. There’s also an option for signing up for a paper-based test, as well as testing accommodations if you have a physical disability or learning difference that could affect your performance on the test (see below).
Register by Phone
You can also register over the phone by calling 1-888-CALL-ACT (1-888-225-5228) between 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM Eastern time Monday through Friday and 7:00 AM until 3:00 PM Eastern time on Saturday (Pacific time zone). If you’re registering by phone, you need to have access to a credit card to pay for your registration fee (which varies depending on how many tests you’re taking). You’ll need your Social Security number or date of birth when you call in order for them to process your registration.
How Much Does The ACT Cost?
The full ACT costs $63 per student, which includes all four sections of the exam (English, Math, Reading and Science). You can register online or by phone at 1-866-527-7728. If you want to take the ACT with the optional writing section, then the fee is $88.00 per student.
If you’re find yourself registering past the registration deadline, then there will be a $36.00 late registration fee. There are also a variety of additional fees determined by your specific scenario:
- Standby testing fee: $63.00 – This fee will be refunded if you are denied admission to a test center or if your registration gets cancelled
- Change fee: $42.00 – If you’ve registered for a specific date and need to make a change, you will incur a $42.00 change fee
- Score reports to 5th and 6th college choices: $16.00 – By default, your ACT score will be sent to your first four college choices; if you want to have your score sent to a 5th and 6th college, this will cost $16.00.
- Additional score reports: $18.00 – Each additional score report will costs $18.00. You can request additional score reports online
- Score Verification: $55.00 – Score verification for the multiple-choice section of the test costs $55.00, as does verification for the writing test score. If you want verification for both sections of the exam, this will cost $110.00
You can find more information about the ACT Exam on their website.
ACT Fee Waivers
The ACT Fee Waiver Program is a benefit of the College Board’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. It enables qualified students to take the ACT for free. Students who qualify for the program will receive one free test registration and score report, as well as a second test registration and score report if more than one test is taken within a 12-month period.
If you are eligible for this program, you must register at least three weeks before your scheduled test date in order to receive your scores on time. ACT fee waivers are available for students who meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have a household income of $45,000 or less
- Attend high school in the U.S., with plans to enroll in an undergraduate degree program in the fall after taking the ACT exam
- Not be currently enrolled in college
How To Find an ACT Test Center Near You
The ACT exam is given at more than 1,600 test centers around the world. In the United States and its territories, you can take the ACT at high schools, colleges and universities, and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools.
The ACT Website has a handy test center locator tool that students can use to find a test center in their area. This tool can be found on the ACT registration website.
Taking the ACT Outside of a Test Center (Arranged Testing)
ACT testing outside of a testing center is available for homebound students and those with disabilities. If you can’t make it to a testing center, you may be able to take the ACT in your home or at another location that’s comfortable for you.
You must have a valid reason why it would be difficult for you to travel to a testing center on Saturday morning. This could be because of your health condition or disability, your age (if you are 18 years old or younger), your religion, your family situation or other factors.
Additional Registration Information For The ACT
In addition to knowing when the ACT is being offered and where to find a test center near you, there are some other considerations to be aware of if you’re planning on taking the ACT in 2023.
In order to complete your registration for the ACT, you will need to submit a photo of yourself for identification & security reasons. This photo must be a clear (meaning not blurry, distorted, or hard to see) with a normal background (we recommend a white or black background for maximum visibility. This photo must a full shot of your face and shoulders, and should be correctly oriented in portrait mode (not landscape.) This should go without saying, but you shouldn’t apply any filters, lenses, or emojis to your photo.
When you register for the ACT online, you will be prompted to upload your identification photo. This photo can be a JPG, JPEG, PNG, or BMP file with a maximum size of 5MB, no larger than 640 x 480 pixels. The deadlines for uploading your ACT identification photo are below and correspond to your respective test date.
ACT Testing Accommodations
The ACT test accommodates students with disabilities and English language learners. The ACT offers a wide range of accommodations and supports to help students with disabilities or English language learners take the test.
The ACT has three types of accommodation types:
- Physical Accommodations: A physical accommodation is an adjustment to the testing environment that allows you to take the test safely and comfortably. Examples include special seating or a reduced distraction environment.
- Test-taking Accommodations: A test-taking accommodation is an adjustment to the way in which you take the test that allows you to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in the best possible way. Examples include extended time, large font, or audio CD.
- English Language Learner Supports: English language learner (ELL) supports are available for students whose first language is not English and who need additional time to complete their test. ELL accommodations are not available for students who have been educated in English since kindergarten.
Since special test-taking accommodations are based on the accommodations you receive in school, you will need to work with your school officials to begin the registration process for these accommodations. More information regarding ACT accommodations can be found on the official ACT website.
How To Prepare To Take the ACT In 2023
The ACT is designed to assess your knowledge and skills across a broad range of subjects, so you need to study broadly and deeply in order to do well on it. Here are some tips to prepare for the ACT in advance:
- Start early — The ACT is a long exam. You’ll want to start studying at least a month before the test date. You’ll want to study basic math concepts like fractions and decimals, algebraic concepts like slope and y-intercepts, geometry concepts like area and perimeter, basic trigonometry (sine/cosine), statistics (mean/median/mode), and data analysis in preparation for the Math test section. Additionally, you’ll want to study basic grammar concepts such as parts of speech (nouns/verbs/adjectives), tenses (past/present/future) and sentence structure (subject/verb agreement). Many people don’t realize that English language proficiency is tested on this exam!
- Get familiar with the format — Before you begin studying, you should know what kind of questions will be on the exam and how long each section will last. Unlike other standardized tests like the SAT, which has an essay section, or the GRE, which has a separate vocabulary section, every question on the ACT is multiple choice. There are no essays or short answer questions on this test — just four sections with 60 questions each.
- Take practice tests — Practice makes perfect! Taking multiple practice tests will give you a better idea of what areas need more work, as well as help you identify strategies that work best for you. You can find free practice tests online or buy official ones from various sources.
- Practice with time limits — As with any standardized test, there are time limits for each section on the ACT exam. Make sure you’re comfortable working within these limits; if not, practice taking timed sections until it feels natural for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About ACT Test Dates for 2023
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) regarding the ACT test dates and registration deadlines for the 2023 ACT test year.
What happens if I miss my scheduled ACT test date?
If you miss your scheduled ACT test date, you’ll need to reschedule your test. To reschedule, you will need to pay an additional $50 administration fee. You can make the change on the ACT website or by calling their test center reservation line at 1-800-ACT-TEST (1-800-232-8878).
You will have the option of either taking a different test date or changing the time of your current appointment. If you decide to take another test date, there is no limit on how long you have to wait before scheduling another appointment. However, if you decide to change the time of your current appointment, there are certain restrictions: first, you must make sure that there is an available slot within 30 days of your initial appointment date. Second, the new appointment cannot be scheduled within seven days before or after your original appointment date. If the center is unable to accommodate you at another time, they will refund the registration fee.
You should not reschedule your ACT test date unless it is absolutely necessary. The sooner you take the test, the better chance you have of improving your score.
When should I start preparing for the ACT?
If you’re planning to take the ACT, you’ll need to start preparing well before test day. The ACT is a long and challenging test, so you’ll want to spend as much time as possible practicing for it.
You might think that the best way to prepare for the ACT is by taking lots of practice tests. But there’s a problem with that approach: Most students don’t know how to take an official ACT practice test. That’s because they haven’t been taught how to read and respond to questions on real ACTs.
To get ready for your real ACT, you need to learn how to take practice tests like a pro. That means knowing exactly how the test works — and what types of questions are on the exam — so that when you take an actual test, you won’t be surprised by anything or lose points unnecessarily because of mistakes or misunderstandings.
How many times can you take the ACT?
Since the ACT is offered on a rolling basis, you can take it as many times as you want. If you don’t like your score or if you feel like you have room for improvement, there is nothing wrong with taking it again! You can even wait until after your junior year of high school so that you have more time to prepare.
Planning On Taking the ACT In 2023?
If you’re preparing to take the ACT this upcoming year and need a little extra help with your prep, the experts at Inspirica Pros are here to help. We offer one-on-one ACT tutoring designed around your specific academic needs to help you ace the ACT and get into the college of your dreams.