Looking to take the ACT, but not sure when? You have come to the right place. This article answers all your questions regarding the ACT dates in 2021-2022. Before we answer that, let’s focus on the main and most basic question.
What is the ACT?
The ACT is a standardized test administered by ACT Inc that is widely recognized for admissions in the United States.
It costs $46, whereas the ACT with the optional writing component costs $62.50. For international students, there will be an additional cost of $55.50.
So, if you think you are ready to take this up, financially, and if the additional cost doesn’t bother you, keep reading this article to discover which colleges require the optional writing component. The ACT score ranges from 1 to 36 points. It consists of English, Maths, Science and Reading sections.
The ACT writing component is not a part of this. It has its own total score (12 points) and only consists of English and Reading. This is known as an ELA score (English Language arts). The duration of the ACT writing component is 40 minutes and you are recommended to write over a page.
So, when should you take the ACT?
As seen in the table before, there are various intakes for the ACT through 2021 and 2022. However, the challenge lies in picking the date that is most appropriate for you.
There are various factors affecting this decision, such as:
The number of times you decide to take the ACT
It is highly recommended to take the ACT two or three times in total. The first time would give you the experience of taking the test in the examination hall, with the pressure of finishing the test within a tight time constraint.
When you take the ACT the second time, you know what to expect. You wouldn’t crack under pressure and will be more familiar with the test and its structure. If you are satisfied with your score the second time you take the test, there is no need to retake it further.
However, if you feel that you can improve your score, you get another chance. We do not recommend taking the ACT further as the admissions officer will start to question your abilities. So if you are in your junior year, you could take it in the fall semester. Then, you could take it in the spring semester of your junior year, once you’ve had enough prep.
Lastly, you can take the ACT in the fall semester of your senior year. After this, you must focus on college applications, which brings me to my next point.
When are the college applications due?
ACT scores are released 10 to 14 days after taking the test, so if you decide to take the ACT, make sure it is way in advance of when your college applications are due.
Furthermore, you will need enough time to work on your college essays, close to the application deadline, so ensure that you have your ACT scores ready. Otherwise, it could get too stressful.
What are your priorities?
It takes around 3 months to prepare for the ACT. Based on your other commitments such as school and extracurricular activities, you will need to prioritize taking the ACT and preparing for it accordingly.
If you are looking for a huge improvement in the ACT, such as a 6-9 point increase, you will need to spend more than 150 hours preparing for it.
Whereas, if you are looking for a smaller improvement, such as a 2-4 point increase, you will only need to spend over 40 hours preparing. Priority reports have been discontinued ever since 2020.
Before the year 2020, the ACT provided priority reports that would allow students to receive their score reports earlier. This was used when college application deadlines were soon.
However, now that the ACT has discontinued them, you will have to be very clear with the test dates in order to ensure that you receive your report before college application deadlines.
Also Read: Which Colleges Require ACT Writing?
Test Dates for 2021 and 2022
|Test Date||Registration Deadline||Late Registration Deadline|
|September 11, 2021||August 6||August 20|
|October 23, 2021||September 17||October 3|
|December 11, 2021||November 5||November 9|
|February 12, 2022||January 7||January 21|
|April 2, 2022||February 25||March 11|
|June 11, 2022||May 6||May 20|
|July 16, 2022||June 17||June 24|
|September 10, 2022||August 5||August 19|
|October 22, 2022||September 18||October 2|
|December 10, 2022||November 4||November 18|
When trying to achieve your target score, you must answer these questions first
Do you think you can reach your target score if you take the test now or later? If you have a target score in mind, take a few practice tests and try to assess yourself to see if your score reaches your ideal score.
Are you well prepared? If you are confident that you will acquire your target score, go ahead and take it as soon as possible! If you are not, then take time to prepare, practice multiple tests and go into that examination hall with confidence and I’m sure you will do amazing.
Does my college require the scores of all attempts? If you are required to send in all your score reports, you must be cautious of when to take the tests and then decide accordingly.
Will I have sufficient time to prepare to retake the ACT if I take the test later? If you think that your performance in the first attempt may not be up to the mark, then you must give yourself enough time to be well prepared for the second attempt.
However, don’t spend too much time stressing about the ACT! The ACT is not the only deciding factor when it comes to university admissions.
Your college application must display consistency in extracurricular activities, good grades, and top-notch GPA, the novelty in your college essays, and much more! Good luck, you got this.