Terms & Conditions for Registering for the ACT

These Terms and Conditions are the terms of an agreement between the person who will take the ACT assessment (“you”) and ACT, Inc. Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully. By registering for and/or taking the ACT assessment, you are agreeing to these Terms and Conditions.


Test Security Procedures

ACT’s test security procedures are designed to ensure that you have an equal opportunity to demonstrate your academic achievement and skills, that you do your own work, and that scores reported for you are valid.

ACT may prohibit you from taking the ACT, even if you have already registered for the exam, if ACT reasonably believes (1) you may have engaged in prohibited behavior in connection with a prior ACT test administration, (2) you may intend to engage in prohibited behaviors in the future, (3) you may have provided false or misleading information to ACT, or (4) you may be working for test preparation providers.

By registering for and/or taking the exam, you represent and warrant to ACT that the information you have provided to ACT is true; that you agree to be bound by, and will comply with, these Terms and Conditions and ACT’s policies for the ACT assessment; that you will not do anything on the list of prohibited behaviors; that you will cooperate with any test security investigation; and that you are not working for any test preparation provider(s).

Use of Images

As part of test registration, you will be required to submit a photo to ACT that meets ACT’s photo guidelines. This photo will be used for test security purposes such as verifying your identity using image-comparison technologies. This photo will be placed on your registration ticket, provided to testing center staff, and included on the score report that is automatically sent to your high school. You must have the right to submit the photo to ACT, either because you took it or because you have permission to submit it from the person who took it, and you agree that ACT may use the photo for all of the purposes listed in this paragraph and in ACT’s photo guidelines. See our Photo Requirements page for information about providing your photo.

ACT may also capture images of you at test centers. ACT may retain and analyze all images of you for the purpose of protecting the integrity and security of the testing process, regardless of the source of the photo and regardless of whether ACT has rejected the photo for failing to meet its photo guidelines.

Cancellation of Registration Due to Failure to Provide a Photo

ACT may cancel your test registration and release your seat if you fail to provide a required photo by the deadline for that test date. If you fail to provide a required photo by the deadline, you may request a test date change, and you will be subject to all test date change policies and fees. You must provide a photo before the new test date. If you do not request a test date change, the original registration fee will not be refunded.

Acceptable Identification

ACT generally requires that you show both (1) an admission ticket or a standby ticket, and (2) acceptable identification, to be admitted to a testing center. You are responsible for being familiar with ACT’s guidelines for acceptable identification and having acceptable identification with you on test day. Our policies are updated from time to time, so make sure that you check for any updates to our acceptable identification guidelines before the day of testing. You should contact ACT Student Services with any questions you have about acceptable identification before the day of testing.

Prohibited Behavior at the Test Center

The following behaviors are prohibited. You will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored if you are found:

  • Filling in or altering ovals on a test section or continuing to write the essay after time has been called on that test section. This means that you cannot make any changes to a test section outside of the designated time for that section, even to fix a stray mark.
  • Looking back at a test section on which time has already been called.
  • Looking ahead in the test booklet.
  • Looking at another person’s test booklet or answer document.
  • Giving or receiving assistance by any means.
  • Using a prohibited calculator.
  • Using a calculator on any test section other than Mathematics.
  • Sharing a calculator with another person.
  • Using any device at any time during testing or during break other than an approved calculator, an approved accommodation device, or an assistive device that does not require approval, such as a hearing aid. All other electronic devices, including cell phones and wearable devices, must be turned off and placed out of reach from the time you are admitted to test until you are dismissed after testing concludes. This includes assistive devices for which reasonable alternatives are available. For example, if you need glasses, use glasses that do not have electronics attached or built in.
  • Attempting to remove test materials, including questions or answers, from the test room in any way, including in the memory of a calculator.
  • Using highlight pens, colored pens or pencils, notes, scratch paper, dictionaries, or other aids.
  • Not following instructions or abiding by the rules of the test center.
  • Exhibiting confrontational, threatening, or unruly behavior; or violating any laws.
  • Allowing an alarm to sound in the test room or creating any other disturbance.

All items brought into the test center, such as hats, purses, backpacks, cell phones, calculators, and other electronic devices may be searched at the discretion of ACT and its testing staff. ACT and its testing staff may confiscate and retain for a reasonable period of time any item suspected of having been used, or being capable of being used, in violation of this list of prohibited behaviors. ACT may also provide such items to third parties in connection with ACT’s investigation or the investigation of others. ACT and its testing staff shall not be responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.

Non-Scoring and Cancelling Scores

The ACT test is intended to be delivered under standardized conditions. If any irregularity is encountered before, during, or after the administration of the test (that is, in the course of the testing process), ACT will examine the situation and determine whether action is warranted. If ACT determines that any testing irregularity has happened, it may choose not to score the answer documents of the affected test taker(s), or it may choose to cancel the scores of the affected test taker(s). Testing irregularities include, but are not limited to: (1) evidence of prohibited behavior on test day, (2) evidence that a test taker may have falsified his or her identity, (3) impersonation, (4) unusual similarities in the answers of test taker(s) at the same test center, (5) evidence of possible advance access to test content, (6) other indicators that the test scores may not accurately reflect a test taker’s level of educational achievement, (7) errors in handling or processing registration records, (8) errors in preparing, handling, shipping, or scoring test materials or answer documents, (9) errors in reporting scores, or (10) evidence of other disruptions or compromises in the testing process.

If there is a testing irregularity, ACT will decide which of the following actions to take, and its decisions are final: (1) if a person engages in suspected or confirmed prohibited behavior, ACT may (a) dismiss that person on test day and void the person’s answer document, (b) choose not to score the person’s answer document, or (c) void or cancel the person’s score; (2) initiate an Individual Score Review; (3) declare a Compromise/Disruption in the Testing Process; or (4) determine that the scores were not affected by the irregularity and take no action.

Prohibited Behavior

ACT has sole authority for determining whether to take action regarding prohibited behavior, whether suspected or confirmed, and its decisions are final. If ACT takes action due to prohibited behavior, the individuals who engaged in the prohibited behavior will not have their answer documents scored or will have their scores cancelled; will forfeit their registration for that test date; and will have no right to refunds or appeals.

Individual Score Reviews

ACT reserves the right to cancel test scores when there is reason to believe the scores are invalid. Some types of testing irregularities – such as unusual similarities in the answers of people at the same test center, evidence that a person may have falsified his or her identity or impersonated someone else, evidence of possible advance access to test content, or other indicators the test scores may not accurately reflect the examinee’s level of educational achievement – may result in a review of an individual’s scores (an “Individual Score Review”). If there is reason to believe the scores are invalid, ACT will cancel those scores.

When ACT decides to conduct an Individual Score Review, it makes reasonable efforts to notify the individual whose score is under review. The notice includes information about why ACT has started the Individual Score Review and options available for resolving it. The options may include voluntary score cancellation, a free private retest under closely monitored conditions to confirm a challenged score, and arbitration. More information regarding the Individual Score Review process will be provided to you if ACT opens an Individual Score Review regarding your score.

For Individual Score Reviews, the final and exclusive remedy available for you to appeal or otherwise challenge a decision by ACT to cancel your test score is binding arbitration through written submissions to the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), unless both you and ACT agree to submit the matter to an alternative arbitration forum. Most of the filing fee will be paid by ACT, but you will pay a portion of the fee, as permitted by the AAA’s Consumer-Related Disputes Supplementary Procedures (or as permitted by the rules of any alternate forum). If you arbitrate a decision by ACT to cancel your test scores, you must pay a nonrefundable filing fee of $200 to the AAA (or alternate forum) as your share of the filing fee. This fee is payable in full when a claim is filed, but will be reimbursed by ACT if you prevail in arbitration and your scores are not cancelled. The only issue for arbitration will be whether ACT acted reasonably and in good faith in deciding to cancel the scores. Proof of misconduct is not required to cancel scores.

Compromises/Disruptions in the Testing Process

ACT takes steps that are intended to ensure that test registrations are correctly processed, and that tests and answer documents are properly handled and scored. In the unlikely event that an error occurs that compromises or disrupts the testing process, ACT will examine the situation and determine whether it needs to take action, including not scoring answer documents or cancelling scores. Compromises or disruptions that could cause ACT to take action include, but are not limited to, errors in the registration process; errors in preparing, handling, shipping, processing, or scoring answer documents; errors in reporting scores; deviations from standard testing procedures such as events that cause testing at a test center to be cancelled or interrupted, or a mistiming on any part of the test; events or information that raise concerns about possible prohibited behavior, advance access to test content by anyone taking the test, or possible invalid scores; unusual data from a test center such as unusual similarities in the answers of people at the same test center; or any events that otherwise disrupt or compromise the testing process. If ACT determines that it needs to take action in response to compromises or disruptions in the testing process, ACT will either correct the error, if ACT believes correction is possible; or offer each affected person the option to retest at no additional fee (normally on a future national test date) or to receive a refund. ACT’s decisions regarding compromises or disruptions in the testing process are final. If ACT offers a retest and you select that option, you must retake all four multiple-choice tests to produce a valid Composite score. If you took the Writing Test on the original test date, you may also need to retake the Writing Test in addition to the four multiple-choice tests to produce a valid Combined English/Writing score.

The remedies listed in this Non-Scoring and Cancelling Scores section are the exclusive remedies for anyone affected by irregularities in the testing process, regardless of cause.

It is important that ACT ensure that reported scores are not affected by an irregularity, and that ACT inform anyone who has received a score report that the score may not accurately reflect a person’s academic achievement and skills. You therefore agree that ACT may notify score recipients if there is an investigation into the validity of your reported test score, and if your score is cancelled. You also agree that ACT may disclose details about a test security investigation to score recipients and to anyone who may be able to assist with ACT’s investigation, such as law enforcement, state departments of education, and local school officials. You agree that ACT will have no liability for exercising any of these rights.

ACT will not be liable to test takers, schools, school districts, or anyone else for any damages that are caused by or arise from any irregularity, including but not limited to failure by test administration personnel or students to comply with ACT’s test administration policies or procedures, or that are caused by or arise from the actions of any third parties.


Unless expressly prohibited by an applicable federal or state statute, all disputes (other than those described above at “Individual Score Reviews” and those relating to infringement of ACT’s intellectual property) arising out of or relating in any way to registering for or taking the ACT test, or requesting accommodations on the ACT test, or the use or disclosure of personal information by ACT, shall be resolved by a single arbitrator through binding arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), under the AAA Consumer Rules (“AAA Rules”) in effect at the time a request for arbitration is filed with the AAA. Copies of the AAA Rules can be located at www.adr.org. No arbitration may be maintained as a class action, and the arbitrator shall not have the authority to combine or aggregate the disputes of more than one individual, conduct any class proceeding, make any class award, or make an award to any person or entity not a party to the arbitration.

Each party will be responsible for its own fees and expenses incurred in connection with any arbitration.

Please note that special procedures apply to arbitration proceedings involving Individual Score Reviews. Those procedures are discussed above, under the heading “Individual Score Reviews.” The procedures for Individual Score Reviews override the procedures in this section for Individual Score Reviews only, if they are different from the procedures described in this section.

Privacy Policy

We share personally identifiable information consistent with your choices. For example, we send score reports to the colleges you choose. (Be aware that when you send a report to a college that is part of a school system, the college may share your score with other colleges in that system.) When you register for the ACT test, you consent to ACT’s Privacy Policy, which explains how ACT may use and share your data. For example, ACT provides your score report (including your photo) to your high school. In certain situations described below, ACT will also automatically report your scores for scholarship purposes. For a full description of how personally identifiable information is used and shared by ACT, please see ACT’s Privacy Policy, which is incorporated into these Terms and Conditions by reference.

Automatic Score Reporting

Some state/federal scholarship programs or education departments use ACT scores as one source of information to recognize student achievement. ACT reports test scores and other information about you for this purpose without requiring you to use one of your college choices, and at no cost to you. If your mailing address or high school is in one of the states or other categories listed below, your test scores and other information about you will be reported automatically for consideration unless you specifically direct us, in writing, not to do so. To direct us not to automatically report your scores for this purpose, send a letter postmarked by the Monday immediately after the test date for which you do not want your scores reported. Address your letter to: ACT Institutional Services, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168. NOTE: This will not affect any other uses of your scores, such as the reporting of scores to the colleges you listed or to your high school, or sending information about you to Educational Opportunity Service recipients if you opted in.

For individual state consideration: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia.

For U.S. Presidential Scholars Program consideration: All states, District of Columbia, U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, and U.S. citizens abroad.

Retest Restriction

You may take the ACT no more than 12 times total. This restriction applies even if your scores from a test date are cancelled by you or by ACT. ACT may cancel your registration, rescind your admission ticket, or take any other steps necessary to enforce this policy. If you violate this restriction, your scores will not be reported or will be cancelled and your fees will not be refunded.

In calculating the 12-test total, ACT makes exceptions for testing required by your district or your state’s Department of Education and tests taken as part of an academic talent search. Other exceptions will be considered only if you submit a request via our online Retest Exception Request Form no later than the regular registration deadline for the test date you would like to be your 13th test date. Exceptions are within ACT’s sole discretion.

ACT’s Intellectual Property Rights

All ACT tests, test-related documents, and test preparation materials are copyrighted works owned by ACT and protected by the laws of the United States and other countries. ACT’s secure tests and test questions may not be copied or disclosed at any time. You may not copy or distribute any part of any test-related materials that ACT has made available to the general public, such as materials designated or marked by ACT as sample tests, without ACT’s prior written approval. ACT may pursue all available civil and criminal remedies if its intellectual property rights are violated, including seeking damages and/or injunctive relief in a court of law.

ACT owns all answers and answer sheets submitted by examinees, including all essay responses, as well as all score-related data maintained by ACT. Score reports received by an examinee from ACT are the property of the examinee. However, such reports may not be altered by an examinee so as to convey inaccurate or misleading information, and, if the scores reflected on such score reports are cancelled by ACT, may not be provided to third parties.

Changes to These Terms and Conditions

These Terms and Conditions apply to the test event for which you are registering or preparing; however, they are subject to change for test security reasons, reasons related to changes in applicable laws, or other reasons. When these Terms and Conditions change, ACT will provide notice of the changes by posting the revised Terms and Conditions on its website www.actstudent.org. Terms and Conditions posted at least forty-eight hours prior to the start of the test for which you are registering will apply to that test date. You agree to be bound by such posted terms and conditions. The current version of these Terms and Conditions is available at http://www.actstudent.org/regist/terms.html, and you agree to check for revised Terms and Conditions prior to taking the assessment.

All ACT policies referenced in these Terms and Conditions, including ACT’s Privacy Policy, are part of these Terms and Conditions and are binding on you, so you should review them carefully. Any questions should be directed to ACT Student Services in advance of registering to test.