SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

ACT Registration Dates and Deadlines (2017, 2018)

Posted by Hannah Muniz | May 1, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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To ensure you have a solid ACT study plan, you must first familiarize yourself with ACT registration dates. What and when are the most important ACT deadlines? How can knowing these deadlines benefit you as a test taker?

In this article, we go over upcoming ACT registration dates and examine the general patterns of ACT registration deadlines. We also discuss the differences in deadlines for late registration, standby registration, and changes to your test reservation before wrapping up with a look at how you can use ACT deadlines to your advantage.

 

When Are ACT Registration Dates for 2017 and 2018?

ACT registration dates are typically five weeks and one day before each test. For the February and July test dates (the July date is a new addition to the ACT testing schedule starting in 2018), ACT registration dates are usually four weeks and one day prior to their respective test dates. In other words, each ACT registration deadline falls on a Friday around a month before each test.

The table below presents upcoming ACT registration deadlines and test dates for 2017 and 2018. All of these dates have been officially confirmed by ACT, Inc. Note that the late registration deadlines apply to testing sessions in the U.S. and Canada only.

 

ACT Test Date

Normal ACT Registration Deadline

Late ACT Registration Deadline

Standby Request Deadline

June 10, 2017*

May 5, 2017

May 19, 2017

June 2, 2017

September 9, 2017

August 4, 2017

August 18, 2017

September 1, 2017

October 28, 2017

September 22, 2017

October 6, 2017

October 20, 2017

December 9, 2017

November 3, 2017

November 17, 2017

December 1, 2017

February 10, 2018**

January 12, 2018

January 19, 2018

February 2, 2018

April 14, 2018

March 9, 2018

March 23, 2018

April 6, 2018

June 9, 2018

May 4, 2018

May 18, 2018

June 1, 2018

July 14, 2018**

June 15, 2018

June 22, 2018

July 6, 2018

*This test date is the last upcoming test date in the 2016-17 testing year. All other test dates listed above are for the 2017-18 testing year.

**Not scheduled internationally or in New York.

 

The normal ACT registration dates are the latest dates on which you can register for the ACT without having to pay a late fee. Once a normal registration deadline has passed, you can still register for that test during its late registration period; however, you'll have to pay a late fee of $27.50.

If you miss the late registration deadline, you can sign up for standby testing by paying a standby fee of $51. The standby period begins immediately after the late registration deadline and continues until exactly eight days before the test date. Standby requests are not guaranteed and are only available on a first-come, first-served basis.

But what about how early you can register for the ACT? ACT testing years follow school years from fall to summer; thus, registration opens for all ACT test dates in a testing year every July. This means that starting this July, you’ll be able to register for any 2017-18 ACT test date, from as early as the September 2017 test date to as late as the July 2018 test date.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of ACT registration dates, let’s take a look at some of the key ACT deadlines and fees you'll need to know before signing up for a test session.

 

body_2_dollar_bill.jpgThere goes that two-dollar bill you've been saving since you were 5.

 

Important ACT Deadlines & Fees

In addition to normal ACT registration deadlines, there are also deadlines for phone registration, late registration, standby testing, and changes to test reservations. The following table presents an overview of these major ACT deadlines and the fees associated with them.

Please note that no matter when or how you register for the ACT, you must always pay a test registration fee, which will be either $42.50 for the ACT without Writing or $58.50 for the ACT with Writing. (If you qualify for an ACT fee waiver, however, you won't have to pay this fee.)

 

 

Deadline

Fee

Normal Registration

Typically 5 weeks and 1 day before test date; 4 weeks and 1 day before February and July test dates

$0

Phone Registration*

Same as normal registration deadlines

$15

Late Registration (U.S. & Canada only)

Typically 2 weeks after normal registration deadline; 1 week after normal registration deadlines for February and July test dates

$27.50

Standby Request

Typically 8 days before test date

$51**

Test Date Changes

No later than the late registration deadline for your preferred test date

$25***

Test Center Changes

No later than the late registration deadline for your test date

$25***

*To register by phone, you need to have previously registered for the ACT.

**This fee, along with the registration fee, will be refunded to you if you are not given a seat on test day.

***Late fees still apply if you are submitting your request after the normal registration period has already passed.

 

Next, we'll look at the pluses of knowing ACT registration dates.

 

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What Do ACT Registration Deadlines Mean for YOU?

So far we’ve given you a list of upcoming ACT registration dates along with a detailed overview of ACT deadlines and fees. But what can you actually do with all of this information?

For one, knowing ACT registration dates allows you to choose a test date ahead of time and avoid paying any late fees. While you certainly don't need to memorize all of the ACT deadlines above, know this: normal registration deadlines are usually about a month before their respective test dates. As long as you can remember this fact, you’ll always be able to plan out your ACT schedule accordingly and avoid spending more money than you need to on the test.

On a related note, if you're looking to save as much money as possible, try to regard each normal registration deadline as the latest possible deadline. This way you’ll never be tempted to fork out extra money for late registration or standby testing.

ACT registration deadlines also give you a rough idea as to how much study time you’ll have before your test. For example, if you were to register for an ACT test date right before its normal registration deadline, you'd only have a month or so to study for the test. Even more challenging, let's say you were to register for an ACT test date at the end of the late registration period. In this case, you'd only have about three weeks to prepare for the test — and you'd have to pay a $27.50 late fee on top of that!

Although both of these ACT prep plans are technically feasible, three or four weeks isn’t a whole lot of study time. Instead, we recommend spending anywhere from two to six months studying for the ACT. Therefore, it's best to register at least a month before your desired test date’s normal registration deadline. Doing this guarantees you a minimum of eight to nine weeks for dedicated ACT prep.

Ultimately, unless a certain ACT test date is your last opportunity to take the test before your college applications are due, it'll be best for you to avoid registering late!

 

What’s Next?

Need help choosing an ACT test date? No matter your grade level or college plans, our full guide to ACT test dates offers premier advice on how to pinpoint the ACT test date (or dates!) that'll work perfectly for you.

Ready to get started? Register for the ACT using our step-by-step guide! And if you're home-schooled, we've got you covered, too!

Want to learn more about upcoming ACT test dates? Our article on future ACT test dates tells you everything you need to know about taking the ACT in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

 

Want to improve your ACT score by 4+ points? Download our free guide to the top 5 strategies you need in your prep to improve your ACT score dramatically.

Raise Your ACT Score by 4 Points (Free Download)

 

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Hannah Muniz
About the Author

Hannah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian languages and cultures. After graduation, she taught English in Japan for two years via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.



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