ACT Test Dates for 2023-2024


Are you planning to take the ACT this year? If so, your first order of business is to check out the testing dates and choose the one that works best for you. Whether you plan to take the ACT once or a few times, remember that standardized test scores are an important component of your college application. You’ll want to make sure you choose the dates that will help you be the most successful.

Even if you plan to take the ACT only once this year, it’s important to be aware of your testing date options. You’ll want to have plenty of advance notice, whether your school has a set day to administer the ACT or you will registering for it on your own.

So let’s start preparing!


What Are the ACT Test Dates for 2023-2024?

Each year, ACT, Inc. announces the dates for upcoming ACT exams, including registration deadlines. You must register for the date you want before that deadline to ensure a spot and avoid any late fees.

The table below provides the dates for ACT registration and testing for 2023 and 2024. Note that there is a registration deadline and a late registration deadline, which incurs a fee. Ideally, you’ll want to register by the deadline, giving you more time to prepare for the exam.

Note also that there is a photo upload and standby deadline. Every student testing for the ACT must upload a photo per the guidelines in order to receive an admission ticket for testing day. There is also a deadline for those waiting standby for a particular testing date. This applies to anyone who is attempting to register for an exam that is full. Note that only paper and pencil tests are available for standby testing.

Test Dates

Regular Registration Deadline

Late Registration Deadline

Photo Upload and Standby Deadline

September 9

August 4

August 18

September 1

October 28

September 22

October 6

October 20

December 9

November 3

November 17

December 1

February 10

January 5

January 19

February 2

April 13

March 8

March 22

April 5

June 8

May 3

May 17

May 31

July 13

June 7

June 21

July 5

Data provided by


How to Choose the Best ACT Test Dates for You

At first glance, the date of your ACT may not seem important. However, you should consider a number of factors when choosing the date to take this standardized test.

First, application deadlines and early action/decision dates are important to know. If you are a senior counting on taking the ACT one more time before applying to college, you need to make sure you’ll have the test results before your college application deadline. Or, if you’re a junior planning ahead for an early decision application, you’ll need to also plan ahead for the date of your last ACT exam. You’ll want to have the best scores to present in an early application.

Second, consider how many times you plan to take the ACT. If you know you’ll want to take it more than once, or you even think you might, you’ll need to factor that into the dates you choose. advises that you need time between exams to study what you didn’t know and brush up on content before retaking the exam. Most students who take the time to study between exams increase their score by 1 point. This may not seem significant, but for many, it can make the difference between college acceptance and denial.

Third, your study plans and how much time they will take will help you pick your dates. At Prep Scholar, we guarantee a 4-point improvement after taking our online ACT Prep. Depending on how you are preparing – working one-on-one with a tutor or working your way through a study guide – it’s best to create a timeline and then choose your ACT testing date as close to its completion as possible. At Prep Scholar, we also advise on how many hours you should study to raise your score by a point, two points, and more.

Fourth, think about your schedule for the year when choosing your ACT date. Will one semester allow you a little more time to study than the other? Are there any special events that will conflict with a testing date? Are you an athlete who will have trouble focusing if you take the test during your season? Look at the big picture of the year in front of you and choose a test date that will allow you to focus properly on the ACT.

Fifth, take a look at your schedule for the week of the ACT date you are considering. Make sure it isn’t a week that will be stressful, such as midterm or final exam week. If you’ll be returning from Spring Break, for example, will you be a better test taker or a weaker one? Check with your family to make sure a big event isn’t scheduled for the same week.

Finally, if your school has a scheduled ACT date, be sure to note it. You won’t be able to do anything about that date, but can you certainly plan ahead.

Once you’ve given consideration to the above factors, you’ll have a better idea of the best date for you to take the ACT. Let’s look at the ways you can prepare ahead of the ACT exam.


Strategy for Prepping for Your ACT Date

It’s always good to have a strategy! Start by choosing the best ACT date based on the tips above. All ACT exams are taken at test centers around the nation. Use this locator link to plug in your address and find the closest testing center to you.

The key is to leave enough time to complete all the preparation steps. Once you’ve done that, you’ll go into your exam with much more confidence, ready to do your best.

I recommend taking a minimum of two practice tests as part of your ACT prep. If you can take more, you’ll increase your chances of earning a higher score, but only if you identify your weaknesses and study targeted content to improve. Repeatedly taking tests without learning from your mistakes is really just a waste of time. Working with a tutor will help you focus on areas of improvement to make the most of your time and get you the greatest gains.

If at all possible, clear your schedule for the week of the test. Test dates are always on Saturdays (and start early in the morning!), so don’t plan a late night on Friday. Each night the week before the exam, try to get to bed at a decent time, so you are well rested come Saturday. Try to avoid stressors that week. You want to enter the exam feeling your best, so plan an easy week leading up to it.

On the morning of the exam, give yourself plenty of time to wake up and eat a healthy breakfast. Protein is especially important, and brain-healthy foods that give you energy, versus drag you down, are crucial for this day. Eggs, fruit, and fiber are all good ideas to keep you focused throughout the test.

Note: If you choose a location that is more than an hour away from your home, you might want to consider spending the night at a hotel or friend’s house near your testing site. It’s tough to be sharp after you’ve wakened early and driven a couple hours, so it’s worth the investment to be fresh in the morning.

As you can see, choosing a date isn’t as easy as just selecting one and rolling with it. You should put some serious thought and consideration into this step. It may seem minor, but in the interest of giving yourself every chance to do your best, it helps to think ahead.


What’s Next?

Visit to register for your ACT exam. Once you’ve selected your date, visit PrepScholar for all of your support options, including online and one-on-one tutoring and test prep. You can also find resources on how to study for the ACT.


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About the Author
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Rebecca Deurlein

Rebecca has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and taught high school English for over 20 years. Her students consistently earned top scores on the SAT and ACT, AP Language and AP Literature exams. She worked one-on-one with students through her own tutoring and educational coaching business and believes that individualized attention and personal connection are the keys to success. Rebecca is the author of the parenting book Teenagers 101: What a Top Teacher Wishes You Knew About Helping Your Kids Succeed, which provides tips for parents on how to help their kids reach their full potential. As a content writer for Prep Scholar, she hopes to help guide students and parents through high school and make the transition into adulthood as stress-free – and informed – as possible.

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