Frequently Asked Questions on the ACT

ACT Registration FAQs

What are the available methods of ACT registration?

Online registration is your best bet and is strongly recommended by ACT, but standard mail registration is also possible.

What are the registration fees for the ACT?

In the United States, the registration fee is $67.00 for the full exam or $50.50 for the multiple-choice sections only (no Writing test). The international registration fee is $166.50 (with the Writing test) or $150.00 (without the Writing test).

Once I've registered, can I change my test date or test location?

Yes, you are allowed to make registration changes through your online ACT account, but you will have to pay additional fees. A test center change on the original test date costs $30.00. Test date changes will also cost you $30.00 if done before the registration deadline for the new test date (if not, you will either have to pay the late fee as well – another $30 – or a completely new registration fee).

What materials will I need to register online?

A headshot photo, information about your high school courses, and a credit card. The registration process takes approximately 40 minutes.

ACT Administration FAQs

What should I bring with me to the test center?

ACT-approved identification, admission ticket, no. 2 pencils with erasers, calculator, watch, and snacks.

What items aren't allowed at the test center?

Pretty much anything not on the list for the previous question.

How many times are students allowed to take the ACT?

The official limit is 12 times, with a mandatory 60-day waiting period between each test administration. ACT will consider exceptions in certain cases.

How often is the ACT offered?

There are currently seven national test dates per academic year (these are for the United States, U.S. territories, and Puerto Rico). ACT also holds six international test dates annually. For students who live very far away from the closest ACT test center or for other exceptional circumstances, arranged testing is a possibility.

ACT Scoring FAQs

How long does it take for scores to become available?

Students will be able to view their multiple-choice section and composite scores online between two and eight weeks after the test date. Writing test scores typically take two additional weeks.

How long will it take for colleges to receive my scores?

If you designated score report recipients at registration, the timeline is probably similar (four to 10 weeks for all scores). However, this is dependent on internal university distribution procedures, over which neither you nor ACT have any control.

What will my score reports include?

Your composite score, section scores, STEM and ELA scores, reporting category scores, national and state percentile rankings, and indications of benchmark attainment (or lack thereof).

Can I cancel my ACT scores right after the test?

No, but you can cancel the sending of score reports if you don't want colleges to receive them. The deadline for report cancellation is about five days after the test and before you will know your scores. You can also later request that ACT delete records of your scores from any test administration.

ACT Acceptance FAQs

Is the ACT accepted by all U.S. colleges and universities?

Yes, if they require a standardized test for admission, your U.S. school will accept the ACT. Most test-optional universities will consider your ACT scores if you send them.

I'm a U.S. high school student planning on going to college overseas. Should I take the ACT?

Maybe. Some foreign schools will require ACT or SAT scores from all American applicants, while some will not. We're sorry we can't give you a simple answer to this question; all we can do is refer you to your school's admissions office.

Do universities prefer the ACT or the SAT?

You will not gain an advantage by picking one test over the other. You should therefore choose the test that's best for you.

What's a good ACT composite score for a highly selective university?

The most elite universities in the United States report average ACT composite scores of 30 or higher.