Mapping Your Future: Key ACT Test Dates in 2024

04/01/202410 minute read
Mapping Your Future: Key ACT Test Dates in 2024

If you're planning to take the ACT in 2024, it's crucial to know what the test is, when you can take it, and how to sign up. It's also important to understand what your ACT score tells you and what you should do once you get it. This blog discusses why you should sign up for the ACT early, provides important tips for preparing for the test, explains how to figure out your scores, and dives into what to do after you finish the exam.

Understanding the ACT

The ACT is a standardized test that includes multiple-choice assessments in four key areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Reading
  • Science

Notably, the optional writing test does not impact your overall composite score.

The ACT gives colleges a detailed look at what you've learned in high school. College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers, extracurriculars, and essays.

In the U.S. college admissions process, this test is crucial because it helps colleges understand how ready a student is for college-level studies in different subjects.

ACT Test Dates for 2024

The 2024 ACT test dates each have its own set of corresponding deadlines. Regular registration deadlines, late registration options, and estimated score release dates are important factors to consider when registering for the ACT. Aligning these dates with college application deadlines and personal preparation schedules is essential for a smooth and well-planned application process.

The national test dates below are for the United States, US territories, and Puerto Rico.

ACT 2024 Test Dates
Test DateRegular Registration Deadline Late Fee Applies After This DateLate Registration DeadlinePhoto Upload and Standby Deadline
February 10, 2024 January 5January 22 February 2
April 13, 2024 March 8 March 24 April 5
June 8, 2024May 3 May 19 May 31
July 13, 2024* June 7 June 21 July 5

*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the July test date.

Test Information Release for the 2023-2024 testing year will occur in September, April, and June. See for more information.

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Registration for the ACT

The initial step on the path to taking the ACT is registering for the exam. The quickest way to register is to sign up online through your ACT Web Account. Alternatively, you can request a registration packet from your high school guidance office. If you plan to take the ACT outside of the US, you should register through ACT's International portal.

Registering for the ACT requires a basic registration fee that covers the cost of the exam and sending scores to up to four colleges of your choice. However, additional services like late registration, test date changes, and score reports to extra colleges may incur extra fees. It's also important to note that the ACT Plus Writing costs more than the ACT without writing, but ACT also offers a fee waiver service. Fee waivers are available for eligible students, providing financial assistance.

Registering for the ACT may seem like a straightforward process, but attention to details like test location and fees will ensure a smoother and more successful experience.

Preparing for the ACT

If you plan to take the ACT in 2024, effective preparation is key to achieving a high score. Some preparation methods include:

  • Study plans : Create a personalized study plan that works for your schedule and ensures that you stay on track. Decide what subject(s) you are going to focus on and, when you are going to focus on it.
  • Tutoring : Developed by Harvard grads, literature PhDs and top SAT tutors from around the world, Crimson’s SAT and ACT tutoring courses aim to reduce your study time while maximizing your results.
  • Practice tests : Taking a practice ACT can help you get a feel for what the questions are like, understand where your strengths lie, and where you may need to improve.

Starting your ACT preparation early and sticking to a consistent study schedule can significantly improve your performance on the exam. It reduces stress, allows for thorough coverage of the material, establishes good study habits, and enables targeted improvement. By dedicating time and effort consistently, you increase your chances of achieving the best possible score on the ACT exam.

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After the ACT - Understanding Scores and Next Steps

ACT scores are typically released about two weeks after the test date for multiple-choice tests. However, if you also took the optional writing test, scores for the writing section may take an additional two weeks. You can check the exact release date on the official ACT website. When the scores are released, you'll receive an email notifying you to log in to your ACT account to view and download your score report.

Understanding your ACT score is essential. The scores range from 1 to 36, with each of the four main sections (English, Math, Reading, and Science) receiving a separate score. These section scores are then averaged to calculate your composite score. The optional writing test is scored separately on a scale of 2 to 12. Your scores reflect your performance on each section and provide insights into your strengths and areas that may need improvement.

To send your scores to colleges, you can choose up to four colleges or scholarship agencies during registration for no additional charge. If you decide to send scores later or to more than four recipients, you can request additional score reports for a fee. It's crucial to check the score-sending policies of the colleges you're applying to, as some may require scores to be sent directly from the testing agency.

Score Reporting Dates
National Test DateScore Reporting Timeframe
February 10, 2024 February 20 – April 5
April 13, 2024 April 23 – June 7
June 8, 2024June 18 – August 2
July 13, 2024 July 23 – September 6

The role of ACT scores in the college application process varies among institutions, especially in the context of test-optional schools and Ivy League universities.

For test-optional schools, ACT scores are not required for admission. While submitting ACT scores is optional, they can still be beneficial for applicants. Strong ACT scores may provide an additional data point that showcases academic abilities, especially in cases where other aspects of the application may be weak.

On the other hand, Ivy League universities traditionally placed significant emphasis on standardized test scores, including the ACT. However, in recent years, some Ivy League schools have adopted test-optional policies. This means that applicants can choose whether to submit ACT scores as part of their application. Even with these policies, high-achieving ACT scores can still positively impact an application.

Understanding the test policy of each school can help you make informed decisions on whether to submit ACT scores and how much weight to assign to standardized testing in your overall application strategy.

SAT vs ACT: How Different are the Questions?


As you gear up for the ACT in 2024, it's imperative to plan and prepare well in advance. The earlier you start, the more time you have to cover the material and build confidence. Take note of the 2024 test dates and align your preparation schedule accordingly.

To maximize your readiness, consider reaching out to academic advisors or test prep experts. These professionals, such as the college admissions experts at Crimson Education, can provide personalized ACT preparation plans tailored to your strengths and areas for improvement. Their expertise extends beyond just test preparation; they offer valuable insights into the college admissions process, helping you navigate the journey with confidence.

So, don't wait—start your ACT preparation early, and don't hesitate to seek guidance from experts who can support you in achieving your college goals. Contact us now for a free consultation.