ACT Test Dates and Locations

Instructor: Laura Melega
Knowing when and where ACT exams are given is an important part of fully preparing yourself for this exam. Learn more about where you can take the exams and when they are offered, then get info on registration deadlines and preparation methods for the ACT.

ACT Testing Dates

The ACT is offered on Saturdays six times per year in the following months:

  • September
  • October
  • December
  • February (Not available in New York)
  • April
  • June

Test Location Options

The ACT is offered at multiple sites in every state, most U.S. territories, and many countries around the world. You can find the location nearest to you along with available test dates from the ACT website. Keep in mind that not every center offers tests on each testing day.

For students who cannot take the ACT on a Saturday due to religious reasons or reside more than 75 miles from a testing center, arrangements can be made to take the exam with an administrator who has been trained to follow the testing criteria established by the ACT.

When to Take the ACT

It's recommended that you take the ACT during your junior year, both to help with college planning and to give yourself time to retake the test if you'd like to try for a higher score. Minimally, you should pick a test date that is two months before the application deadlines of the colleges you're considering to allow enough time for test scores to be reported.

Registration Deadlines

Registration deadlines are typically about five weeks before the test dates. Late registration is open for a couple of weeks after the registration deadline, but a late fee will be added to the cost of registration.

If you miss the late registration deadline, you can pay an additional fee to register for standby testing. However, standby testing is based on a first-come, first-admitted basis, and you will be permitted to take the test only if there are seats and test materials available after all registered students have been admitted to the test.

Preparing for the ACT

To provide you with the best preparation for test day, resources like's ACT Prep: Practice & Study Guide cover every topic you need to know using video lessons, quizzes and comprehensive exams. If you just need to brush up on topics in specific areas, you can focus your studies only where you need more help with the ACT English Prep, ACT Reading Prep, ACT Writing Prep, and ACT Math Prep courses. Check out all our ACT prep resources here. With these study guides, you'll get:

  • Short, engaging video lessons on every ACT topic
  • Complete written transcripts of every video lesson
  • Desktop and mobile access whenever and wherever you need it
  • A comprehensive explanation of each section of the ACT test
  • Access to the instructors in case you have questions
  • Lesson quizzes to ensure you understand the concepts
  • Chapter and course practice exams that mimic the actual ACT test

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