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4 ACT Info and Tips

When Do ACT Scores Come Out? Complete 2023 Dates

What’s Covered:


Waiting for your standardized test results is almost as nerve-racking as taking the exam itself. You refresh your browser daily, hourly, or maybe more frequently than that—and nothing. Where’s your score?


To ease your anxiety—or to at least give yourself a break from checking—keep reading to find out when you should expect to receive your scores.


How Long Does It Take for ACT Scores to Come Back?


Typically, it takes up to two weeks (about 10 days on average) for students to receive their multiple-choice results, and writing scores are available two weeks after that. However, the ACT cautions that score releases may take up to eight weeks after the test date.


Due to equating, the process of ensuring that scores on different tests indicate the same level of ability, October and February scores will be available 3-8 weeks after their respective test dates.


When Will Colleges Receive My Score Reports?


It takes up to a week to process score report requests for schools. The exact dates colleges will receive scores vary depending on the college and the day you ordered the report. Keep in mind that colleges receive writing and multiple-choice scores in the same report. In many cases, they will receive your scores before you’re able to see them.


Remember that you can send up to four free reports to colleges per test you take. You can also pay for an additional two when you register for the ACT, for a total of six reports to be issued per test date. Each additional score report costs $16, unless you qualify for a fee waiver.


We don’t recommend sending your scores directly to colleges via the four free reports, as you won’t know what your score is yet. It’s best to wait to see your score and then order score reports afterward, if that’s financially feasible for your family. Also, remember that many colleges allow students to self-report and only ask for an official report upon acceptance.


ACT Score Release Dates 2023


Below are our anticipated ACT score release dates for 2023. Bear in mind that these are the earliest potential dates you could see your scores; it could take up to eight weeks for you to actually receive your scores. Typically, you’ll see them within two weeks of your test date, except for scores on tests taken in October and February.


Test Date

Reporting Timeframe

February 11, 2023

February 28 – April 7

April 15, 2023

April 25 – June 9

June 10, 2023

June 20 – August 4

July 15, 2023

July 25 – September 8


What Time Are ACT Scores Released?


ACT scores are typically released at 12:00 midnight Central Time. You will likely get an email from ACT when your scores are available for viewing.


How Do I Get My ACT Scores?


You can view your ACT scores via your online ACT account. Log in to your account, then click on “Your Test Dates and Scores” on the left. From there, you can click “View Your Scores” for each test date. For security reasons, you’ll be asked to re-enter your password.


Should I Send My ACT Scores to Test-Optional Schools?


Many colleges are currently test-optional, at least for the current admissions cycle. We recommend submitting your ACT scores to test-optional schools if your composite score is at or above the 25th percentile for the school. For example, if the middle 50% percentile is 29-32, you should submit if you have a score of 29 or above. If you don’t submit scores, make sure to strengthen other aspects of your application.


Going test-optional and wondering about your admissions chances? Our admissions calculator takes into consideration whether or not you’re applying to a test-optional school. Check your chances now!


How to Understand Your ACT Score


Each of four sections—English, Math, Reading, and Science—is scored on a scale of 1-36. These section scores are averaged into a single composite score, rounded up to the nearest integer. The Writing section is scored on a scale of 2-12 and is not factored into the composite score.


Subsection and composite scores correspond to percentiles. For example, a composite score of 35 corresponds to the 99th percentile, indicating that the test-taker performed better than 99 percent of test-takers.


Your ACT report will also indicate Benchmarks, which are the minimum ACT scores for which students are estimated to have a reasonable chance of success in typical, first-year college courses, such as English Composition and College Algebra. Here are the Benchmarks:


ACT Test Score

College Courses



English Composition I



College Algebra



American History, Other History, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Economics






Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Engineering



English Composition I, American History, Other History, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Economics



Learn more about the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.


How Do I Know If My ACT Score is Good Enough?


“Good enough” is a subjective quality that varies from student to student. The best way to determine whether your score is up to par is to compare it to the average scores at your target schools. Typically, we recommend aiming for a score that’s in the upper half of the middle 50% range of accepted students at the college. For example, if you’re considering Cornell University, their middle 50% ACT range is 32-35, so you should try to aim for a 34 or higher to be as competitive as possible.


For more info, see our post What is a Good ACT Score in 2023? You can also use our free chancing engine, which will let you know your odds of acceptance based on grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more. The chancing engine will tell you if your scores are strong enough to submit to each school. It will also give you suggestions to improve your profile.


What Should I Do If My ACT Score Is Too Low?


Don’t panic if your score is too low. Most students improve their score by retaking the test. Many schools also superscore the ACT, meaning that they’ll create a new composite score from your highest section scores, even if they were from different test dates.


To improve, however, you will need to dedicate time to practicing and preparing for each test you take. Make sure you set a schedule and start with a practice test, simulating real testing conditions to find your baseline score. Then, focus on strengthening your weaknesses.


Remember that you have plenty of resources available—including CollegeVine. We have countless ACT guides to get you started on your prep!


If you’re still not happy with your score, you can apply to test-optional schools. Many colleges have elected to remain test-optional for the near future.

Blog Writer