When to Take the Test
When to Take the Test
Most people take the ACT at the end of junior year or the beginning of senior year. We recommend taking it at the end of junior year for a number of reasons:
  1. Taking the test junior year will give you time to retake it if necessary.
  2. You will have covered most of the material on the ACT by the end of junior year, and it will be fresh in your mind.
  3. You are likely to forget some material during the summer before your senior year.
Ultimately, when you choose to take the test depends on only one thing: you. If you don’t feel comfortable taking it junior year, spend some time during the summer reviewing and take the test during the fall of your senior year. If you are applying for regular admission to colleges, you will probably have a couple of test dates with which to work during your senior year, but take the earliest possible test if you are applying for early admission.
Registering for the ACT
To register for the ACT, you must first obtain an ACT registration packet. Your high school guidance counselor will probably have these packets available for you. If you can’t get the packet through your high school, you can write or call ACT at:
ACT Registration
P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, IA 52243-0414
(319) 337-1270
You can also register for the test by visiting ACT’s website (www.act.org) or, if your high school has it, by using ACT’s software program College Connector. If you have taken the ACT within the last two years, you may reregister over the phone for an additional fee. You must make a VISA or Mastercard payment if you register on the Web, through College Connector, or by phone.
Regular, Late, and Standby Registration
There are three types of registration: regular, late, and standby.
  • Regular registration deadlines are approximately five weeks before the test date. The basic fee is $26 in most of the U.S., $29 for Florida residents, and $42 for students testing internationally.
  • Late registration, which costs you an additional $16, ends three weeks before the test date.
The ACT registration packet will contain the exact dates for regular and late registration deadlines.
  • Standby registration is for those students who missed the late registration deadline and need to take the test by a certain date. Standby registration occurs on the day of the test. It costs an additional $30, and it does not guarantee you a seat or a test booklet. Standby registration is a last resort. If you must use standby registration, make sure to bring a completed registration folder, fee payment, and appropriate personal identification to the test center.
The ACT Admission Ticket
If you have registered for the ACT using regular or late registration, you will receive an admission ticket in the mail. This ticket will tell you when and where the test will be administered. It will also list the information you submitted to ACT, such as any colleges that will receive your score directly. You should read the admission ticket carefully to make sure there are no mistakes. If you find a mistake, follow the instructions on the back of the ticket for correcting information.
Test Dates
ACT test dates usually fall in October, December, February, April, and June. Certain states also have a September test date.
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