FAQs and Help

Find answers to your questions about the ACT test here.

Use the links below for answers to the most frequently asked questions about the ACT. 

COVID | MyACT | General | Registration | Photo Upload | Special Circumstances | Test Day | Test Prep | Scores

All students registered for September ACT test dates received an email from ACT on August 26, about the current status of their registration. Now through your test day, ACT will be sending email updates Monday through Friday by 6:00 p.m. CT to notify you if there has been a change in your registration*. Please know that changes in COVID-19 may affect your ability to test on your scheduled test day. We’re committed to helping you navigate your path forward, no matter the bumps in the road, and will send you updates if/when your registration changes.

*Potential changes in your registration include:

  • Your test center closed.
  • Your test center had a reduction in capacity.
  • You were registered at an unlisted test center, which was established only to test specific examinees, and ACT adjusted the roster at their request.


Here’s what you can do if you’re affected by changes in your registration:

  1. You can request a free change through your MyACT account, but if you can’t immediately find capacity for a desired date, stay tuned. ACT is working with centers to identify and create as much capacity as possible.
  2. If you’d prefer, you can also complete a form to request a refund of your test registration fees.

We’re here to help you navigate your path forward and will continue to provide as many testing opportunities as possible while adhering to CDC and local public health guidelines for your safety.

...but I haven't received communications from ACT.

Please follow official updates from ACT when it comes to your test registration. Check your admission ticket in MyACT, as well as test center cancellations. We will email you if your registration changes for any reason.

...I still be able to take the ACT test there?

Schools that serve as test centers still have the option of administering the ACT test, even if they are closed and doing remote learning for their students. We are working closely with test centers and will be communicating the status of test centers for the upcoming test date.

Yes, ACT will be following CDC-recommended guidelines for social distancing at our test centers. 

...during fall ACT test dates?

ACT continues to update its test center policies and procedures based on the latest guidance from local officials and CDC guidelines. The guidelines provided to test centers include both recommendations and requirements. They include (but are not limited to):

  • Requiring face coverings be worn by students and staff
  • Making hand sanitizer available 
  • Placing COVID-19 related signage, including floor signage to maintain six feet distances at key locations such as check-in and seating arrangements 
  • Requiring health screenings and wellness checks on both testing staff and examinees on test day.

Beginning with the September 2020 ACT exam, ACT is requiring all examinees to bring and wear masks or other cloth face covering (both referred to as “masks”) to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. You will be prohibited from entering the testing facility without a mask. See potential exceptions below.

No personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided by the test center. Examinees are required to bring and wear masks and encouraged to bring their own personal hand sanitizer, and other PPE.

No specific type of mask is required, however, because some types of masks are not recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control, they will not be allowed. The CDC does not recommend using masks if they have an exhalation valve or vent, and therefore, you will not be allowed to wear that type of mask. The CDC does not recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks. You may wear a face shield, but you must also wear a mask. Masks must cover the nose and mouth.

You are required to bring your own mask. If you forget to bring one, you will be prohibited from entering the testing facility.

You are always required to wear your mask while in the facility, but there are limited exceptions. For example, if your test center’s check-in process is inside, you will be asked to briefly remove your mask to verify your identity. You may also briefly remove your mask to consume small amounts of food and water.

Exceptions will be granted for those who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability. On the day of the test, please alert staff at the test center of your need for an exception. You do not need to call ACT prior to the test event.

The policy applies to all administrations of the ACT test through National, International, Special, Arranged, and Private Test Security Retesting. Policies for State and District testing programs (school day testing) are set by State and District customers.

Yes. Examinees will be asked the following health and wellness questions during check-in. If an examinee affirms any of the following, they will not be admitted, and may make a test date change at no cost. 

  • Have you tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the last 14 days? 
  • Have you had any of these symptoms in the last 14 days?
  • Fever greater than 100 degrees 
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Cough 
  • Chills 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Sore throat 
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Are you experiencing fever, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, a cough, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell at this time? 
  • Have you been in close contact with someone displaying these known symptoms of COVID-19? 
  • Have you been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or who has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the last 14 days? 
  • Have you traveled outside the country or to any high-risk locations in the last 14 days or been in close contact with someone who traveled to high-risk locations in the past 14 days? 

If you don’t feel well, please stay home!

If you did not test, then on the Monday after test day you can go into your MyACT account and make a test date change at no fee.

If you are unable to make the change through your account, please contact ACT.

If you are not feeling well, more information and guidance can be found on the CDC website or by contacting your local health department or medical provider. 

...the ACT exam. What should I do?

Contact your local healthcare provider or state or local health department who is responsible for contact tracing to disclose that you’ve participated in the ACT exam (provide the exam date and location- city, state and facility name + address). If your local health official determines further notification of possible exposure should occur, they may contact ACT at ACTCOVID19Reporting@act.orgUnrelated email inquiries will not receive a response.

NOTE: Further notification of possible exposure is at the discretion of state or local health officials, and a decision is made based on a variety of factors. Learn more at www.cdc.gov.

...responsible for contact tracing if my positive result has already been reported? 

Contacting your state or local health department may expedite the tracing process. Based on the information you provide, health officials will determine if ACT should send notifications of possible exposure. 

...exposure at an ACT exam? 

Health officials should *email ACTCOVID19Reporting@act.org with the exam date and location (city, state and facility name + address) should ACT be asked to notify all individuals present. 

*NOTE: Unrelated email inquiries will not receive a response.

...registered me for a test date. How do I change my test date/test center? 

If you wish to change your registration in any way, you may do so free of charge in your MyACT account.

No, your registration could change as ACT and test center staff monitor changes in local COVID-19 conditions and adhere to CDC guidelines.

Unfortunately, it’s clear the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us into the fall. This means continued limitations in test center capacity and inevitable cancellations throughout the remainder of our 2020 test dates. To the best of our ability, class of 2020 and 2021 seniors have been placed in seats at sites that are currently open. While the test centers you’ll see listed on MyACT are currently open for testing on the date noted, your registration could change as ACT and test center staff monitor changes in local COVID-19 conditions and adhere to CDC guidelines. 

To plan for these realities, we are doing everything we can to secure additional space for students who will need more options. In addition to the changes we’ve already made to add more capacity (opening up our Sunday testing to all students and adding new test dates in September and October), here are a few more examples of what we’re working on: 

  • Pop-up sites in areas most affected by cancellations.  

  • Partnering with commercial testing companies to share their already-existing space within your communities. 

  • Working with state Boards of Regents, colleges, and universities to help them administer “On-Campus Testing” for their students.

  • Working with school districts to help them become an ACT test site for their students (these are called unlisted test centers and are not available on MyACT). 

MyACT Account

You will need to create an ACT account to register for tests, make changes to your registrations, view your scores, send score reports, order test preparation materials, and more.

(Note: If you are younger than 13, your parent or guardian cannot create an ACT account for you, contact ACT customer support for assistance.

All services ordered online must be paid for with a valid American Express, DISCOVER, MasterCard, or VISA card (or with approved ACT fee waiver or voucher). Note: If you are younger than 13, your parent or guardian cannot create an ACT account in order to place an order online for you. Ask your parent or guardian to contact ACT at 319.337.1270 for assistance.

Some students have encountered issues in authenticating their accounts when creating or migrating their MyACT account.

If you have selected to verify your account via email, please first check your “junk” or “spam” email folder. If you do not see the verification email in either folder, please confirm your email is correct and resend the validation.

If you selected to verify via SMS message and you do not receive a message, please select to email the verification as an alternative.

If you were in the process of verifying your account on Monday, July 27 prior to the MyACT system being pulled down for maintenance, you can resend an email verification using the link in your original email. If the SMS message verification was selected that day, please contact us for agent assistance in verifying your account.

Some customers have experienced issues in migrating or creating accounts in our new MyACT system. We have found the most common root cause of this issue to be the selection of alternate user paths. In order to streamline migration, three user paths are available:

If you had previously logged in to our Student Web Services portal, please select “I have a student web account and need to update to MyACT.”

Watch this video for help.

If you took an ACT test through a state or district testing program and have a score but have not logged in to an ACT system previously, please select “I have scores from an ACT test, but don’t yet have an account.”

If you are brand new to ACT, please select “I have not taken the ACT before and am creating an account for the first time.”

Watch this video for help.

Additional information on getting started with your MyACT account can be found here: https://success.act.org/s/article/Getting-Started-with-MyACT

If you have already created a MyACT account and your previous account information does not appear after login, it is possible a new account was created in error or there was an error in migration. If you do experience this issue, please contact us for agent assistance in merging accounts.

We are aware that some students have been experiencing issues with resetting the password for their MyACT account, specifically those who have recently changed their email or mobile phone associated with their MyACT account.

We have resolved this issue as of 8/21. Now that we have, we are asking that you try the below steps one more time. These steps should solve your problem:

  1. Go to MyACT.org and click the forgot password link above the password field on the sign in screen.
  2. In the forgot password popup please put the email address associated with your account as the email address and click the reset password button. A password reset code will be sent to your email or mobile phone.
  3. Input the code and a new password into the password reset screen that appears on MyACT.
  4. After resetting the password you will be redirected to the MyACT sign in page.
  5. Enter in the same email with your new password.
  6. Now you should be logged into your MyACT account, and you should be able to access your data.

If you have taken these steps, and still cannot view your scores, please see our Contact Us page for the best way to get assistance.

Some customers have experienced issues in rescheduling tests from previous test registrations using an ACT Fee Waiver or a voucher. This issue is resolved through one of two user paths:

If you were able to successfully migrate your account into MyACT, you will see previous registrations on your record. Upon entering that previous registration record, you may select to complete a Test Date Change. This change of test date to a fall test administration is free for you.

If you were not able to successfully migrate your account to MyACT and created a new account in the system, you will not see any previous registrations. If this is the case, please contact us for agent assistance in merging accounts. If you are unable to contact ACT Customer Care prior to requiring a registration, you may register following the standard user process and request a refund at a later date.

...are available; however, when I log in to MyACT, my scores are not there. 

Please make sure you migrated your account correctly, based on your unique situation. View this blog for help. If you are sure you migrated correctly, and still cannot see your July scores, it’s possible you are part of a group of students whose scores have not been loaded into MyACT. We are in the process of loading those scores for students who tested with writing, and they will be available in MyACT soon. Please note, there are no issues with your scores.  

General

No. The online testing option that was previously announced—where students have the option to take the ACT test on a computer at an ACT national test center—has been postponed until 2021.

ACT plans to offer a remote proctoring solution, allowing students to take the test online, at home or at other convenient locations in the winter.

Yes, for certain test dates and test administrations. See more information about our Test Information Release (TIR) service.

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.

Once you have a composite score, when you retake the ACT, we will automatically send to your college code recipients your ACT Superscore, to ensure they have your best overall score.

More About Superscoring

How will you do on a retest?

Research shows that of students from the 2019 graduating class who took the ACT more than once:

  • 56% increased their Composite score on the retest
  • 20% had no change in their Composite score on the retest
  • 24% decreased their Composite score on the retest

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. 

Arrangements may be available for examinees with a situation which may necessitate supports to access the ACT. Typically, these ailments are temporary in nature, and approval is for one test date only. You must complete a Request for Temporary Condition Arrangements Application (email: actaccom@act.org for a copy of the form) and provide documentation to support the need for the arrangement. Usually, supporting documentation comes from your treating physician or other provider. Requests must be returned to ACT no later than noon (central time) the Wednesday prior to your preferred Saturday test date.

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

English | Mathematics | Reading | Science

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

ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US.

Your test may include questions that will not count against your score. These questions will be presented in a fifth test. ACT tries out questions to develop future tests. Following the science test you should expect to take a shorter, multiple-choice test covering one of the previous subject areas. The results of the fifth test will not be reflected on your reported scores.

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).

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 2–8 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 5–8 weeks after the test date.

Advantages to testing in your 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.

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. Of course you'll need to register and pay the test fees.

Note: Examinees under the age of 13 cannot create an online account. Contact ACT Customer Support for assistance.

  • The ACT is accepted by all 4-year colleges and 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). 
  • 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 colleges.
  • The ACT helps colleges find you. By taking the ACT, you can make yourself visible to colleges and scholarship agencies through the Educational Opportunity Service, 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 colleges. 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 colleges will receive. ACT sends scores only for the test date you select. 
  • Optional Writing Test. Because not all colleges 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 colleges have told us about their policies here.

Through Test Information Release (TIR) you will receive a copy of the multiple-choice test questions used to determine your score, a list of your answers, and the answer key. If you took the writing test, you will also receive a copy of the writing prompt, the scoring rubric, and the scores assigned to your essay. Information about ordering a photocopy of your scanned answer document (including your essay if you took the writing test) for an additional fee will be included with your materials.   

Please note: You cannot expect to receive the TIR service in time to study for the next test date.

Find more information about Test Information Release (TIR).

Registration

We automatically registered many class of 2020 and 2021 seniors who had their ACT test(s) cancelled over the last several months for fall test dates. While we know this prioritization did not help everyone, it was necessary to do everything we could to help rising seniors (and even some 2020 seniors) obtain an ACT score for pending admissions and scholarship applications. We hope younger classes can understand these efforts on behalf of their peers and schoolmates. We are doing everything we can to increase testing space for 2020-2021 test dates. 

Over the last several months as the COVID-19 pandemic caused test cancellations and closures, every student had the ability to request a refund for the test(s) they were not able to take. In doing so, this removed some registration records from our system. Since the July 18 test date, we have migrated to a new registration site called MyACT and many students in the class of 2020 and 2021 who had not yet received a refund were automatically registered for fall testing. Unfortunately, this did not happen for class of 2020 and 2021 students who had already received a refund, as we were without a registration record for those students. We are very sorry for that. 

Students can take one September and one October test. Students cannot register for multiple September and October tests.

ACT is offering Standby for the September test date at no cost. You can find more information about Standby testing here: https://bit.ly/2Gl16SA

You can check your test center information in MyACT. We cross-referenced available sites and seats with your home address to place you in the closest available seat. Your seat is within 350 miles of your home address. If this doesn’t work for you, you can make any necessary changes to your registration in MyACT.

Many class of 2020 and 2021 seniors who had their ACT test(s) cancelled over the last several months were automatically registered for a fall test date. Some students in this category could not be automatically registered for a number of reasons, including: 

  • If you requested a refund from April, June or July, your registration record was removed from our system, as we migrated to a new registration site called MyACT since the July 18 test date.

  • If we couldn’t place you in a seat that was within 350 miles of your home address, we did not. Note: We are continuing to add seats and sites to MyACT to increase fall testing capacity.

  • If there were technical issues with your account information, like duplicate email addresses for multiple accounts. 

If a student completes a test date change, the system will charge for the new test date. However, this fee will be refunded in 3-5 business days.

Examinees may also make free test date and test center changes through their web accounts to allow for flexibility in choosing a date and location that works best for them.

Note: Examinees participating in Special or Arranged testing, or in Talent Search will need to contact ACT directly to make changes to their registration.

As a long-term improvement for examinees who register for ACT Special testing, the registration experience will more closely align with the experience of those who participate in center-based testing. The voucher was provided to those who had an existing request for special testing from April, June or July, and will allow for a registration to be made in MyACT without the need for a credit card.

... 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 national testing*, you have until Thursday noon, central time, immediately following the regularly scheduled Saturday 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 (e.g., State and District, Special, DANTES), 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" or call ACT at 319.337.1270 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. 

You will be charged a change fee in order to make changes such as a test center change or test date change. If changes are made at the same time, the fee is only charged once.

Test Center Change for the same test date - If a seat and materials are available for your test option at your new preferred test center on your preferred test date, you will be able to make a test center change.  You cannot request a test center change after the late registration deadline. Instead, find out about requesting standby testing.

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.

Note: If you paid with an ACT Fee Waiver, the waiver will be reapplied to your new test date, but covers only the test fee or late fee for your test option, you must still pay the change fee.

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

Other Registration Changes (college 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," or call 319.337.1270. Note that college choices can be added or changed only until 12PM central time on the Thursday following the Saturday test date.

Online registrations must be paid by credit card, or valid waiver or voucher, such as the ACT Fee Waiver, Pre-billed registration voucher, or state 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 to change the 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 full test fee for your test option plus the Test Date Change fee (plus a late fee if you request the change during the late registration period for the new test date). The test fee for your original test date will be refunded.

If you miss the late deadline for your preferred test date, you may be able to request standby testing.

If you cannot get to your web account, you can call ACT at 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
  • Test Information Release
  • ACT writing test

To request a refund of these optional services, write "REFUND" on your unused ticket and mail it to ACT, 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 2019-2020 testing year received after August 30, 2020, will not be honored.

Refund requests for the 2020-2021 testing year received after August 30, 2021, 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 (or register by mail) will appear on all of your ACT documents. These include the ACT ticket you present on test day, 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 identification. The 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 319.337.1270 or write to 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" or call ACT at 319.337.1270 by the late deadline for your test date. When you call, 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. Please note: This test center may be different than the one listed on the standard time admission ticket you received when you registered. If it is, you must log into your ACT web account and reprint your admission ticket.

See current ACT fees.

Photo Upload

... or district-administered testing on a school day?

Photos are not required for students who take the ACT as part of required statewide or district-wide testing. In those cases, students do not pre-register for the ACT, and the test is administered in the classroom by the students’ teachers. Many other test security measures are in place for these types of testing.

No, photos are not required for residual testing at this time. Students do not pre-register for ACT On-Campus testing.

Yes. Standby test takers will be required to follow the same procedures as all other test takers, including providing a photo to ACT prior to the photo upload deadline and presenting a standby ticket that includes that photo.

Yes. The fastest way is by uploading your photo to your ACT web account.

You may email a new photo to act-reg@act.org. Please include your full name, address, city, state, and date of birth within the email. If you know your ACT ID, please include that as well. Before sending your photo, make sure it meets the ACT Photo Requirements.

... having a photo taken?

ACT's processes accommodate those students. Students who wish to apply for an exception due to religious prohibitions should call ACT at 319.337.1270 to discuss their individual situation as early in the process as possible and no later than the regular registration deadline for their desired test date.  Note:  If a student has any photo identification (school ID or government issued like a driver’s license) or a photo in any school publications (e.g., newspaper or yearbook), the student is not eligible for an exception from ACT's photo requirements.

ACT will use the photo during the testing process for enhanced identity matching purposes. The photo will print on the ticket the student must present on test day.  Photos will print on the test day roster so testing staff know who to expect to arrive for testing and can match the photos on the ticket and roster to the student. High schools will automatically receive the student’s score report with the photo printed on it, so they can reinforce the identity match after testing.

ACT will keep the photos in a secure, encrypted database to which only we will have access. ACT will retain the photos for a period of time consistent with active use of test scores and test security needs. The photos will not be used for any purpose other than for identity matching.

... when they register and then having that same person show up on test day with a fake ID?

Security is most effective when provided in layers. That’s why ACT relies on more than just the identification match when examinees arrive to take the test. We also print examinees’ photos on the score report that is automatically sent to high schools and use other tools to help detect and deter potential impersonation attempts. These procedures make successfully impersonating another student much more difficult.

High schools are encouraged to check the photos on student score reports and to report any concerns regarding a student’s identity to ACT.

No. ACT does not plan to include photos with score reports sent to colleges at this time. The photos will only be printed on score reports sent to the student’s high school.

Special Circumstances

If you are testing on a national test date and can't afford the registration fee for the ACT or ACT with writing, you may be eligible for an ACT Fee Waiver. Information about the eligibility requirements and how to request a fee waiver is sent each summer to high schools.  You should work with your local high school to determine your eligibility.

You must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Currently enrolled in high school in the 11th or 12th grade.
  2. Be testing in the US, US territories, or Puerto Rico.
  3. Meet one or more indicators of economic need listed on the ACT Fee Waiver form.

If you are eligible, you may use a maximum of four separate fee waivers total. The waiver is used once you register, even if you do not test on the requested test date.

IMPORTANT: To take full advantage of the waiver, you must follow through and test on your registered test date.

Fee waivers cover the basic registration fee and late fee for your test option on a national test date, including up to six college choices (if you provide valid codes when you register). After registration, the student can request unlimited regular score reports for free. Waivers do not cover test date or test center changes, standby fee, additional score reports, or any other services.

You cannot request a fee waiver directly from ACT; you must contact your high school counselor. If you receive an ACT Fee Waiver Form, you also receive access to free learning resources.

Note: Registering during the late period or request any additional services, you must enter a credit card to pay those fees before submitting your registration.

Yes. Extended time testing is available for students with diagnosed disabilities or limited English proficiency. You can find detailed information here.

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.

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.

No; the ACT and ACT with writing are offered only in English. However, the ACT does offer supports for English learners. You can find detailed information here.

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  (319) 337-1332 M-F 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT

  • 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

Test Day

The only change you can make on the day of the test is to choose to not take the writing test.

Tell the test supervisor at your test center that you want to make this change before you are admitted to test. After testing, you can request a refund of the writing test fee.

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.

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, both free and paid options, visit ACT Test Preparation.

Also read the information here on the web so you know what to expect on test day.

It depends on when you decide to make the change. All test date changes requested during the limited Standby Request Period before each test date are treated the same as Standby Testing.  

Occasionally, a test center must cancel a test administration due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances. When this occurs, the test will be rescheduled for a future date. ACT contacts all students who were registered to test at that test center by e-mail with complete instructions as soon as the new test date is finalized. The rescheduling is done in consultation with testing staff on site. A list of test centers to be rescheduled can be found on this website.

Who is eligible to test on a rescheduled date?

Only students who were assigned to the test center on the original test date are eligible to retest on the rescheduled test date. You must bring acceptable photo ID and your ACT ticket to the test center for admission on your rescheduled test day.

Can I change test centers when I am rescheduled?

Test center changes are not allowed for rescheduled test dates.

What if I am unable to attend the rescheduled date?

If you are unable to attend the rescheduled date, you should call ACT Customer Support at 319.337.1270 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. central time).

When you call, tell the Customer Service Representative you were originally scheduled to test at a test center that closed, that you are unable to attend the rescheduled test date, and that you want to make a Test Date Change. Your registration cannot be cancelled or refunded, but you may reschedule for any available test center on any regularly scheduled test date at no additional charge if you call us by the registration deadline for your preferred test date.

Note: If you requested standby testing and were unable to test, your standby request will not transfer to another test date. Instead, ACT will refund the fees paid for your standby request.

As test day approaches, to confirm if your test center has been rescheduled:

  • 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 e-mail as soon as your rescheduled test date information is finalized. 
  • All test centers being rescheduled are listed on our test center reschedule page.

If your test center stays open, but you are unable to travel to the test center due to severe weather, contact ACT 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:

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 Support.

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.

Request and pay for a test date change
Your ACT Web Account has the the ability to make account changes. But, if you’re having difficulty, you can contact ACT Customer Support at 319.337.1270 by the regular deadline for the new test date. You will be charged a change fee. If you make this change during the late 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.

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
  • Test Information Release
  • ACT writing test

For more information visit our test day page for details about refunding for optional services.

Log in to your MyACT account and print a copy, or contact ACT Customer Support if you are unable to do so.

You must bring acceptable photo identification. If you do not bring acceptable photo identification or your ACT ticket, you will not be allowed to test.

... need to test that day?

If you miss the late deadline to register for a test date, you may be able to request standby testing.  Standby requests must be submitted and paid for online during a limited Standby Request Period before the test date. Paper registration folders are not accepted at the test center. 

Standby testing allows you to register your intent to test even after the late registration deadline. This is also true if you need to make a late change to your registration—to change your test date or test center.  Standby requests must be submitted and paid for online during a limited Standby Request Period before the test date. 

Standby testing is not available outside the US, US territories, or Puerto Rico, and there is no guarantee you will be admitted to test. Standbys are admitted on a first-come, first-admitted basis and only if there are seats, materials, and staff available after all registered students for that test center and test date have been seated for their test option.

See ACT’s information about Test Day to have the most up to date information about what you should bring, and not bring to the test center.

Testing begins after all examinees present by 8:00 a.m. 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 12:35 p.m.; students taking the ACT with writing are normally dismissed at about 1:35 p.m.

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

Your ticket also includes a box of Matching Information which helps ensure your paper answer document can be linked up correctly to your ACT account.

During testing your supervisor will instruct you to copy this information exactly as it appears, even if incorrect, into the corresponding blocks on your answer document. If you do not copy the Matching Information from your ticket exactly, your scores will be delayed, possibly up to 8 weeks, and your score reports may not reach the colleges you selected in time to meet their application deadlines.

Your ticket also contains helpful information such as the time, test date, and test center where you are to report.  It may also include messages specific to your test center, such as where to park or which building or entrance to use.  Please read your ticket carefully prior to test day. You must bring your ticket to be admitted to test.

Do not try to present a ticket for a different test date or a different test center on test day.  It will not be accepted. 

Test Prep

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. See more information by viewing ACT’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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 Customer Support (319.337.1270) or the local authorities with as much information as possible about the caller.

Testing begins after all examinees present by 8:00 a.m. 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.; students taking the ACT with writing are normally dismissed at about 1:15 p.m.

ACT tries out questions to develop future versions of the tests. Following the science test you should expect to take a shorter, multiple-choice test covering one of the previous subject areas, Please try your best on these questions, because your participation can help shape the future of the ACT. The results of the fifth test will not be reflected on your reported scores.

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

Viewing Scores Online

The deadline for adding, changing, or canceling college reports is the Thursday noon (central time) immediately after the regularly scheduled Saturday test date.

The dates listed here are the earliest dates that multiple-choice scores may be available for paper testing. For online testing your multiple-choice scores are normally available 48 business hours after the testing administration. 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:

  • answer documents from your test center arrived late or your test date was rescheduled. (Please allow an additional 1 to 2 weeks for answer documents to arrive from locations other than the US, US territories, and Puerto Rico.)
  • the "Matching Information" you provide on the answer document (name, date of birth, and Match Number) is not consistent with the Matching Information on your admission ticket. Scores cannot be reported until they can be accurately matched to the correct person. About 8 to 10% of examinees provide inconsistent information.
  • you provide incomplete or inaccurate test form information on the answer document, or the answer document has not cleared all other scoring accuracy checks.
  • 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 national testing, you can view your multiple-choice scores, including the Composite score, as soon as they are ready. 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.

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 2 weeks after your multiple-choice scores.

Scores are processed and posted 3 times a week, but sometimes scores can be delayed for other reasons (see examples).

Getting Scores

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

Log in to your MyACT account to view your scores and score report online as soon as your multiple-choice scores from a national test date are available.

You can view your scores online as soon as they are available through your ACT web account. They are processed, added, and sent by ACT 3 times a week.

Multiple-choice scores, including the Composite score and your ACT Superscore (starting October 2020), typically first become available within 2 weeks of the test date and are released throughout an 8-week period. Please note, not all students who tested will receive their scores on the first score release day. Writing scores are normally added about 2 weeks after your multiple-choice scores. See the schedule for viewing scores.

You will receive notification when you log in to your account if your writing scores have been added.  There is no option to speed the scoring of your tests.

The college codes you listed when you registered are shown on your score report. And, if you requested additional score reports through your ACT web account, you can see a record of the reports you’ve requested. Once your scores have been reported, you can contact the admissions office at the college and provide them with your name and ACT ID

  • For Multiple ACT normally reports scores for the ACT within 2 to 8 weeks after the test date.
  • Scores for the ACT with writing are normally reported within 4 to 8 weeks after the test date.

If you have recently tested, 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. 

Score Reports Prior to September 2020

At this time a PDF version of the score report is not available in MyACT.

With the launch of MyACT, we now have a mobile-accessible platform that can be accessed on a PC, tablet, or mobile device.  The new, dynamic score report allows you to see the detailed data broken out in a view that will allow you to focus on that individual section.  The data on the score report is the same, the only thing that changed was the way ACT displays it. 

No, the data on the report is the same data that was there before, it is just being presented in a different format.

Click on the button, Send My Scores, and you will be taken to a screen to make your score send selections.

No, the new view of the score report does not change how colleges will get scores.  Examinees will determine which institutions and scholarship agencies receive their score reports through MyACT and they will be sent.

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. It is ACT's policy to report scores only for entire test dates, or provide an ACT Superscore.

No. If you are not able to find your College Code, you may either contact the organization to see if they have a code or call ACT for assistance. You should direct them to contact ACT to establish one if you wish to send your scores.

Yes. ACT will send an ACT Superscore if you have taken more than one full ACT test. ACT will maintain a separate record for each test date, and then superscores the best results from each section.

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, however, may take up to 8 weeks for reporting.

Your scores will not be released to colleges until all of your scores are available for reporting, and are transmitted to colleges 3 times a week, as complete reports are made available.

Most people take the ACT during their junior or senior year of high school. If you can give us an approximate test year, we can check a range of years in our records for you.

To request scores be sent:

ACT keeps scores for 3 testing cycles, after that time, scores are archived. There is an additional nonrefundable archived scores fee for ACT to search for scores that have been archived. This fee will be charged for each report requested—whether or not scores are located.

ACT transmits score data to institutions 3 times a week, as complete reports are made available.

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.

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. 

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.

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

You must submit your request within three months after receiving your score report and 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.  (Note: Students may not delete scores used to document participation in State and District Testing.)

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 National Test Date, we will automatically assign you an ACT ID at the time of registration.

The ACT ID is an eight to nine-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, or correct information on your score reports.)

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.

On a subsequent retest, ACT will report both your ACT Superscore, as well as the scores from that specific test date. If you have taken the ACT more than once, we maintain a separate record for each test date.  

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.