General Questions

  

Many students test twice, once as a junior and again as a senior. You should definitely consider retesting if you had any problems during testing, such as misunderstanding the directions, or feeling ill.

You may also want to consider retesting if you don't believe that your scores accurately represent your abilities, especially if you see a discrepancy between your ACT scores and your high school grades, or if you have subsequently completed coursework in the areas covered by the ACT.

If you test more than once, you determine which set of scores are sent to colleges or scholarship programs. ACT reports scores from only one test date per report.

How will you do on a retest?

Research shows that of students from the 2015 graduating class who took the ACT more than once:

  • 57% increased their Composite score on the retest
  • 21% had no change in their Composite score on the retest
  • 22% decreased their Composite score on the retest

For students with an initial ACT Composite score between 13 and 29, the typical ACT Composite score from the second testing is about 1 point higher (see Table below).

  • The lower your initial ACT Composite score, the more likely your second score will be higher than the first score.
  • The higher your initial ACT Composite score, the more likely your second score will be the same as or lower than the first score.

Example for how to read the table below:
For students who received an ACT Composite score of 20 the first time they tested:

  • the typical ACT Composite score from the second testing was 21;
  • the middle 50% of students with an initial score of 20 received an ACT Composite score of 20, 21, or 22 the second time they took the test;
  • 56% of students increased their scores, 21% scored the same, and 23% saw their scores decrease.

Summary Information for Retesting Graduates By Initial ACT Composite Score

 

ACT Composite Score from second testing

Percentage of students whose scores changed or remained the same from first to second testing*

ACT Composite Score from first testing

Typical Score

Range for middle 50% of students

Increased

Remained
the same

Decreased

35**

35

34 to 35

16

47

37

34**

34

33 to 35

36

34

30

33

33

32 to 34

45

27

28

32

32

31 to 33

48

25

27

31

32

30 to 33

52

23

26

30

31

30 to 32

53

22

25

29

30

29 to 31

54

22

24

28

29

28 to 30

55

20

24

27

28

27 to 29

56

21

24

26

27

26 to 28

56

21

23

25

26

25 to 27

56

21

23

24

25

24 to 26

57

21

22

23

24

23 to 25

57

21

22

22

23

22 to 24

57

21

23

21

22

21 to 23

57

21

22

20

21

20 to 22

56

21

23

19

20

19 to 21

56

20

23

18

19

18 to 20

56

20

23

17

18

17 to 19

56

20

23

16

17

16 to 18

57

21

23

15

16

15 to 17

58

21

21

14

15

14 to 16

62

21

17

13

14

13 to 15

69

19

11

12

14

13 to 15

81

14

6

11

13

12 to 14

89

7

4

* Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

** Results for these ACT Composite scores are based on a relatively small number of students with these scores.

Table based on: over 868,000 students from the graduating class of 2015 (45%) who took the ACT two or more times. The first two sets of scores for these students were used in the completion of this analysis.

ACT is committed to serving students with documented disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations appropriate to the student's diagnosis and needs. For detailed information, see Accommodations.

ACT has established policies regarding documentation of an applicant's disability and the process for requesting test accommodations. For details, see ACT Policy for Documentation (PDF).

An ACT web account not only allows you to register online, but also lets you access a variety of ACT services. For example, you will need an ACT web account to view your scores and score report, and it's the fastest way to make changes to your registration.

We encourage all students who are at least 13 years old to create a free ACT web account. (Note: If you are younger than 13, your parent or guardian cannot create an ACT Web account for you.) You will be required to provide identifying information, including an email address, in order to create your account. Once you do, you will be able to do all of the following 24/7 (excluding any maintenance windows or unexpected outages), anywhere you have Internet access.

  • Register to take the ACT on an international test date
    • Choose your preferred test option and test date
    • Decide where to have ACT report your scores
    • Know immediately whether your preferred test center has space for you to test
    • Receive email updates about your registration from ACT
  • Make changes to your registration
    • Add or remove the writing test
    • Add, change, or cancel score reports up to 24 hours immediately following the regularly scheduled test date.
  • View your scores and score report
    • If you test during an international test window via computer-based testing, your multiple-choice scores will be delivered through your ACT web account as soon as they are ready, normally beginning 2 business days after the test date. If you take the ACT with writing, your writing scores will be added as soon as they are available, normally about 2-3 weeks after the test date.
    • If you tested through Special Testing, you will be able to view your scores and score report if you create a student Web account using the ACT ID from your score report, which is mailed to you.
  • Update your student profile and view your account history
  • Order test preparation materials

All services ordered online must be paid for with a valid American Express, DISCOVER, MasterCard, or VISA card and you must be at least 13 years old to place an online order. Note: If you are younger than 13, your parent or guardian cannot create an ACT Web account in order to place an order online for you. 

The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Reading
  • The ACT with writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 40-minute writing test.

The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT with writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 40 minutes if you are taking the ACT with writing).

The ACT is administered on six test dates in all countries outside the US, including Canada.

The basic registration fee includes score reports for up to four college choices, if you list valid codes when you register.

The ACT tests are prepared according to the:

  • Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education (1999).
  • Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement, National Council on Measurement in Education (1995).
  • Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education, Joint Committee on Testing Practices (2004).

Comparison of the ACT Test and SAT

Category ACT SAT
International Test Fee $150.00
$166.50 (with writing)
$84.00-113.00, depending on location
Total Testing Time*

*Redesigned SAT testing time subject to research
2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 40 minutes for the Essay [optional]) 3 hours (plus 50 minutes for the Essay [optional])
Components
  • ACT mathematics test (60 items, 60 minutes
  • ACT reading test (40 items, 35 minutes)
  • ACT science test (40 items, 35 minutes)
  • ACT English test (75 items, 45 minutes)
  • ACT writing test (optional; 1 prompt, 40 minutes)
  • Math (58 items, 80 minutes)
  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
    • Reading Test (52 items, 65 minutes)
    • Writing and Language Test (44 Items, 35 minutes)
  • Essay (optional; 1 prompt, 50 minutes)
Important Features
  • Designed to measure academic achievement in English, mathematics, reading, and science.
  • Scores based on the number of correct answers. No penalty for incorrect answers.
  • Includes enhanced scoring for reliable college and career planning insights:
    • STEM Score
    • ELA Score
    • Progress Toward Career Readiness Indicator
    • Text Complexity Progress Indicator
  • Continued emphasis on reasoning.
  • Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone, and impact.
  • Scores based on the number of correct answers. No penalty for incorrect answers.

Score Reporting

*Redesigned SAT scores subject to research

  • ACT Composite Score: 1–36 (average of four test scores)
  • ACT English test: 1–36
  • ACT reading test: 1–36
  • ACT mathematics test: 1–36
  • ACT science test: 1–36
  • ACT writing test (optional): 2-12
  • STEM Score: 1-36
  • ELA Score: 1-36
  • Scale ranging from 400 to 1600
  • Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; 200 to 800 for Math; 2 to 8 on each of three traits for Essay
  • Essay results reported separately

Why choose the ACT?

Acceptance: The ACT is accepted by all US colleges and universities.

Test format: The ACT is and always has been a curriculum-based achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. Students frequently tell us that they feel more comfortable taking the ACT since it is directly related to what they learn in most of their high school courses. The current SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities.

More than an admissions exam: In addition to being a college admissions exam, the ACT includes a profile and education/career planning section to help you plan for life after high school. You will receive personalized career information and develop a comprehensive profile that tells colleges about your work in high school and future plans. You can also see your strengths and weaknesses in the subject areas tested to help direct your future education.

The personalized career planning information provided from the ACT Interest Inventory helps students evaluate their interests in various career options. The information, in combination with the interactive ACT World-of-Work Map, helps students make connections between the work world and the activities they like to do.

World-of-Work Map

Stable and trusted: ACT continues to offer its well-established and stable assessment, plus an optional writing test. ACT has made incremental improvements to enhance the ACT test, always keeping in mind the people we serve. We know the ACT has significant impact on people’s lives, so we work hard to avoid unnecessary risks that might come with large-scale changes.

Deeper understanding of readiness: In addition to the 1–36 scoring scale that colleges know and trust, ACT also provides college and career readiness indicators designed to show student achievement and preparedness in areas important to success after high school.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Score – Represents a student’s overall performance on the science and math portions of the assessment. The ACT is the only national college admission exam to measure science skills. This new STEM score helps students connect their strengths to career and study paths that they might not otherwise have considered, especially when used with their results from the ACT Interest Inventory. Click here to learn more about the ACT Interest Inventory
  • English Language Arts (ELA) Score – Combines achievement on the English, reading, and writing portions of the ACT for those who take all three sections, enabling students to see how their performance compares with others who have been identified as college ready. A student must take the optional Writing Test to receive this score. Learn more about the writing test.
  • Progress Toward Career Readiness Indicator – Provides an indicator of future performance on the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ (ACT NCRC®), an assessment-based credential that certifies foundational work skills important for job success across industries and occupations.
  • Text Complexity Progress Indicator – Helps students understand if they are making sufficient progress toward understanding the complex texts they will encounter in college and during their careers.

When should I test?

Pick a test date that is at least two months ahead of the application deadlines of all the colleges and scholarship agencies you might want to apply to. Scores for the ACT are normally reported within two business days 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 2–3 weeks after the test date.

Advantages to testing in grade 11:

  • You have probably completed the coursework corresponding to the test material.
  • You will 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.)
  • Universities 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 will have information about yourself and the schools you're considering prior to your campus visits, making your visits more focused.
  • You will have the opportunity to retest if you feel your scores don't accurately reflect your abilities in the areas tested.

People of all ages and grade levels are eligible to take the ACT. This includes students in grades 6, 7, 8, and 9 and high school graduates. You will need to register and pay the test fees.

  • The ACT is accepted by all 4-year universities in the United States.
  • The ACT multiple-choice tests are based on what you're learning. The ACT is not an aptitude or an IQ test. The test questions on the ACT are directly related to what you have learned in your high school courses in English, mathematics, reading, and science. Every day you attend class you are preparing for the ACT. The harder you work in school, the more prepared you will be for the test.
  • There are many ways to prepare for the ACT. Taking challenging courses in high school is the best way to prepare, but ACT also offers a number of test preparation options including free online practice tests, testing tips for each subject area tested, and the free student booklet Preparing for the ACT. This booklet includes complete practice tests (with a sample writing prompt and example essays). ACT Online Prep™, the only online test preparation program developed by ACT, is another tool to help you be ready for test day.
  • The ACT helps you plan for your future. In addition to the tests, the ACT also provides you with a unique Interest Inventory and a Student Profile Section. By responding to these sections, which ask about your interests, courses, and educational preferences, you provide a profile of your work in high school and your career choices to universities.
  • The ACT helps institutions find you. By taking the ACT, you make yourself visible to universities and scholarship agencies, so it's another way to help you get ready for life after high school. 
  • Your ACT score is based only on what you know. The ACT is the only national college admission test based on the number of correct answers—you are not penalized for guessing.
  • You choose which scores you send to universities. When you register for the ACT, you can choose up to four colleges to which ACT will send your scores as part of the basic fee for your test option. If you take the test more than once, you choose which test date results the universities will receive. ACT sends scores only for the test date you select. 
  • Optional Writing Test. Because not all universities require a writing test for admission, ACT offers you the choice of whether or not you want to spend the extra time and money taking the writing test. Writing is an important skill for college and work, but schools use different methods to measure your writing skills. Find out what institutions have told us about their policies here.

Registration Questions

   

... from ACT?

Email is an important communication link between the student and ACT. We will send critical messages to the student email address, including things like registration receipts, reminders to upload a photo and print the admission ticket, test center alerts, and if the student’s registration was cancelled for failure to provide an acceptable photo by the deadline. By providing a parent email address, the parent will also receive copies of critical messages sent to the student, and will be contacted in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

The student emails the parent receives will be identified as a copy and for parent information only. The student must log in to the account to take any action requested in the email. Note that these emails may contain sensitive information about the student and the student’s ACT record. Only a trusted parent or guardian should be registered to receive these emails.

Once the parent email has been entered, the parent will have 14 days to confirm that the parent wants to receive these emails. If that confirmation is not submitted within that time, the parent will not receive any student email copies. The student will also be notified that the parent has or has not confirmed.

The parent may stop receiving student email copies at any time by asking the student to delete the information from the Parent Email section of the student account. The parent will receive an email notification if the student deletes or changes the parent information in the account.

The parent can expect to receive emails regarding the student’s ACT information from any of the following email addresses:

  • ACT-Reg@act.org
  • ACT-WebAccount@act.org
  • ACT-Order@act.org
  • ACT-Notice@act.org
  • ACT-Billing@act.org

To avoid losing messages to spam filters, these should be added to the parent’s address book.

 

 

... after I register?

If you registered for Non-US testing*, you have 24 hours, immediately following your test date to correct your high school code and/or add/change/cancel college codes. The same deadline applies even if your test center is rescheduled for any reason (e.g., inclement weather).

The best way is to log in to your ACT web account and select "Make changes to your registration." There is no fee for changes to the first four college codes. After the deadline, all changes must be made by requesting and paying for Additional Score Reports.

* For other testing programs, you won't be able to make changes once you submit your answer folder to your test administrator.

Log in to your ACT web account and select "Make changes to your registration" no later than the late registration deadline for your preferred test date.  You will need to know your preferred test center, test option, and/or test date and have a valid credit card number with expiration date and security code.

Test Option Change
See I've changed my mind about taking the ACT writing test. Can I add or remove it before test day?

Test Center Change for the same test date
If a seat is available for your test option at your new preferred test center on your preferred test date, you will be assigned there and charged a Test Center Change fee.  You cannot request a test center change after the late registration deadline

Test Date Change
A test date change can be used to sign up for a different test date if you are absent or unable to test on the original test date or if your registration is cancelled for failure to meet ACT's test security requirements.

If a seat is available for your test option at your preferred test center on your new test date, you will be assigned there. You will be charged the Test Date Change fee (plus a late fee if you request the change during the late registration period for the new test date). You cannot request a test date change after the late registration deadline for your preferred test date.

Other Registration Changes (university choices, address, etc.)
Read your admission ticket carefully. If you need to make any informational changes (such as your mailing address), log in to your ACT web account and select "Make changes to your registration." Note that university choices can be added or changed only for 24 hours following the test date.

See current ACT fees for details about additional fees.

Online registrations must be paid by credit card or prebilled registration voucher. 

ACT accepts any valid American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa card.

You will need to request a Test Date Change. Log in to your ACT web account and select "Make changes to your registration" no later than the late registration deadline for your new test date.

If there is space for your test option at your new preferred test center on your new preferred test date, you will be assigned there. You will be charged the Test Date Change fee (plus a late fee if you request the change during the late registration period for the new test date). 

If you cannot get to your web account, you can call ACT at 1.319.337.1270. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • Preferred new test date
  • Preferred new test center
  • Preferred test option
  • A valid credit card number with expiration date and security code

If you decide you do not want to test, your basic registration fee and any additional service fees (e.g., late registration, test center change) are nonrefundable.

Fees for optional services, however, are refundable on request if you ordered and paid for them when you registered, and if you submit a timely refund request. See ACT fees for details. Optional services include:

  • Score reports for 5th and 6th college codes
  • ACT writing test

To request a refund of these optional services, email act-reg@act.org with "REFUND" in the subject line, or write a letter including your identifying information and the test date and test option for which you registered. Label your envelope "REFUND." Refunds will be issued about 8 weeks after the test date. Refund requests for the 2017-2018 testing year received after August 31, 2018, will not be honored.

Send your request to:
ACT 
301 ACT Drive
P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, IA 52243-0414
U.S.A.

... can I add or remove this test option?

Yes. Log in to your ACT web account and select "Make changes to your registration" no later than the late registration deadline for your test date. Fee adjustments depend on whether you are adding or removing the writing test and whether other services are required to find you a seat (for example, a Test Center Change).

If you change your mind after the late deadline, you may attempt to change your test option on the day of the test. Tell the test coordinator at your test center that you want to change your Test Option before you are admitted to test. If there are materials, space, and staff available for your preferred test option, you will be allowed to make the change. If you change to the ACT with writing, ACT will bill you for the additional fee.

See current ACT fees for specific information.

Yes. To protect the security of your information during transmission, we use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts the information you input.

You can check if the website you're using has this type of security by checking to make sure the URL begins "https" rather than "http".

 

Only English characters can be accepted. Use the name you would use when applying for a driver’s license or other government-issued ID. The first and last names provided when you create your ACT web account will appear on all of your ACT documents. These include the test center roster ACT sends to the test center, and your score reports.

On test day, you will be required to present acceptable photo identificationThe first and last names on your photo ID must be consistent with the names on your ACT ticket. Before test day, check your photo ID against the names on your ACT web account and ticket. If there are significant differences, you will NOT be admitted to test. Please note the following:

  • Slight differences in your first name due to shortened names (such as “Dave” vs. “David” or “Jen” vs. “Jennifer”) are common and acceptable.
  • Differences in your first name due to traditional nicknames that are not based on shortening the name (such as “Jack” vs. “John” or “Peggy” vs. “Margaret”) will NOT be accepted.
  • If you go by your middle name, but your photo ID lists your first name, you must use your first name as your ACT name to be admitted to test.
  • The use of initials in place of first and last names (such as “JD” or “MJ”) will NOT be accepted for either your ACT name or your photo ID.
  • Differences in last name will not be accepted at the test center.

If you need to change either of the names (first and/or last) previously provided to ACT, contact ACT Student Services at ACT-Reg@act.org. You may need to provide written documentation to support the change—such as a court order, adoption papers, or marriage license—before it can be made. This could cause you to miss testing on your preferred test day.

... can I change this?

When you registered, the test center you chose was either full or unavailable. We assigned you to the nearest available test center, based on your original choices, that had a seat and materials for your test option.

To request a Test Center Change, log in to your ACT web account and select "Make changes to your registration" by the late deadline for your test date. Have your ACT ID, test date, test option, preferred test center and a valid credit card number with expiration date and security code.

If there is room at your preferred test center for your test option, you will be assigned there and charged a Test Center Change fee.

If you miss the late deadline, you may be able to request standby testing.

For students approved to test with extended time: If you were approved, we assigned you to the nearest test center with an extended time seat. If you were approved for accommodations other than extended time, we assigned you to the nearest available center that could provide those accommodations. 

See current ACT fees.

Photo Upload Questions

   

Students registering to test internationally may provide a photo if they wish, but it is not required at this time.

Special Circumstances

  

Non-Saturday testing is available only for students who cannot test on a Saturday because of religious convictions. If there is a non-Saturday test center within 75 miles of your home for any test date, register for that date and request that center.If you qualify, and if there is not a non-Saturday test center within 75 miles of your home (U.S. or Canada only), or no non-Saturday test centers in your country (in other locations) scheduled on any test date, do not register online. Instead, check the requirements for Arranged testing (PDF).

When you search for a test center on this website, both Saturday and non-Saturday test centers will appear in your search results. A test center listing non-Saturday test dates will list Saturday and non-Saturday dates separately.

When you search for a test center within the online registration system, select "Show non-Saturday test centers" in order to see a listing of non-Saturday test centers.

In select cases, June 16th, 2019 will be made available as an alternate non-Saturday test date.

No; the ACT and ACT with writing are offered only in English.

 

Test Day

  

The only change you can make on the day of the test is your test option—ACT or ACT with writing. Tell the test supervisor at your test center that you want to make this change before you are admitted to test. If there are materials, space, and staff available for your new preferred test option after students registered for that option have been admitted, you will be allowed to make the change. If you change to the ACT with writing, ACT will bill you. See current ACT fees.

The ACT Calculator Policy 

The ACT calculator policy is designed to ensure fairness for all examinees, avoid disturbances in the testing room, and protect the security of the test materials. For more information view the latest Calculator Policy (PDF).

Please visit our FAQ for Computer Algebra System (CAS) Functionality for more information.

Note: These FAQs may be updated from time to time.

Q1: How does the policy apply to calculators that cannot hold programs and documents?
A: Not all calculators have the capability to hold programs and documents. If the calculator you bring to take the ACT Mathematics Test cannot hold programs and documents, then these clarifications do not affect you.

Q2: What is computer algebra system (CAS) functionality?
A: A computer algebra system typically solves equations algebraically, simplifies expressions, performs algebraic manipulations, and performs exact arithmetic (for example, does not round or truncate decimal places). A computer algebra system is also a system, potentially doing many levels of analysis at the same time. Examples include, but are not limited to, Zoom-Math, APP4MATH, F2K, etc.

Q3: Why can't I use a computer algebra system on the ACT Mathematics test?
A: A computer algebra system has a valid place in mathematics, and learning how to use the tool effectively is valuable. The ACT Mathematics Test does not assess this skill. Being college and career ready in mathematics requires that a student be able to analyze algebraic expressions and equations, knowing what to do in order to solve problems.

Q4: My calculator holds apps as well as programs. Are apps allowed?
A: Apps that have CAS functionality must be removed as well. Even though your calculator may have separate buttons or places to store apps versus programs, an app is a kind of program. For the purposes of this policy, the definition of “program” includes apps. Any time the word “program” is used, it should be interpreted to include apps as well.

Q5: Do ALL programs have to be removed? What about documents?
A: Only programs that have CAS functionality must be removed. All documents, however, must be removed regardless of their purpose or function.

Q6: Can you tell me if a specific program or app is allowed?
A: Given the proliferation of math resources/tools, ACT is not fully familiar with all mathematics programs and apps that are available for use on a calculator. If you are unsure whether a program or app is prohibited, our recommendation is to not install it or remove it before test day.

Q7: Is it OK to disable programs instead of removing them?
A: ACT's calculator policy calls for the programs to be removed. Disabling programs – for example, putting the calculator in Press to Test mode – is not enough.

Q8: If I have to remove programs from my calculator, how do I get them back on it after I test?
A: Many calculators have a way of restoring programs if they have been saved outside the calculator. If you have programs that you need to remove and you do not know how to save and restore, we recommend you check with your calculator company for details well in advance of test day.

Q9: What kinds of mathematics-related programs ARE allowed?
A: The kinds of mathematics-related programs permitted for the ACT allow students to use the calculator capabilities to do the routine calculations yet require students to show their analysis skills by choosing the right operations and process. Mathematics-related programs are allowed if they are single-purpose – for example, finding numeric solutions to a quadratic equation. A student must choose the right program for the right purpose. This is much the same as choosing the right formula for the right purpose.

Q10: Are there any rules that allowed mathematics-related programs must follow?
A: Programs must be written in the language of the calculator. Programs written in a different language, compiled, and loaded onto the calculator are not allowed. In this way, the programs can be examined on the calculator and will use calculator functions. Programs must not be lengthy. The limit is 25 logical lines of code. Programs cannot call another program. Techniques such as compressing code into a data statement are not allowed as a way of getting around this limit. Programs are allowed to change the value of system variables so that results may, for example, be graphed through the normal calculator graphing interface.

The best preparation for the ACT is taking a solid high school program—courses in English, mathematics, science, and social studies—and taking your schoolwork seriously. It's also true that your attitudes, emotions, and physical state may influence your performance. So start preparing early.

Read all the information in the Register Online Brochure, if you registered on the web, or in Registering by Mail for the ACT, if you registered by paper folder. Take the complete practice tests in the free booklet, Preparing for the ACT. You can download this booklet or obtain a copy from your school. For more practice, see our online sample test questions.

Also read the information here on the web so you know what to expect on test day and read test-taking tips. Be sure to read the information about permitted and prohibited calculators carefully.

You may also consider purchasing ACT Online Prep™ or the Real ACT Prep Guide. Both include test-taking strategies and practice tests.

Listen to the local radio or television station that normally carries school announcements. If the test administration is canceled at your test center, there will be an announcement and the administration will be rescheduled. ACT will also notify you by mail or e-mail as soon as your rescheduled test date information is finalized.  All test centers being rescheduled are listed here, along with further information. 

If your test center stays open, but you are unable to travel to the test center due to severe weather, call ACT Student Services at 1.319.337.1270 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. GMT-6) during the week after your originally scheduled test date to change to a future test date (a Test Date Change fee will apply).  If your test center remained open, you will not be eligible to test at a rescheduled test center.

Before being admitted to test, you are required to present:

The ID you present, including any required signatures, must be original, not a photocopy or reproduction, and your name must be in English. School ID that is printed (e.g., from a website) or not in a hard card format is not acceptable.

If your appearance has changed and you do not have acceptable photo ID that matches your current appearance, you may use the ACT Student Identification Form (with current photo). Questions about ID policy should be directed to ACT Customer Care.

Acceptable forms of identification:

Only the following forms of identification are acceptable. If it is not on this list, it is not acceptable, and you will not be admitted to test.

  • Current official photo ID 
    • Must be an original, current (valid) ID issued by a city/state/federal government agency or your school. Note: School ID must be in hard plastic card format. Paper or electronic formats are NOT acceptable.
    • Your first and last names must match the ticket.
    • The photo must be clearly recognizable as you.
  • ACT Student Identification Form with photo 
    • You MUST present this ACT Student Identification Form with photo if you do not have a current official photo ID as described above.
    • It must be completed by a school official or notary public; neither may be a relative.
    • All items must be completed.
    • Download the form here (PDF).  

Unacceptable identification:

You will not be admitted if you present any forms of ID other than those listed as acceptable.

The following are examples of unacceptable identification:

  • Birth certificate
  • Credit, charge, bank or check cashing cards, even with photo
  • Diploma
  • Family portrait or graduation picture, even if the name is imprinted on the photo
  • Fishing or hunting license
  • ID issued by an employer
  • ID letter that is not an official ACT identification form
  • Learner's driving permit (if it doesn't include a photo)
  • Temporary/replacement driver's license (if it doesn't include a photo)
  • Organization membership card
  • Passport or other photo ID so old that the person presenting it cannot be identified
  • Personal recognition by anyone, including members of the test center staff, classmates, parents, counselors, and teachers
  • Photo ID of parents
  • Photo with your name embossed or printed on it by a photographer
  • Photocopies or reproductions
  • Photos issued by a business for promotional purposes (e.g., amusement parks)
  • Police report of a stolen wallet or purse
  • Printed, stamped, or photocopied signatures
  • Published photo, including yearbook or newspaper
  • Report card
  • Social Security card
  • Telephone calls to counselors, teachers, or school officials
  • Traffic ticket, even with a physical description and signature
  • Transcript, even with photo
  • Web page with photo

Once you have submitted your registration to ACT, by any method, it cannot be canceled.

If you miss the test for any reason, including illness, injury, being denied admission at the test center for lack of ID, or late arrival, your options are listed below.

IMPORTANT: Once you break the seal on your test booklet, you cannot later request a test date change, even if you do not complete all your tests. You must register again and pay the full fee for your test option if you want to retest.

  1. Request and pay for a test date change
    Log in to your ACT web account and select "Make Changes to Your Registration" or call ACT Registration at 1.319.337.1270 by the regular deadline for the new test date. You will be charged the test date change fee. If you call during the late registration period, you will also be a charged a late fee. If you register for a new test date instead of making a test date change, your basic fee for the original test date will not be refunded.

    If you decide you do not want to test on another test date, your registration fee and any additional fees (such as late fee or test center change fee) are nonrefundable. If you do not test, no score reports will be sent.

  2. Request a refund for optional services
    If you do not test and do not make a test date change, the following fees for optional services are refundable if you ordered and paid for the services when you registered:
    • Score reports for 5th and 6th college codes
    • ACT writing test

    To request a refund of these optional services, email act-reg@act.org with "REFUND" in the subject line, or write a letter including your identifying information and the test date and test option for which you registered. Label your envelope "REFUND." Refunds will be issued about eight weeks after your scheduled test date and will be issued in the form of payment originally received (for example, a credit will be applied to your credit card).Requests for refunds for the 2016–2017 testing year received after July 31, 2017, will not be considered.

    Send your request to:

    ACT
    P.O. Box 414
    Iowa City, IA 52243-0414
    USA

... need to test that day?

If you miss the late deadline to register for a test date, you will need to register for another test date.

Be sure you take the items below to the test center. Pack the night before and make sure everything is ready to go. You don't want to forget anything or risk not being admitted to test.

You are not permitted to use or access the following items while in the test room:

  • textbooks, foreign language or other dictionaries, scratch paper (unless specifically authorized and provided by ACT), notes, or other aids
  • highlight pens, colored pens or pencils, or correction fluid/tape
  • any electronic device other than a permitted calculator (examples include cell phone, media player, iPad, headphones, camera)
  • reading material
  • tobacco in any form
  • food or beverages, including water

For additional information, see prohibited behavior at the test center.

Testing begins after all examinees present by 8:00 a.m. (or 1:30 p.m. for afternoon testing) are checked in and seated. A short break is scheduled after the first two tests. For students taking the ACT with writing, a brief break is also scheduled before the writing test. Students taking the ACT in standard time rooms are normally dismissed at about 12:15 p.m. (or 5:45 p.m.); students taking the ACT with writing are normally dismissed at about 1:15 p.m. (or 6:45 p.m.)

For more information about what to expect on test day, see Test Day.

Test Prep

  

test prep companies?

ACT, Inc. operates within a framework of internal policies and procedures that protect the personal information of its customers. ACT does not sell or provide any personally identifiable information, including ACT test scores, to any test preparation companies. It is not ACT's practice to call students registering for the ACT test or other customers to sell them test prep services or to request credit card information over the phone.

If students or others receive phone calls requesting credit card information from persons or organizations claiming to represent or be affiliated with ACT, they should contact ACT Registration (319.337.1270) or the local authorities with as much information as possible about the caller.

English: 75 questions – 45 minutes

Mathematics: 60 questions – 60 minutes

Reading: 40 questions – 35 minutes

Science: 40 questions – 35 minutes

Total: 215 questions

Writing: 1 prompt – 40 minutes

Testing begins after all examinees present by scheduled exam time are checked in and seated. A short break is scheduled after the first two tests. For students taking the ACT with writing, a brief break is also scheduled before the writing test. For morning testing sessions, students taking the ACT in standard time rooms are normally dismissed at about 12:15 p.m.; students taking the ACT with writing are normally dismissed at about 1:15 p.m. For afternoon sessions, we anticipate students taking the ACT in standard time rooms will be normally dismissed at about 5:45 p.m.; those with writing to be dismissed at about 6:45 p.m.

For more information about what to expect on test day, see Test Day.

Scores

Viewing scores online

  

No. The deadline for adding, changing, or canceling college reports is 24 hours immediately after the regularly scheduled test session.

No. The dates listed here are the earliest dates that multiple-choice scores may be available. There are no options to speed the scoring of your tests.

Note: Not all scores will be posted online on the earliest date shown. Scores will be processed and posted weekly as soon as the situation causing a delay is resolved (see examples). We encourage you to check back weekly.

 

 

Scores take longer if:

  • an irregularity is reported at your test center.
  • you owe any registration fees.

Scores are processed and reported weekly, usually each Wednesday and Friday, once the situation causing the delay is resolved.

The scoring process for the writing test takes longer. If you tested through non-US testing, you can view your multiple-choice scores, including the Composite score, as soon as they are ready - typically two business days after your test date. We will add your writing scores as soon as they are available and notify you when you log in to your student web account if your writing scores have been posted.

Most multiple-choice scores from non-US testing are processed and posted online within 2 business days after each test date. See the schedule for viewing scores, and check periodically for updates if your scores are not posted on the earliest date shown. If you took the ACT with writing, your writing scores will be added when they are available, normally about 6-8 weeks after your multiple-choice scores.

Scores are processed and posted weekly (usually each Wednesday and Friday) as soon as the situation causing the delay is resolved (see examples).

Scores

Getting scores

  

No. Customer Care cannot provide your scores by phone, email, chat, or fax.

You can view your scores online as soon as they are available through your student web account. Most multiple-choice scores from non-US testing, including the Composite score, are posted within 2 business days after each test date. Writing scores are normally added about 2-3 weeks after the test date. You will receive notification when you log in to your account if your writing scores have been added.

If you tested through Special or Arranged testing as of mid-September 2008, you can also view your scores online after you receive your score report in the mail with an ACT Student web account.

Score reports for the ACT are normally processed and posted online within 2 business days after the test date. If you took the ACT with writing, your scores will be released only after all your scores are available, including writing, normally about 6-8 weeks after your multiple-choice scores.

Your score report will also be delivered as a PDF through your student web account.

Scores are processed and added each week, usually each Wednesday and Friday. Normally, all scores are reported by 8 weeks after the test date. (See examples of why some scores take longer.) There is no option to speed the scoring of your tests.

Make sure you requested your scores be released to that institution and you listed the correct ACT college code. The college codes you listed when you registered are shown on your score report. Contact the admissions office at the university and provide them with your name and ACT ID

ACT normally reports scores for the ACT within 2 business days after the test date. Scores for the ACT with writing are normally reported within 2 to 3 weeks after the test date. Please allow at least 8 weeks for a college or university to confirm receipt of your scores. Keep in mind that after they receive your scores, the college may need additional time to process them and match them to your application.

Colleges and universities determine how often they receive scores from ACT—at least every two weeks.

 

If you tested through National or International Testing and did not already have an ACT ID, one was assigned to your record at the time of registration. This number begins with a dash and is followed by eight digits and is located at the top of your Student Report. Provide this number to the admissions office, along with your name as it appears on your report. 

Scores

Sending scores

  

No. Once you've made your request, by any method, it cannot be changed or canceled.

No. There is always an additional charge for sending your scores to additional colleges or other recipients for previous test dates. See our information about sending your scores to others.

No. If you took the writing test, your scores from that test date can be reported only after your writing scores have been processed. Also, it is ACT's policy to report scores only for entire test dates. In requesting a score report from ACT, you may not select to report only your multiple-choice scores without your writing test score.

... order a personal copy of my score report?

If you wish to request and pay for additional score reports for a high school (in addition to the one that is automatically sent), an uncoded college or agency, or for personal use, you can make your request online after you test if you have a free student web account.

After you log in to your student web account, select the test date you want to have reported, and provide basic identifying information, you will find directions to help you request and pay for a copy of your score report for a high school, an uncoded college or agency, or for personal use.

There is an additional fee for each report you request after you test.

No. ACT maintains a separate record for each test date, and it is ACT's policy to report scores only for entire test dates. In requesting a score report from ACT, you may not select to report only your writing test score without your multiple-choice scores.

... report?

No. We do not combine scores from different test dates in our reports. ACT maintains a separate record for each test date, and it is ACT's policy to report scores only for entire test dates.

Most multiple-choice scores, including the Composite score, are typically ready to report within 2 weeks after each test date. Writing scores are added as soon as they are available, usually 2 weeks after the multiple-choice scores. Each college or scholarship agency selects the method and frequency of reporting—at least every 2 weeks. Your scores will not be released to colleges until all of your scores are available for reporting.

... I took the ACT?

Most people take the ACT during grades 11 or 12. If you can give us an approximate test year, we can check a range of years in our records for you.

If you think you tested sometime between September 2015 to the present, you may use the Additional Score Report Order Form (PDF).

There is a $24.00 nonrefundable archived scores fee for ACT to search for scores prior to September 2014. This fee will be charged for each report requested—whether or not scores are located. A valid credit card is required to pay this fee and the additional service fee for phone requests. Please see costs and delivery options for more details.

When submitting requests, please include your name as given at the time you tested, ACT ID from your score report, date of birth, and your best guess of the test year.

Visit this page to send us an email. You may also call us at 319.337.1270 or write to:

ACT
P.O. Box 451
Iowa City, IA 52243-0451
USA

Colleges receive ACT score reports according to the reporting method and schedule they select—at least every two weeks. For that reason, score reports requested at the same time may be sent to different colleges at different times. Most colleges receive scores only electronically and might not review priority reports. Other colleges may receive paper reports sent by first-class mail and delivered within a few days. It is not unusual, however, for there to be some time between when a college receives your report and when the scores are added to your admissions file.

Scores

Understanding scores

  

You can ask ACT to verify your multiple-choice and/or your writing test scores up to 12 months after your test date. Please download the Request for Score Verification (PDF; 2 pages). You will need to print the completed form and mail to:

ACT Student Services
PO Box 414
Iowa City, IA 52243-0414, USA

Include your name as given at the time of testing, address, and date of birth, as well as your ACT ID, test date (month and year), and test location from your score report. Enclose a check payable to ACT Student Services for the applicable fee:

  • $50.00 multiple-choice tests
  • $40.00 writing test essay
  • $90.00 both the multiple-choice tests and writing test essay

For multiple-choice tests, ACT will verify that your responses were checked against the correct score key.

For writing tests, ACT will verify that your essay was scored by at least two independent, qualified readers and by a third reader in the event that the two scores differed by more than one point in any domain. ACT will also verify that your essay was properly captured and displayed to readers. If errors are discovered during score verification, ACT will rescore your essay.

ACT will inform you by letter of the results of the score verification about three to five weeks after receiving your request. If a scoring error is discovered, your scores will be changed and corrected reports will be released to you and all previous score report recipients at no charge. In addition, your score verification fee will be refunded.

You may also request to be present for verification of your multiple-choice responses—without access to the test questions—at an ACT-designated location. Additional fees will apply.

If there was a test disruption or compromise, ACT will take action to remedy the situation when appropriate. For complete details, please refer to ACT's Terms and Conditions.

If you need to report a problem, use the Test Center Feedback Form.

Scores

Score reports

  

If, after you receive your score report, you find that you made a significant error in the information you supplied to us about yourself, you may ask us to correct your record. Write to ACT, P.O. Box 451, Iowa City, IA 52243-0451, USA, within three months after receiving your score report. Enclose a photocopy or printed PDF of your Student Report describing the error and the change you are requesting.

There is no fee for making the correction, but you must pay the applicable fee for each corrected report you want sent.

You should also contact the admissions office at the colleges where ACT sent your score reports and make sure they have matched your score report with your application. 

Students own their test scores and may direct ACT to delete their scores for a particular test date from our records.

To delete your scores for a particular test date, you must submit a written request. Provide us with your name and home address, and we will mail you a form to complete and return to us. We will then permanently remove your record for that test date from our files. All scores from that test date will be deleted.

Write to:

ACT Institutional Services
P.O. Box 168
Iowa City, IA 52243-0168
USA

If you register for an ACT International Test Date, we will automatically assign you an ACT ID at the time of registration.

The ACT ID is an eight-digit number beginning with a dash that is located at the top of your Student Report and also appears on the score reports we send to the high school and to any colleges you requested. The ACT ID helps us identify your record and allows you to access and order ACT services. (For example, if you wish to send your scores, correct information on your score reports, or create an ACT web account.)

Colleges have different procedures regarding application materials. Some colleges will keep ACT scores for a short time to match with additional application materials; some, however, prefer to have your application before they receive a score report. Because these requirements differ greatly among the thousands of colleges to which we send score reports, we aren't able to provide students with information about a specific college's practices. Please contact the college directly to learn its preferences.

If you have taken the ACT or ACT with writing more than once, we maintain a separate record for each test date. If you ask us to send a report to a college, we will release only the record from the test date you request. This protects you and ensures that you direct the reporting of your scores by ACT for admission purposes.

If you wish, you may ask us to report more than one test date record to a college. However, you may not select test scores from different test dates to construct a new record; you must designate an entire test date record as it stands. ACT does not create new records by combining scores from different test dates.

Yes. The high school and colleges to which ACT reports your scores will be able to view an image of your essay online. The image of your essay will remain available for them to access for up to one year after you graduate from high school.

You will need to contact the college admissions office directly to confirm their requirements. Many colleges require that the score report be sent directly to them from ACT.

Contact Us

How can we help you?

 Contact ACT by phone or live chat.

  • Please note, telephone hold times increase near deadlines
  • Agents are available on ACT test dates.


Email us before you register to test if you:
Are having trouble signing up online
Have a question about international testing


Email us after you've taken the test if you:
Have a question about your ACT scores


Email us anytime if you:
Have a question about your ACT web account or uploading a photo
Have a question about your bill from ACT


By mail:
ACT Customer Care
P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, IA 52243-0414
USA
 

Testing with Accommodations

Students previously approved to test with accommodations at a regularly scheduled test center can register to test again with the same accommodations from their ACT Student Web Account.

Learn more about accommodation options, eligibility, and how to submit a request.

Email  Typical response in 2 business days

Phone  1-(319) 337-1332 M-F 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM GMT-6

  • Please note, telephone hold times increase near deadlines.
  • Customer Care agents are available on ACT test dates.

By mail:
ACT Test Accommodations
301 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168
Iowa City, IA 52243-0168
USA
 

Questions or Complaints About a Test Center or Test Conditions

We will automatically initiate an investigation if your submission is received within two weeks of the test experience.

Begin submission of question or complaint about a test center or test conditions

By mail:
ACT Test Administration and Accommodations
301 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168
Iowa City, IA 52243-0168
USA