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When Do ACT Scores Come Out? Complete 2022 Dates

What’s Covered:

 

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

 

To ease your anxiety — or at least give you 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 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 by the college and when 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 for colleges per test. 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. It’s best to wait to see your score and then order score reports, if that’s financially feasible for your family. Also remember that many colleges are allowing students to self-report and only ask for an official report upon acceptance.

 

ACT Score Release Dates 2021-2022

 

Below are our anticipated ACT score release dates starting in October of 2021. 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 receive your scores, although typically, you’ll see them within two weeks of your test date, except for tests taken in October and February. 

 

Test Date

Reporting Timeframe

October 23, 2021

November 9th – December 17th

December 11, 2021

December 21st – February 4th

February 12, 2022

March 1st – April 8th

April 2, 2022

April 12th – May 27th

June 11, 2022

June 21st – August 5th

July 16, 2022

July 26th – September 9th

 

What Time Are ACT Scores Released?

 

ACT scores are typically released at 12 am Central Time. You will likely get an email from ACT when your scores are available to view.

 

How Do I Get My ACT Scores?

 

You can view your ACT scores via your online ACT account. Log into 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 You Send Your ACT Scores to Test-Optional Schools?

 

Most colleges are currently test-optional, at least for the current admissions cycle. Scores are likely to be somewhat lower than is typical because many students were unable to take the test more than once (if they were able to at all). 

 

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.

 

For more info, see our post: Should You Apply Test-Optional for the 2021-2022 Cycle?

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

How to Understand Your ACT Score 

 

Each of four sections, including Math, English, Reading, and Science, is scored on a scale of 1-36. These section scores are averaged into a single composite score, rounding up to the nearest integer. Your Writing section is scored on a scale of 2-12 and is not factored into your 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 necessary for students 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

Benchmark

English

English Composition I

18

Mathematics

College Algebra

22

Reading

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

22

Science

Biology

23

STEM

Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Engineering

26

ELA

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

20

 

Learn more about 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 most competitive.

 

However, as we’ve noted, testing is still uncertain due to COVID. If you’re able to test and get a score in the 25th percentile or above, we recommend submitting it, as students with scores are still accepted at higher rates than those without.

 

For more info, see our post What is a Good ACT Score in 2021? 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 at each school, plus how 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 sittings. 

 

You do, however, need to practice and prepare for each sitting. Make sure you set a schedule and start with a practice test, simulating real testing conditions to find your baseline. Then, focus on strengthening your weaknesses.

 

Remember that you have plenty of resources available, too — 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 went test-optional due to COVID and remain so for the 2021-2022 cycle

 


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.