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When Do ACT Scores Come Out? A Complete 2024 Timeline

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A female student thinking intently while writing

When Do ACT Scores Come Out? A Complete 2024 Timeline

Ideally, ACT scores would be available immediately on the same day as the exam, reducing stress and anxiety for many students. However, in reality, ACT test-takers must wait anywhere from ten days to several weeks for their scores. In this blog, we answer the question every high school student has asked: When do ACT scores come out?

When do ACT scores come out?

ACT scores are typically released within 2-8 weeks after the test date. Multiple-choice scores are usually available online within 2 weeks after the test date, and writing scores (if you took the ACT with Writing) are usually available 2 weeks after the multiple-choice scores are posted. Here’s a general timeline for ACT score releases:

  • Multiple-Choice Scores: Available online within 2 weeks after the test date.
  • Writing Scores: Available about 2 weeks after the multiple-choice scores.

However, the exact timing can vary, so it’s always a good idea to check the official ACT website for the most current information regarding your specific test date.

Your scores will be available on your MyACT account as soon as they are ready. Remember that the colleges you’ve chosen to receive your scores will only get access to your official ACT score report after your essay has been assessed and graded.

Score release dates are provided as ranges which means the exact dates are not typically provided. For upcoming ACT test dates, the table below offers a general timeframe for when you can expect your results. However, ACT does not give any other timeline or explanations for potential delays.

A mother and her student looking at her laptop.

2024 ACT Score Release Dates

The release of ACT scores depends on your test date. Since the test is typically taken on a Saturday, results usually become available on a Tuesday. If your scores are not posted within two to eight weeks and you wonder about the delay, it could be due to various irregularities. Although ACT does not inform students of delays, understanding the possible reasons for the wait can be helpful.

Test Date Test Result Timeline
February 10, 2024 February 20 – April 5
April 13, 2024 April 23 – June 7
June 8, 2024 June 18 – August 2
July 13, 2024 July 23 – September 6
September 14, 2024 September 24 – November 8
October 26, 2024 November 5 – December 20
December 14, 2024 December 24 – February 7
February 8, 2025 February 18 – April 4
April 5, 2025 April 15 – May 30
June 14, 2025 June 24 – August 8
July 12, 2025 July 22 – September 5

What is ACT?

The ACT is a standardized entrance exam many colleges and universities utilize for admissions decisions. This multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test is administered by ACT, Inc.

The ACT assesses a high school student’s college readiness and provides colleges with a common data point to compare applicants. Admissions officers consider standardized test scores along with your high school GPA, coursework, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, interviews, and personal essays. The significance of ACT scores in the admissions process varies by institution.

In general, achieving higher scores on the ACT or SAT can increase your college options and opportunities for financial aid.

What does it do for you as an upcoming college student?

The ACT plays an important role in your journey to college especially during the admissions process. It evaluates your readiness by testing your knowledge and skills in English, math, reading, and science. This helps measure how prepared for college-level work you are. Many colleges and universities use ACT scores to compare applicants on a standardized scale. High ACT scores can qualify you for scholarships and merit-based financial aid, reducing your college costs.

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Colleges also use ACT scores for course placement, especially in math and English, to ensure you start at the right level. Strong ACT scores boost your college application, complementing your GPA, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and essays. Additionally, taking the ACT helps you pinpoint academic strengths and weaknesses, guiding your educational and career decisions.

What happens after the ACT scores are released?

You now have your scores and are ready for the next steps. What happens next? Typically, after the scores become available they are now sent to your colleges of choice. Understanding when your ACT scores will be delivered is essential. Here’s a breakdown of the key elements in the ACT score delivery process:

Report Delivery Timeline of Your ACT Score

1. MyACT Account

Your Student Report, including your ACT scores and other helpful college and career planning information, will be available in your MyACT account. Generally, you can expect to access this report approximately two to eight weeks after the test date. This allows time for processing and grading.

2. High School Report

Your high school will receive the High School Report, containing your ACT scores and additional college and career planning insights. This report is delivered online and usually becomes available to your school within two to eight weeks after the test date. Your academic advisors need to provide whatever guidance you may need.

3. College Report

The College Report is sent to each college or university you selected during registration. Delivery times can vary depending on the policies and processes of each college. The timing depends on when you place the order and the specific requirements of the receiving institutions.

Understanding the delivery times for your score reports helps you plan your college application process more effectively. This knowledge allows you to decide when to schedule an ACT retake if necessary. Knowing these timelines ensures you meet application deadlines and maximize your ACT scores in your educational journey.

Frequently Asked Questions about the ACT

1. What time are the ACT scores released? 

ACT exam scores are released daily at 12 a.m. Central Time, which is 10 p.m. Pacific Time, 11 p.m. Mountain Time, and 1 a.m. Eastern Time. If your scores aren’t available at these times, waiting until the following day or week is advisable, as delays can happen.

You can check your ACT scores online, which are generally released in batches. We recommend logging into your MyACT account after midnight on the scheduled release date.

a female student writing to a piece of notebook

Due to the staggered release of ACT scores, don’t be concerned if your scores are not updated at the same time as your peers. This gradual release process is normal and should be expected. This staggered release process is quite similar to the anticipation you might feel waiting for responses from various international study programs. Just as you need patience for ACT scores, the same goes for hearing back from colleges around the world. Keep an eye on those timelines and you’ll be well-prepared for both!

2. How can you check your ACT scores?

Checking your ACT test results is straightforward. Typically, multiple-choice test scores are released around 10 days after the test date, while scores for the full ACT, including the optional writing section, become available approximately two weeks after the test date.

You’ll receive an email notification when your ACT scores are released. To check your scores, log in to your MyACT account. You will be prompted to enter a second password before accessing your scores.

MyACT is compatible with mobile devices and offers a user-friendly interface, allowing you to access your results on a PC, tablet, or smartphone. Your ACT scores will be displayed on the screen, and you can print a copy for your records if needed. It’s important to review your scores carefully, as the ACT provides a detailed score report that breaks down your performance in different test sections.

If you are satisfied with your ACT score and want to send them to colleges or universities, you can do so for a fee during the registration process. For the most up-to-date and detailed instructions on how to check your ACT scores, always refer to the official ACT website.

If you haven’t received an email notification, check your MyACT account from time to time.

3. Do I have to send my ACT scores to the colleges of my choice?

You are not required to send your ACT scores to colleges, but it can be advantageous depending on the specific requirements and policies of the institutions you are applying to. Some colleges require ACT scores as part of their admissions process, while many have adopted test-optional policies, allowing you to choose whether to submit your scores.

Moreover, high ACT scores strengthen your application and qualify you for merit-based scholarships and financial aid opportunities. Additionally, some colleges use ACT scores for course placement in subjects like math and English. There is an option during the registration process where you can send your scores for free to up to four colleges, or order additional score reports for a fee through your MyACT account after testing. 

Consider sending your scores strategically, especially if they are above the average for admitted students at a particular college, or if the college practices superscoring, where they consider the highest scores from each section across multiple test dates. Always check the admissions guidelines of each college to make an informed decision.

4. How quickly are my ACT scores sent to the colleges of my choice?

The time frame for when your ACT scores are sent to the colleges of your choice varies depending on the policies of each college. Generally, scores are available in your online ACT account and sent to high schools within 2-8 weeks after the test date. However, the delivery time for College Reports to each selected college can vary by institution.

5. Will my test results be late?

Your ACT scores rarely get delayed. But if they did, here are the common reasons that can cause delays in receiving your ACT scores within the expected time frames described by ACT. Although ACT doesn’t provide status updates, they have identified some potential causes for delays:

  • Rescheduled Test Dates: If you had to reschedule your ACT test date, this can affect the timing of your score release.
  • Incomplete or Incorrect Information: Errors or omissions in your test registration or answer document can slow down the score reporting process. Make sure that all information provided during registration is accurate and complete.
  • Mismatched Personal Information: If the personal information on your answer document doesn’t match the details on your admission ticket, this inconsistency can delay your score release.
  • Testing Center Irregularities: Any issues or irregularities reported at the testing center where you took the ACT can impact the score processing timeline.
  • Outstanding Registration Fees: Unresolved registration fees can hold up your scores until they are paid. Make sure all registration fees are settled to avoid delays.

A young man inside the library smiling at the camera

Is ACT still relevant?

ACT’s relevance in education today is a topic of ongoing debate. Historically, the ACT has been essential in U.S. college admissions. It has served as a standardized measure of a student’s academic readiness. However, several factors influence its relevance today.

Importance of the ACT

  • Standardized Measure: The ACT provides a standard metric that colleges can use to compare students from different high schools with varying curricula and grading standards. This helps level the playing field and offers a standardized way to assess academic preparedness.
  • Admissions and Scholarships: Many colleges still consider ACT scores as part of their admissions process, and high scores can qualify students for merit-based scholarships and financial aid, which are crucial for many families.
  • Course Placement: ACT scores are used by some institutions to place students in appropriate courses, ensuring they start at the correct level, particularly in subjects like math and English.
  • Benchmarking: The ACT helps students and educators identify strengths and weaknesses in specific subject areas, providing valuable insights for academic planning and improvement.

Factors Affecting Its Relevance

  • Test-Optional Policies: A growing number of colleges and universities have adopted test-optional or test-flexible admissions policies, partly in response to concerns about equity and accessibility. These policies allow students to choose whether to submit ACT scores, reducing the test’s mandatory role in admissions.
  • The Impact of COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift towards test-optional policies as physical testing opportunities became limited during that time. Many institutions that adopted these policies during the pandemic have chosen to continue them.
  • Holistic Admissions: There is a trend toward more holistic admissions processes, where colleges place greater emphasis on a student’s overall profile, including GPA, extracurricular activities, personal essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews. This holistic approach provides a more comprehensive view of a student’s abilities and potential.
  • Equity and Accessibility Concerns: Critics argue that standardized tests like the ACT can encourage inequities or unfairness, as students from higher-income families often have access to better test preparation resources. In response, some institutions are re-evaluating the weight they place on standardized test scores.
  • Alternative Assessments: Some schools are exploring alternative assessments and competency-based education models that focus on a student’s actual learning and skills rather than standardized test performance.

The Future of ACT

While the ACT remains a relevant tool for many students and institutions, its role is evolving. The movement towards test-optional policies and holistic admissions suggests that while the ACT will remain an important option, it may no longer be a universal requirement. Students should ALWAYS consider the specific requirements and preferences of the colleges they are applying to and weigh the potential benefits of submitting ACT scores in their context.

Excited middle eastern young man in casual sitting at workdesk, working on laptop at office

In summary, the ACT is still relevant, but its significance is changing in response to broader shifts in college admissions practices and ongoing discussions about fairness and accessibility in education. For many students, the ACT remains a valuable component of the college application process, but it is increasingly becoming one part of a larger, more nuanced picture.

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