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ACT Test Dates 2021-2022

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jul 16, 2021 3:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

 

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Here at PrepScholar, we understand how important it is to pick the right ACT test date. Choose a date that's too early and you won't have enough time to study. However, choose a date that's too late and you may not be able to retake the exam, if needed, or get your scores to colleges by their deadlines. 

To help make choosing the best ACT test date easier, we constantly review data to keep you up-to-date on new ACT testing dates. When you know future ACT registration and exam dates, you can stay organized so you can focus on studying for the test with less stress.

In this article, we go over the confirmed ACT test dates for 2021-2022 and explain the steps to take to pick the best ACT test date for you.

 

ACT Test Dates for 2021-2022

Below is the schedule for the ACT test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates for the 2021-22 school year. The ACT test dates and deadlines are all confirmed by ACT Inc; the online score release dates are our own estimates.

Test Date
Deadline
Late Deadline
Online Score Release*
Sept 11, 2021
Aug 6, 2021
Aug 20, 2021
Sept 21; Oct 5, 2021
Oct 23, 2021
Sept 27, 2021
Oct 1, 2021
Nov 2; Nov 16, 2021
Dec 11, 2021
Nov 5, 2021
Nov 19, 2021
Dec 21, 2021; Jan 4, 2022
Feb 12, 2022
Jan 7, 2022
Jan 21, 2022
Feb 22; Mar 8, 2022
April 2, 2022
Feb 25, 2022
Mar 11, 2022
April 12; April 26, 2022
June 11, 2022
May 6, 2022
May 20, 2022
June 21; July 5, 2022
July 16, 2022**
June 17, 2022
June 24, 2022
July 26; Aug 9, 2022

*The first date is when multiple-choice scores come out, and the second date is when complete scores (including the essay) become available.

**The July exam date isn't offered in New York.

 

How Accurate Is the Table Above?

Each of these 2021-2022 ACT test dates, as well as the regular and late deadlines, has been confirmed on the official ACT website. This means that you can be confident that they won't change, especially as the period of exam cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic seems to have passed. 

The score release dates are estimated, based on past patterns of multiple-choice results being released about ten days after the exam and essay scores being released about two weeks after that. However, it's completely possible for ACT scores to be delayed a few days; this is a normal occurrence and shouldn't worry you or make you think anything there's something wrong with your scores. If more than a week has passed after these score release dates and you still haven't gotten your scores, you can call ACT, Inc to check the status of your results.

 

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How to Choose the Best ACT Test Date: 4 Things to Consider

The ACT is typically offered seven times a year. How can you know which date will work best for you? Before you decide to register for one of the above test dates, consider these four factors:

 

#1: College Application Deadlines

This is the most important consideration. Before you can choose an ACT test date, you need to know when each of the colleges you're applying to requires your scores. If you miss a school's deadline, they likely won't look at your scores, no matter how high they are! Therefore, you always want to choose a test date well before college deadlines. (Even if you're applying to a school that's test-optional, if you decide to send ACT scores, they still must be received by the school's deadline.)

It takes about one to three weeks after your exam date for you to get your ACT scores, and schools typically receive your scores another two weeks after that. Therefore, we recommend choosing an ACT test date at least a month before your applications are due in order to ensure you meet school deadlines.

Common application deadlines are January 1 for students applying regular decision and November 1 or 15 for early action/early decision. If you apply regular decision, the December test in your senior year is likely the last ACT you can take for most colleges. If you apply early action or early decision, the last ACT you can take will likely be the October test date. 

Some schools have a specific deadline just for SAT/ACT scores, or they'll list the final exam date they accept scores from. Check the admissions pages of the schools you're applying to so you can get this information; it's very important to know!

 

#2: Possible ACT Retakes

In order to get their best score, many students end up taking the ACT two or three times. Even if you feel confident that you'll reach your goal score the first time you take the ACT, it's smart to give yourself time for one or two retakes, just in case you have an off day. Here's a potential schedule that gives you plenty of time to take the ACT three times:

  • First time: as a junior in your fall semester
  • Second time: as a junior in your spring semester
  • Third time: as a senior in your fall semester (or the summer before fall semester)

If you don't feel quite ready to take the ACT in the fall of your junior year, you can take the test for the first time in February of your junior year instead. This will still leave you enough time to take it once or twice more with time to study between exam dates.

 

#3: Your Study Plan

The study plan you create is another important consideration to take into account before choosing an ACT test date. We generally recommend that students begin studying several months before they take the ACT, but what really counts, more than the number of months, is how many hours you spend  studying. You'll want to take a practice ACT first, see how you score on it, and see how far that score is from your goal score. Then you can figure out how much you want to improve and how many hours you should study.

Here are our estimates for the numbers of hours you'll need to study for the ACT, based on how much of a point improvement you want to make:

  • 0-1 ACT point improvement: 10 hours
  • 1-2 ACT point improvement: 20 hours
  • 2-4 ACT point improvement: 40 hours
  • 4-6 ACT point improvement: 80 hours
  • 6-9 ACT point improvement: 150 hours+

For example, if you are getting about a 26 on practice ACTs and your goal score is a 30, expect to study about 40-60 hours to reach that goal. If you think you can manage studying about six hours a week, it'll take you about seven to ten weeks to be ready. That means you should choose a test date at least 2.5 months after you begin studying for the ACT to make sure you have plenty of time to prepare. Of course you can reach that goal faster if you can fit in more study hours each week.

Remember though, that these are only estimates, and it's important to take regular practice ACTs so you can see how much progress you're making and which areas you still need to improve in.

 

#4: Schedule Conflicts

The final factor to keep in mind is whether the ACT test date you're considering works with everything else in your schedule. Once you have an exam date in mind, check to see if you have any potential conflicts on or around that date. Don't look at just the test date itself either; make sure that you have plenty of time in your schedule in the weeks/months before the exam date for you to study as much as you need to.

For example, maybe the February date is on the same day as your orchestra concert. Or perhaps you want to avoid the June test date because you'll be focused on preparing for your AP exams. In these cases, you'll want to choose a different exam date to be sure you can be well prepared for the ACT and fully focused on the test come exam day.

 

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What's Next?

Wondering if the ACT is hard? Check out 9 key factors for assessing the ACT's difficulty.

Want the best ACT practice materials? Check out our massive collection of official and unofficial ACT practice tests.

Once you have all your ACT prep resources together, it's time to build a study plan. Our expert advice will help you build the ACT study plan that's best for you!

 

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)

 

Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!


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Christine Sarikas
About the Author

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.



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