ACT Test Dates for 2016-2017

Below are the ACT test dates for the coming year. So get out the calendar and write these dates down. Then, read the below, where I answer several commonly asked questions. And don't forget to read my "Best ACT Prep Books" study guide to guarantee that the test taking experience is the best possible one.

ACT Test Dates for 2016-2017

ACT Test Dates

September 10, 2016

October 22, 2016

December 10, 2016

February 11, 2017 (except New York)

April 8, 2017

June 10, 2017

Register By:

August 5, 2016

September 16, 2016

November 4, 2016

January 6, 2017

March 3, 2017

May 5, 2017

 NoteThe test dates listed above are for testing in the United States. If you need ACT test dates for outside of the United States, be sure to check the exact ACT test dates for International testing.

Planning Ahead

The first step in creating a solid test taking plan is to write down the ACT Test Dates for 2016-2017. Stick these dates somewhere that you see frequently, like your fridge or family calendar. Remember, the ACT is only offered six times per year: February, April, June, September, October, and December - so you will want to make sure to plan ahead. 

How Early Can I Register?

 Even though the ACT dates have been released for upcoming years, a student cannot register that far ahead (typically in July the registration opens for the coming school year). But it does help to have the list of test dates for long term planning. When the ACT officially announce the new schedule, I will update this page with registration deadlines.

How Many Times Should I Take the ACT?

Remember that students often take the ACT test more than once. Why? For a couple reasons. Some schools will take your "highest combined" ACT score from multiple sittings (which almost always results in a higher total score) and some students just need a couple attempts at the ACT test to feel comfortable and relaxed. Generally, though, after three attempts, students will have achieved their best scores.

What if I Register But Change My Mind?

If you cannot take the test for some reason, you can always cancel that session and re-register for a small fee ($23). And the ACT lets you cancel the registration even AFTER the actual test date (so you can make that choice up until the actual test date, which is nice).

With my students, I typically recommend pre-registering for an ACT test even if you are not entirely sure you will be ready or able to take the test that date. Why? Because test sites can get crowded, and if you register early you are guaranteed a spot at your first choice test site.  

How Long Will It Take to Get My Results?

The ACT test results should appear in your on-line account approximately 2-4 weeks after the test date. Unlike the SAT test, score results for the ACT do not appear on the same day for everyone, so don't panic if you hear students receiving scores but nothing appears in your online account. Just be patient. Also, the ACT essay score may take a week or so longer to receive than the multiple-choice section scores.

Do I Have to Send My ACT Scores to Colleges?

Another benefit of the ACT test is that students have a little more control over which ACT scores the colleges will actually see. Before you send any scores, I strongly advise reading "Which Scores Should I Send To Colleges?", in which I give lots of really important information about sending scores, especially if a student has taken both the SAT and ACT.

What If I Am Not a Great Test Taker?

Did you know that not all colleges require students to submit SAT or ACT scores to be admitted to college? If you are a strong student, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you may be surprised to learn that many colleges, and really good colleges, have become "test-optional". Too many parents and students dismiss "test-optional" as a possible route to college admission. But before you do that, find out more about this growing, "student-friendly" trend in college admission.

News & Updates

Several times each week, I post articles and test taking tips about the SAT and ACT tests as well as college admissions. These blog entries are a great way to keep current with what is happening in high school test prep and college admissions. So please bookmark this page (or subscribe to my RSS feed) and let your friends and family know about!