When should I test?

Pick a test date that is at least two months ahead of the application deadlines of all the colleges and scholarship agencies you might want to apply to. Scores for the ACT (No Writing) are normally reported within 3–8 weeks after the test date. If you take the ACT Plus Writing, scores will be reported only after all of your scores are available, including Writing, normally within 5–8 weeks after the test date.

Advantages to testing in your junior year:

  • You've probably completed the coursework corresponding to the test material.
  • You'll have your test scores and other information in time to help you plan your senior year. (For example, you may decide to take an additional class in an area in which your test score was low.)
  • Colleges will know of your interests and have your scores in time to contact you during the summer before your senior year, when many of them are sending information about admissions, course placement, scholarships, and special programs to prospective students.
  • You'll have information about yourself and the schools you're considering prior to your campus visits, making your visits more focused.
  • You'll have the opportunity to retest if you feel your scores don't accurately reflect your abilities in the areas tested.