Are you a high school student waiting anxiously to get your ACT scores back?

If you are, it’s understandable! You may face college-application deadlines or be afraid that your ACT score won’t be high enough for your favorite college.

Or, you might want to know your specific section scores so that you can identify your weak spots and start studying as soon as possible.

Yes, the wait in between taking the ACT test and actually getting your scores back can be pretty painful.

So, how long does it take to get your ACT scores back after you take the test? Read on to find out…


How long does it take to grade the ACT?

After every student has turned in their ACT on an official test date, the answer sheets are gathered up and mailed to a central grading facility for processing.

There, your bubble sheets are swallowed up by an electronic scanning machine. Meanwhile, your ACT Essay is handed off to human graders.

Finally, your raw scores are converted to ACT scores on the 1-36 scale and released online. You can also see breakdowns of your ACT score by subsection and study your results in-depth.

The entire grading process takes about three weeks from the date of the test, but you should allow up to 8 weeks just in case.

A few days after your scores are released, the ACT begins sending your official score reports to the colleges and universities that you’ve selected.


Learn exactly when you will get your ACT scores back.

The flexibility and variation in ACT score release dates makes it hard to predict exactly when you get your scores back. But, it’s still safe to say you can expect them within 2-4 weeks after test day – usually.

For a rough guide to the exact release dates of scores for various ACT test dates, check out the calendar at the bottom of this page on the official ACT website.

You may also try contacting the ACT directly if you’re getting impatient. However, they most likely will not have any additional information to give you. You’ll just have to be patient!


Will I get my ACT scores back in time for Early Action or Early Decision?

Early Action and Early Decision give students some additional options for submitting their college applications. The earlier college application deadlines may help students find extra time and energy for scholarships or high school classes.

However, you may be concerned that you won’t get your ACT scores back in time to apply Early Action or Early Decision.

Usually, ACT scores come back quickly enough to be used for standard Early Action and Early Decision applications. However, there have been instances of the ACT not getting scores back in time. Processing errors, bad weather, or other unexpected delays can force students to wait longer for score reports.

I also recommend directly contacting the college admissions offices. Get someone at each college on the phone. Ask them to verify that your ACT test date will still work with that college’s Early Action or Early Decision deadlines.


Ready to get your official ACT Score Report back?

So, have you worked up the courage to check your ACT test scores?

If you’re ready to get your official ACT score report, head to your ACT online account and log in.

If your scores have not been reported yet, the website recommends that you check back weekly until they are posted.

Not long to go now! It should just be a bit longer before you find out how you did on the ACT…


Start preparing for your next ACT test right away.

Even before you get your ACT scores back, it’s smart to start preparing for your next round of testing.

Since it usually takes a minimum of 3 weeks to get your scores back, that’s a lot of valuable study time to waste.

“But what if I get the high score I need for college?” you ask. “Doesn’t that mean I can stop studying for the ACT?”

“Sure,” I’d respond.” But what if you don’t get the high score you need, and have to take the test again? Do you want to add even more pressure to your life by wasting precious weeks that you could use to prepare?”

So, until you actually get your ACT scores back, it’s best to assume you’ll need to keep studying, and act accordingly.

Let’s be honest - your ACT scores are kind of a big deal, and competition for your favorite college is fierce.

So, don’t relax for too long after taking the ACT. Get back to your books as soon as possible. Better college and scholarship options await you!


Study with us to get higher ACT scores!

We’d love to help you get a higher ACT score so that you can win acceptance to the college of your dreams.

At Love the SAT Test Prep, we offer 1-on-1 ACT Tutoring and small-group ACT Prep Classes for high school students in Austin, TX. We also teach Online ACT Prep Tutoring to students around the world.

Join our ACT Prep Email List for a FREE readiness checklist, tips and reminders, and other subscriber-only bonuses to help your score.

Contact us today and we’ll provide personalized ACT prep advising at no cost to you. Don’t forget to leave a comment below the article!


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