ACT 2023 Exam: Dates, Registration, Fees, Eligibility, Syllabus, Results


Aishwarya Bhatnagar

Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

Updated on Nov 6, 2023 12:19 IST

The ACT is administered by ACT, Inc. ACT full form is American College Testing. It is a standardized test that is required to be taken by students looking for admission to undergraduate schools based majorly in the US and Canada. The ACT exam is an MCQ-based online exam that has been developed to evaluate the written, mathematical, verbal and scientific skills of the candidates. There is an optional writing section as well which is offered during ACT registration. Students can opt for the writing section on ACT with an extra fee during registration. In 2021, the ACT test began to be offered as a computer-based test instead of the traditional paper-based test. The ACT test syllabus, total scores, and pattern have not been affected by this change. 

act exam

Q:   What is ACT exam all about?


ACT exam or American College Testing is an exam that international students give if applying for undergraduate admissions to universities abroad. This exam tests applicants based on their previous knowledge of high school in subjects of Maths, English + Reading and Science. The ACT syllabus is more or less similar to high school knowledge and tests a certain level of understanding, analysis and analytical skills of the applicants. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 - 36 based on sectional performance and then coming down to a total overall score of ACT.

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Q:   What is the duration of the ACT?


The ACT exam is 2 hours and 55 minutes long. If you add the optional writing section then add 30 minutes more. Then the total duration of ACT is 3 hours and 25 minutes after adding the writing section. Since the ACT exam is on paper, applicants will not be given any extra time to complete the test, hence, applicants should ensure that they complete their test in due time. This is possible only when the students have ample practice on the sample papers of ACT exam.

Q:   Is ACT easier than SAT?


There is no such comparison that can be drawn between ACT or SAT difficulty levels. While ACT focuses more on Maths section plus Reading and Writing with an analytical bend, SAT on the other hand is more about understanding and then answering the questions of Math & Reading + Writing. The difficulty of the exams depends upon the applicant's preparation and what choice they make between ACT or SAT. It is all about the applicant's knowledge and how he/she perceives the test they wish to take. 

ACT 2023 Exam Highlights

Exam Name ACT
Official Website 
Duration of Exam 2 hours and 55 minutes
Popularly Given for Undergraduate admissions in US & Canada
Administered by ACT, Incorporated
Mode of Examination Online
ACT Fee for Indians

$176.50 = ₹14,630 (approx)

$176.50 + $25.00 (additionally for Optional Writing Section) = ₹16,703 (approx)


Range of 1 - 36

ACT Contact Info
Phone: 319-337-1270
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ACT 2023 Eligibility

Since ACT is primarily for high school students, there are no particular eligibility criteria to appear for the ACT. People of all ages and grade levels are eligible to take the ACT.

ACT Exam Fee

ACT Exam Fee Type



Registration Fee

The basic fee for the ACT test

$150 (without writing)

Registration Fee with Writing

The writing fee is $16.50

$166.50 (with writing)

International Fees

Chargeable for Indian Students as you will be taking the test outside of US


Late Fee

Charged if you register after the deadline but before the final late registration


Waitlist Fee

Charged if you register after the late registration deadline


Change Fee

Charged if you change the test date, test center, or test type


Question and Answers

Test Information Release (TIR) fee

Sends you the test questions and correct answers after the exam is complete so you can see what mistakes you made (optional)


ACT Exam 2023 Dates

The ACT is conducted only a few times a year between September to July. You do not have the luxury of selecting an exam date suitable for your convenience, which is the case with other exams. You need to plan your exam prep according to these test dates. These exams are scheduled to suit your application deadlines for the fall semester. Following is the ACT exam date for December 2023 that is scheduled to be conducted:

ACT Testing Dates 2023

Registration Deadlines

1 & 2 December 2023

3 November 2023

Check out the important ACT Test Dates 2023 for Indian students for more details along with late registration details.

Points to remember:

  • Ideally, you are recommended to register for the exam two to three months before your choice of date for exam appearance.
  • It is safer to stick to early registration as you will have a set schedule to prepare for the exam accordingly.
  • If you are considering of taking coaching for exam preparation, the coaching institutes would also recommend you register at the earliest so that you have a wide window of time to prepare.

Q:   When should an applicant take the ACT?


A. Analyse the time you will take to prepare for the ACT and when you are planning to apply to colleges. Make sure you have the ACT score with you at the time of filling the application. Also, prepare to take ACT based on your preparation, see how much you'd take to complete the ACT syllabus plus reserve some time for taking mock tests as well. Once all these pointers are checked, you can choose your ACT exam date and register for it as soon as you make up your mind. 

Also, for those who would need more time for preparation must first check the university deadlines and then apply for ACT exam based on the timeline of preparation. ACT exam dates are usually released beforehand, thus, applicants must check them as soon as they are released. 

Q:   Can I appear for more than one ACT test date in a month?


Yes, students can appear for ACT exam on two different test dates of the same month. There is no hard and fast rule to appear for ACT only once in a month, prospective applicants are free to give the ACT as many times as they wish to and at whatever dates they are willing to. Sometimes, the ACT dates may vary and two dates may not be available in a month, hence the applicants can check for the next possible dates for appearing for the exam.

Although one can take the ACT test 12 times but usually students give the exam 2-3 times. Candidates retake the exam to improve their scores. For the next ACT exam, one needs to check for ACT exam dates and also if the applicant has enough time to sit for ACT once more and then apply to various colleges and universities.

Q:   Can I interchange my ACT exam dates with another future date?


Yes, there is an option to interchange an ACT exam date chosen with a future exam date. Students will have to pay an additional amount for interchanging or changing ACT exam date. It is always better to choose one ACT exam date and stick to it and avoid cancelling or changing the exam date as it requires a fee for every request. Thus, register for ACT in one go with final dates in mind. 

Thus, those who are willing to pay will have to submit an additional fee for ACT date shifting request and apply or register in accordance with new instructions and details. It is always advised that applicants check the ACT exam dates prior to their registrations to avoid last-minute confusions and alterations.

ACT Registration 2023

International students must register for ACT online only through the official website. The ACT application requires student's personal information 

Register Online for ACT

The ACT registrations are online and students are required to fill out the online application form with the following instructions and details:

  • If you plan to test at the designated Indian test centres, sign up online by creating an ACT Web account.
  • Choose a test date and a test centre to appear for the ACT.
  • Create a student profile and complete the application request, submit the required documentation.
  • You will receive an immediate registration confirmation
  • Pay the exam fee through a credit/debit card or online funds transfer.
  • Registration deadlines are typically about three to four weeks before a test date.
  • Deadlines for late registration are typically about two to three weeks before the test date, and registering late will incur a late fee.

ACT 2023 Admit Card

Candidates can download and print the admit card from the official website. The candidate must produce the admit card while appearing for the exam. When you receive your admission ticket, check it carefully to make sure your identifying information, address, and score recipients are correct.

Q:   How to register for the ACT as Indian students?


Candidates can register online for the ACT, this is the most popular method of registering for the ACT. Mail registration is also available to register for the ACT. STudents must ensure that they register for ACT before hand and if possible before the late registration deadline to avoid extra charges. Applicants should also check out the fee and exam dates before regstering for ACT exam.

There is no minimum eligibility criteria to register for ACT exam, thus, applicants must make up their minds as to when they have to take the ACT exam and ensure that they register in time to avoid late registration charges. The late registration charges are additional charges, hence, if avaoidable, applicants must avoid.

Q:   What is the registration fee for the ACT?


International candidates need to pay USD 176.50 (without the Writing test) as an ACT registration fee and USD 176.50 + USD 25 (with the Writing test). Thus, overall ACT registration without writing exam will cost around INR 14,500 approximately. While those applying for ACT exam with the writing component will have to pay INR 14,500 + INR 2,053 which is almost INR 16,553. But before registering for ACT exam, applicants must check if the fee has been updated or not. 

Q:   How to make changes to ACT registration?


Candidates can make changes to registration through their MyACT account. Candidates are allowed to make the following changes:

  • Add or remove the writing test
  • Changes to test date or test location
  • Any updation to personal information
  • Any changes to selected colleges

If these changes are made after the registration deadlines, then the applicant may have to bear an extra fee also. Thus, applicants must ensure that they fill their applications with the right set of information in one go as far as possible.

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ACT Exam 2023 Test Centres

The ACT exam is conducted at the test centres in the following cities. Please note that these cities have multiple test centres: Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Dehradun, Fatehpur, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kodaikanal, Kolkata, Mohali, Mumbai, Mussoorie, New Delhi, Noida, Pune, and Vadodara.

Q:   Are ACT exam timings same at all centres?


Yes, the ACT exam centres follow the same exam timings as proposed. For the morning shift test-takers need to be seated at 8:00 AM and for the afternoon shift, test-takers should be present at 1:30 PM. A short break is thereafter the first two tests. Test takers giving the ACT with writing get a brief break before the writing test. Thus, applicants should reach the ACT exam centre well within time with whatever is required to give the exam without any last minute hassles.

Q:   Is there an additional fee for ACT exam centre in India?


No, there is no additional fee for choosing an ACT exam centre in India. The fee is charged holistically from applicants when they are finally submitting their ACT exam forms. Thus, students must exercise caution while applying for ACT exam and choosing the ACT exam centre and ofcourse the date plus make sure that you apply through the official website only and not pay any extra amounts unecessarily. There are no additional exam centre costs, all costs are included within the overall ACT exam fee only.

Q:   What if a far away ACT exam centre is available?


In case a very far off ACT exam centre is available and the applicant doesn't have another nearby option, he or she will have to choose that far away centre only. The next best solution to find a nearby ACT exam centre is to change the date of exam and check for the nearby exam centre's seat availability. In case seats are available at the nearby centre with a mere change of date, then applicants can switch over. But if there's not much time in hand and scores cannot be delayed to be sent across to the universities then the current preference should be given to the far off ACT exam centre. So choose wisely.

ACT Exam Pattern 2023

ACT exam pattern is as follows- four sections, namely, English, Math, Reading, and Science. There is an optional section which is called the Writing section, which has one 30-40 minute writing prompt that will define an issue, along with two points of view on that issue. Students are not scored on this section.

ACT Pattern

Here is the ACT paper pattern for prospective students thinking of applying for an ACT for admissions abroad:

ACT Subjects

Test Duration


Total Questions


45 minutes


  • punctuation
  • grammar and usage
  • sentence structure

Rhetorical Skills

  • strategy
  • organization
  • style

75 Questions


60 minutes

  • Pre-algebra
  • Elementary Algebra
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Plane geometry
  • Trigonometry

60 multiple-choice questions


35 minutes

Four passages are given, each passage from different sections like social studies, natural science, fiction, and humanities

40 questions


35 minutes

  • Data representation like graphs and tables
  • Research summaries
  • Conflicting viewpoints

40 questions

Optional writing test

40 minutes

One writing prompt



3 hours and 35 minutes (excluding breaks)

4 sections (one optional)

215 question

Scoring in ACT 2023

Each section of the ACT (English, Math, Reading, and Science) is scored on a 1 to 36-point scale. The composite score is the average of all four tests. Students taking the optional writing test will receive a writing score for that section ranging from 1 to 36. The writing score does not affect the composite score.

Here are the average ACT scores by sections -

ACT Exam Sections

Average ACT Scores











ACT Score Validity – The ACT total scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested.

Also, Read

ACT 2023 Results

ACT test results are typically released within two to three weeks of the test administration and can be viewed online. If you took the ACT with writing, your writing scores will be posted online as soon as they are ready, which is normally two weeks after your general scores are out. Applicants can access their ACT exam scores and results on their MyACT account by logging in with their credentials. Applicants can also check if the ACT scores have reached the concerned colleges or not based on the timeline. 

Q:   How soon ACT scores are available?


Students can view their composite and multiple-choice section scores online between two weeks to eight weeks. For writing section scores, it takes almost two more weeks since an expert has to read the essays and then mark based on the writing piece. The students who are applying to universities abroad are hence required to appear for ACT in such a manner that they receive the scores well in advance before submitting the scores to the university in their application forms. 

Q:   What are the delivery timelines for ACT score reports to recipients?


ACT score reports are sent to various recipients like the college or university the applicant is applying to. There are different types of ACT score reports and each of them are delivered in a different time frame, the table below gives details of the types of ACT score reports and the time frame in which they are delivered:

Types of ACT score reportWhere it's delivered? When it's delivered? What it reports?
Student reportApplicant's online ACT web account2–8 weeks after the test dateACT scores, college and career planning information
High school reportApplicant's high school via
online reporting
College reportEach valid college code applicant listed and paid for when they registered or tested (up to six)Varies based on college and when orderedEverything on the Student and High School Report, plus the grades reported in up to 30 high school courses; it may also include performance prediction.

Q:   Can I cancel my ACT scores after the test?


No, you cannot cancel the ACT test scores, however, you have the choice to not send the score reports to colleges. If you will cancel the sending of score reports then colleges won't receive your scores. You can cancel the sending of score reports maximum by five days after the test date. One can also request ACT to delete their records of scores from the test administration. Thus, applicants should check what all options they have before going for a score cancellation of ACT exam.

Q:   When does college receive ACT scores?


If you have selected score report recipients at the time of registration then they will receive the ACT score report between 4-10 weeks. Applicants can check if their scores have been released online within three weeks from taking the test and in the fourth week check if the ACT score reports have been released to the recipients that were mentioned during ACT exam registration. Once the ACT scores are released to the recipients, the status would show delivered in the status.

ACT 2023 Preparation Tips

There are two ways to prepare for the ACT: Self-Study and Coaching Classes. Both these options have unique benefits and none of the above can be considered better than the other. These two methods cannot be compared as they serve different audiences. The choice of method of study would depend upon the requirements and preferences of the exam takers.

Self-Study: If money is a consideration and one is quite confident of being able to prepare well without supervision, then self-study may be the better option to prepare for the ACT. You could save money on personal tuition and classes, but you need to keep in mind other factors too. To be able to study on your own effectively, you need a good resource of books and study material, along with motivation and self-discipline.

Coaching: If time is a constraint and you need professional guidance to ensure a competitive edge in exam preparation, then coaching classes are a better option. You will have access to a better resource of study material and will have a team of experts guiding you. Your time will be better managed as being regular in classes will become part of your routine. Moreover, being around other students preparing for the ACT will help you increase your motivation levels.

To choose the best method how to prepare for ACT you first need to look at your criteria and decide accordingly. If you are confused and want to check whether or not you are ready to prepare o your own, you may refer to ACT Preparation Tips.

Practice Tests and Sample Papers: 

It is always better to prepare with the help of practice tests and sample papers. The step-by-step way to go about this would be:

  • Checking the syllabus thoroughly
  • Understanding the exam pattern
  • Making a preparation plan covering all the sections
  • Picking up some tests to practice
  • Referring to old samples papers to see how far you've reached

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ACT Syllabus 2023

The ACT exam syllabus covers Reading, Mathematics, English, and Science as mandatory. This exam, however, has an optional writing section as well. Given below is an idea of how the syllabus of the ACT exam goes section-wise:

ACT English Section

The ACT English section tests the student's ability to understand the language basics and the ability to comprehend it too. These topics are broadly tested in ACT for the English section:


  • Punctuation – These questions test your knowledge of internal and ‘end of sentence’ punctuation, with a focus on the relationship of punctuation to meaning.
  • Grammar and Usage – These questions test your understanding of the agreement between pronoun and antecedent, between subject and verb, and between modifiers and the word modified; pronoun case; verb formation; idiomatic usage; and formation of comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs.
  • Sentence Structure – These questions test your understanding of relationships between and among clauses, shifts in construction, and placement of modifiers.

Rhetorical Skills in ACT

  • Strategy – These questions test how well you develop a topic by choosing appropriate expressions to an essay's purpose and audience; judging the effect of adding, deleting, or revising supporting material; and testing the relevance of statements in context.
  • Organization – These questions test how well you organize ideas, as well as how you choose an effective opening, transitional, and closing sentence.
  • Style – These questions test how well you choose appropriate words and images, manage sentence elements, maintain the level of style and tone, and avoid ambiguous pronouns.

ACT Mathematics Section

The following areas of Mathematics are tested in the ACT, thus students can prepare around the following topics:

Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra

  • Pre-Algebra – These questions are based on operations like whole numbers, decimals, place value; square roots and approximations; fractions, and integers; the concept of exponents; scientific notation; linear equations in one variable; factors; ratio, proportion, and percentages; absolute value and ordering numbers by value; data collection, representation, and interpretation; counting techniques and probability, and understanding descriptive statistics.
  • Elementary Algebra – These questions are based on the evaluation of algebraic expressions, properties of exponents and square roots, understanding algebraic operations, using variables to express functional relationships, and solution of quadratic equations.

Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry

  • Intermediate Algebra – These questions are based on an understanding of rational and radical expressions, quadratic formulas, sequences and patterns, absolute value equations and inequalities, systems of equations, functions, modelling, quadratic inequalities, matrices, complex numbers, and roots of polynomials.
  • Coordinate Geometry – These questions are based on graphing and the relation between equations and graphs, including lines, points, polynomials, other curves, and circles; graphing inequalities; parallel and perpendicular lines; slope; distance; conics and midpoints.

Plane Geometry/Trigonometry

  • Plane Geometry – These questions are based on the properties and relations of plane figures, including relations and angles among perpendicular and parallel lines; properties of triangles, circles, rectangles, trapezoids, and parallelograms; transformations; the concept of proof and proof techniques; volume; and applications of geometry to three dimensions.
  • Trigonometry – These questions are based on understanding values and properties of trigonometric functions; trigonometric relations in right triangles; graphing trigonometric functions; use of trigonometric identities; modelling using trigonometric functions; and solving trigonometric equations.

ACT Reading Section

The sections on passages that are required to be read and questions to be answered are modelled around the following topics in the ACT:

  • Social Studies – These questions are based on passages in the areas of biography, anthropology, business, economics, psychology, history, archaeology, geography, political science, education, and sociology.
  • Natural Sciences- These questions are based on passages in the areas of meteorology, astronomy, biology, botany, natural history, ecology, geology, physics, medicine, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, technology, chemistry, and zoology.
  • Literary Narrative or Prose Fiction – These questions are based on passages from novels, memoirs, short stories, and personal essays. Questions in the Prose Fiction section are based on passages from novels and short stories.
  • Humanities – These questions are based on passages in the areas of art, dance, film, language, radio, literary criticism, philosophy, music, television, ethics, architecture, and theatre.

ACT Science Section

The following areas are tested for the Science section of the ACT:

  • Data Representation – This section has Graphic and tabular material similar to those in science journals and texts. The questions associated with this format measure skills like graph reading, interpretation of the information presented in tables, and interpretation of scatterplots.
  • Research Summaries - This section provides descriptions of experiments. The questions focus on the design of experiments and the explanation of results.
  • Conflicting Viewpoints - This section presents several hypotheses or views that might be based on differing premises or incomplete data, and are inconsistent with one another. The questions focus on the analysis, understanding, and comparison of alternative hypotheses.

To get a detailed syllabus and pattern of the ACT Exam, click ACT Syllabus.

ACT Exam 2023 FAQs

Q. What registration changes can be done through the MyACT account?

A. Following changes can be done through the MyACT account, applicants will have to log on to their accounts and make the following modifications before submitting an application:

  • Changing test date
  • Changing test location
  • Updation of personal details
  • Modifying college selection
  • Adding or removing the writing test

Q. How is the ACT scored?

A. Each of the ACT sections whether Reading, Math, English, and Science are scored on a range of 1-36. The scores of all the sections were then added together and divided by four to get the composite score. The following table shows how the band score is calculated based on section wise performance of the applicant in ACT exam:

ACT Scale Score English Raw Score Math Raw Score Reading Raw Score Science Raw Score
36 75 59—60 40 40
35 73–74 57–58 39 39
34 71–72 55–56 38 38
33 70 54 37
32 69 53 37

Q. What all I need to bring to the ACT test centre?

A. Bring the following with you to the test centre:

  • A valid photo ID
  • 2 pencils (sharpened) with erasers
  • A calculator
  • Water bottle

No other item would be permitted at the ACT exam centre thus, abide by the rules and avoid going against them.

Q. Who is eligible to apply for ACT exam?

A. There is no specific age restriction or the level of grades required to register for ACT exam. Applicants who are willing to apply to foreign universities and are required to submit ACT scores can register for the exam first and then appear for it at the chosen date and centre. There is no bar in terms of the number of times an applicant wishes to appear for ACT exam as well. Thus, applicants can ideally apply and sit for ACT before applying to universities abroad.

Q. When to retake the ACT?

A. Do not retake the ACT just for the sake of it, go for a retest if you are convinced that your score will improve. If your score is less than the targeted score, in that case you can retake the ACT after more preparation. You can retake ACT when you have enough time in hand also to appear for another exam before applying to universities abroad and also have some extra preparation along with the previous knowledge is then sensible to appear for the ACT exam for the second attempt or beyond.

Q. When is the ACT exam conducted?

A. ACT exam is conducted throughout the year in the months of February, April, June, July, September, October, and December. ACT is conducted once every month, hence, those who are planning to appear for ACT again will have to plan their dates and university applications accordingly. The ACT exam dates usually do not change once announced, hence caution must be exercised when opting for ACT exam dates, centre and while making the final payment too.

Q. What all I can do with my ACT account?

A. With your ACT account, applicants can:

  • Register for ACT,
  • View their ACT scores,
  • Send additional score reports to colleges or universities they are applying to, and
  • Register for the next test if at all required.




TEJ Since 2004

2 years ago

na bro they removed it now. Hyderabad isn't listed due to covid

Reply to TEJ Since 2004


Rahul Singha

2 years ago

Thanks for the update Tej.


TEJ Since 2004

2 years ago

Why Hyderabad isn't there.

Reply to TEJ Since 2004


Rahul Singha

2 years ago

Hello Tej. Hyderabad is listed as an ACT test centre. Kindly re-check the page.

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