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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 2–8 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.
2017-18 ACT Test Dates & Registration Deadlines
Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline Complete Score Release**
September 9, 2017 August 4, 2017 August 5-18, 2017 September 19, 2017
October 28, 2017 September 22, 2017 September 23-October 6, 2017 November 7, 2017
December 9, 2017 November 3, 2017 November 4-17, 2017 December 19, 2017
February 10, 2018* January 12, 2018 January 13-19, 2018 February 20, 2018
April 14, 2018 March 9, 2018 March 10-23, 2018 April 24, 2018
June 9, 2018 May 4, 2018 May 5-18, 2018 June 19, 2018
July 14, 2018* June 15, 2018 June 16-22, 2018 July 24, 2018

Content/Skill Area Percent Range

English (45 minutes)

  • Usage/Mechanics
    • Punctuation 10-15%
    • Grammar and Usage 15-20%
    • Sentence Structure 20-25%
  • Rhetorical Skills
    • Strategy 15-20%
    • Organization 10-15%
    • Style 15-20%

Mathematics (60 minutes)

  • Pre-Algebra 20-25%
  • Elementary Algebra 15-20%
  • Intermediate Algebra 15-20$
  • Coordinate Geometry 15-20%
  • Plane Geometry 20-25%
  • Trigonometry 5-10%

Reading (35 minutes)

  • Literary Narrative or Prose Fiction 25%
  • Humanities 25%
  • Social Studies 25%
  • Natural Sciences 25%

Science (35 minutes)

  • Biology Data Representation 30-40%
  • Earth/Space Science Research Summaries 45-55%
  • Chemistry Conflicting Viewpoints 15-20%
  • Physics