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Need Help With ACT Test Registration?

Need to register for the ACT test, but you’re not exactly sure how? Want to avoid making any careless mistakes in the ACT test registration process?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know everything about how ACT test registration works.

This article will cover everything from ACT test dates and deadlines, to sending score reports to colleges.

You’ll learn about important registration fees and procedures, and get a complete “how to” for ACT test registration.

Let’s get started! We’ll start with…

ACT Test Dates and Registration Deadlines:

When it comes to ACT test registration, be sure to cover first things first.

Pick your upcoming ACT test date. Don’t miss the registration deadlines - or you’ll have to pay a fee.

Not sure when to take the ACT test? Well, speaking as a professional tutor, as soon as possible is good advice.

Most teens should take 2-4 ACT tests before Winter of Senior year. That means you need to start early - for example, by Fall of Junior year. Contact us for advice on your personal situation!

Let’s learn how to register for the ACT… Read on!

What Do You Need for ACT Test Registration?

To make your ACT test registration go faster, you should gather up a few things in advance:

  • Your high school course information.
  • The credit or debit card you will use to pay.
  • A recent photo of the student.

You’ll also need to create your ACT student account online, or log in to your existing account.

Register for the ACT on a Computer, Not Your Phone

I highly recommend that you use your home computer to register for the ACT - not your phone.

The ACT website is not optimized for mobile devices. It will be easier and faster for you if you use a full-featured desktop or laptop computer.

In the words of the ACT people themselves:

The registration site has not been optimized for mobile. It is best to complete your registration on something other than a mobile device.

How to Register for the ACT Test

It’s simple to register for the ACT. Just log into your ACT student account and choose the option to register for an upcoming test.

The system will walk you through the ACT test registration process, scheduling, and payment.

Registration includes a personalized career planning section. Entering this detailed personal info is mostly optional, so you can skip this step if you need to save time.

If you decide to input the details, more power to you. The registration system will occasionally save your info as you go along. You can pause at any point and come back when you’re ready.

Expect ACT test registration to take about 40 minutes.

More secrets to come! Keep reading…

Where Will You Take Your ACT Test?

Not sure where you’ll be taking your next ACT test?

During the ACT test registration process, you’ll be given your choice of options for ACT testing center. If you’re lucky, there will be a test center that’s either close to you or familiar to you - or both!

Sometimes you’ll be able to take an ACT test at your normal high school.

It’s usually smart to pick the ACT testing center that’s closest to your home. You won’t have to drive as much, and you can sleep a little longer.

Make sure you know exactly where you’re going for your ACT, and how you’ll get there. Be sure to plan for any possible traffic on the day of the ACT test!

Coming up: an important mistake many students make. This is one you should be careful about…

Should You Register for the ACT Test with Writing?

During ACT test registration, you’ll have to choose if you’re taking the ACT test with Writing or not.

Although the ACT Writing section is “optional,” many colleges require you to include an ACT essay score.

There’s no way to take the ACT Writing section separately - you have to do the whole test in a single day, or next time you’ll have to start over from scratch.

So, I highly recommend you take every ACT test with Writing. For some tips on the ACT essay, read this.

Now, onto the important details of sending scores to colleges…

How Do You Send ACT Test Scores to Colleges?

Since ACT scores are used for most college applications, it’s important to send your scores to each of the colleges you are applying to.

This is not automatic, and colleges will not accept any unofficial score reports like print-offs or emails. Only the ACT can send valid score reports to colleges.

Your basic ACT registration fee includes up to four score reports sent to colleges - as long as you select the colleges before you start testing.

You can send additional score reports at any time, but there will be a fee of $12 for each additional score report.

It’s easy to send ACT score reports to colleges through your online ACT student account. Just log in, select the scores you want to send, and the colleges to send them to. Then pay online. Done!

Note: If you are able to afford the additional fees, I recommend waiting to send your scores. In other words, do not use your four free score reports - instead, wait until you see how you did on the test. Although there is an additional cost, this method offers the most control over what ACT scores you show to colleges.

What other options do you have? Keep reading to find out!

Other ACT Test Registration Options:

You will also have the opportunity to order items such as ACT Test Information Release, Priority Score Reporting, and extra ACT test preparation materials.

The ACT Test Information Release gives extra info on your ACT test. It includes a list of your answers, a list of the test questions you took on your ACT, a list of the correct answers, and score-conversion charts. This is a fee of $20 per test.

Priority ACT Score Reporting is the chance to process and send your scores more quickly - usually within 2 days. This is an additional $16.50 per score report.

Other options may vary depending on the situation and dates.

Most additional options involve some sort of extra fee, but may be worth the cost in certain circumstances.

Cost of ACT test registration

So, how much does it cost to register for the ACT test?

Well, aside from any optional costs or late fees, you’ll have two main options:

  • ACT Test Registration without Writing: $39.50
  • ACT Test Registration with Writing: $56.50

I have already recommended that you take the ACT test with Writing (see the section above).

You will pay for registration online with a credit or debit card. This is the only payment option for registering online - otherwise you will have to register by mail (see below).

Both options include up to four score reports sent to colleges. That means you can send your ACT scores to four colleges “for free” - as long as you choose the four colleges before you start the test.

Of course, you will always be able to see your ACT scores free of charge. So will your high school.

Your ACT registration cannot be cancelled or refunded after payment. Be sure you’ve selected the right test date and options!

How To Register for the ACT Test by Mail:

All students have the option to register for the ACT test by mail. However, most students should register for the ACT test online, and pay by credit or debit card.

The only time you want to register for the ACT by mail is if you are under the age of 13, or if you can’t pay online with a credit or debit card.

In these cases, the ACT requires you to register by mail.

To register for the ACT by mail, you need a special registration packet from the ACT. You can request it here. They will send you a registration packet by mail. Then you will fill it out and mail it back.

But… what if you’re late? Can you still register for the ACT? Learn more…

What About Late ACT Test Registration and Fees?

What happens if you miss the normal ACT test registration date?

If you still act quickly, you may be in time for the “late registration” period. However, you will pay an extra fee of about $25, on top of normal registration fees.

Also keep in mind - it’s possible for ACT test centers to run out of seats. So you’re not just paying an extra price for being late - you’re also taking the risk of losing your spot for testing.

Take a look at our ACT test registration calendar for specific late-registration deadlines.

Be sure to verify the dates before risking your ACT score and your college applications.

Now, the question on everybody’s mind…

When Will I Get My ACT Test Scores?

Want to know when you’ll get your ACT test scores back?

ACT scores usually are released between 2-3 weeks after the test date.

The multiple-choice scores are released first, but the ACT Writing test is usually released a couple of weeks later. That’s because they have to grade your ACT essay by hand.

Check out our ACT test-date calendar for more info on ACT score release dates for your test.

Feel confident that you know what to do? Great! There’s one more step…

Time To Start Your ACT Test Prep!

Now that you’ve completed your ACT test registration, turn your attention towards preparing for the test.

We can help. Contact us for personalized ACT test prep advice, tutoring, and classes.

To learn more about ACT prep and college readiness, here are 3 of our most informative articles:

Or, start browsing through our ACT test prep section of the blog.

Don’t wait to start. ACT test prep is time-consuming and energy-intensive. Your ACT scores will powerfully affect your future - from the colleges you attend, to your financial aid, to the success of your career.

Let’s quickly review what we’ve covered. Keep reading…

Review of ACT Test Registration

Now you’re an expert on the ACT test registration process!

We’ve covered ACT test dates and how to register for the ACT. What fees you might pay, and how to send ACT scores to college.

And, you’ve started your ACT test prep, so you know you’ll a higher score - which means better colleges and more scholarship money.

Did you have any questions for me? Be sure to ask them in the comments section below!


Want higher ACT scores so you can go to better colleges or win more scholarship money? We can help. Contact us today for no-cost personal advice from an ACT expert!

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