SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

ACT Test Dates Full Guide to Choosing (2016, 2017)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | May 12, 2015 2:46:00 PM

ACT General Info



Are you trying to find the latest information for the 2016 and 2017 ACT test dates? We list test dates, registration deadlines, and release dates from official sources or, where they aren't available, from rigorously calculated estimates. 

Having the most accurate, latest, test dates for the ACT is crucial for all good test taking plans. However, oftentimes finding the best date is more than finding the next test date — sometimes taking the next available test date can be an incredibly bad idea!  We created a separate guide for factors you should think about before setting a test date.  It's very important to consider the time you have to study, as well as the advantages of taking the ACT multiple times.  

(Looking for SAT dates instead? Click here.)


School Year Ending 2017 (i.e. 2016-2017)

This year's ACT test dates, normal registration deadlines, late registration deadlines, and score availability are below.  

Test Date


Late Deadline

Score Release*

Sept 10, 2016

Aug 5, 2016

Aug 19, 2016

Sept 19; Oct 3, 2016

Oct 22, 2016

Sept 16, 2016

Sep 30, 2016

Nov 8; Nov 15, 2016

Dec 10, 2016

Nov 4, 2016

Nov 18, 2016

Dec 21, 2016; Jan 4, 2017

Feb 11, 2017**

Jan 13, 2017

Jan 20, 2017

Feb 21; Feb 28, 2017

Apr 8, 2017

Mar 3, 2017

Mar 17, 2017

Apr 26; May 10, 2017

June 10, 2017

May 5, 2017

May 19, 2017

June 21; June 28, 2017

* = Refers to Online Score Release. The first date is when multiple choice scores come out, and the second one is when complete scores are out.

** = No February dates are scheduled in New York.


If you're looking for last year's dates instead, check out the chart below.

Test Date


Late Deadline

Score Release*

Sept 12, 2015

Aug 7, 2015

Aug 21, 2015

Sept 21; Oct 5, 2015

Oct 24, 2015

Sept 18, 2015

Oct 2, 2015

Nov 10; Nov 17, 2015

Dec 12, 2015

Nov 6, 2015

Nov 20, 2015

Dec 23, 2015; Jan 6, 2016

Feb 6, 2016

Jan 8, 2016

Jan 15, 2016

Feb 16; Feb 23, 2015

Apr 9, 2016

Mar 4, 2016

Mar 18, 2016

Apr 27; May 11, 2016

June 11, 2016

May 6, 2016

May 20, 2016

June 22; June 29, 2016

* = Refers to Online Score Release. The first date is when multiple choice scores come out, and the second one is when complete scores are out.


Visual Calendar of 2016 and 2017 Dates

We've created a handy visual representation of the dates listed above to help you plan your test-taking schedule. 

For more guidance on which date to pick, check out our guides to the four test date factors you should consider and whether you should take the SAT more than once


(C) 2016 PrepScholar Inc, Use with Link to Allowed

You can clearly see a few things immediately:

  • ACT test dates are clustered closely together in the fall and are more spread out in the spring.

  • ACT scores generally come out right around the registration deadline for the next test. This can make it tricky to take two subsequent exams, but you will usually get at least your multiple-choice scores before the late registration deadline, meaning it is still possible (if not necessarily advisable) to sign up for the next test.



ACT / SAT Test Dates May Change 
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When Does ACT, Inc. Generally Set Test Dates?  

As I mentioned above, ACT, Inc. tends to set dates closer together in the fall to offer options to seniors who are taking the test immediately before applying to college.  The tests in the spring, which target juniors and others studying early, are more spread out.  Of course, you don't have to be in a certain grade level to take any of the administrations — you're welcome to sign up for any of them regardless of where you are in high school.  

Also, note that there are ACTs scheduled throughout the school year, so you're never more than a few weeks away from the next test date.  Test dates are generally on Saturdays, but you may be take it on a different date if you have a religious exemption or are taking a special school administration of the test.


How Accurate Is the Table Above?

ACT test dates and deadlines are based on official ACT sources, while the online score release times are projected.  The table has been updated in May 2016 to reflect highly reliable institutional sources.  We always keep this table updated with the best and latest projects based on both official and unofficial guidance to have maximal accuracy.

Last minute ACT date changes can and do happen historically — sometimes with just hours of notice for snow emergencies!  We encourage you sign up for our free notification through our blog.  We'll keep an eye on changes so you don't have to!


Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Wondering whether to take the SAT or the ACT? Check out our complete guide to which test will be easier for you.

If you're planning to register for the ACT, try our guide to finding the best test center and our walkthrough of signing up for the test.

Make sure to get some prep in before your test date as well. Learn how to study for the ACT.


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Dr. Fred Zhang
About the Author

Fred is co-founder of PrepScholar. He scored a perfect score on the SAT and is passionate about sharing information with aspiring students. Fred graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor's in Mathematics and a PhD in Economics.

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