2 days ago
Admissions Advice

When is the latest time that I can take the ACT?

I already took the ACT once, so it would be my second time. But I'm applying to a few schools for early action which is Nov. 1st for the deadline. So I'm wondering is it still doable to submit ACT scores after you have submitted the application(I dont think I'm prepared to take the Sept. ACT date). Also, on the application they ask if you plan to submit an SAT/ACT score so if I select yes but I don't have my score back by the time of the application deadline, will it not allow me to submit the application at all. Or should I just forget about submitting a score to the early action ones and submit a score to the rest of the colleges that I am applying to.


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 days ago

According to ACT.org if you take the 10/23 test your results reporting window is 11/9-12/17

Test Date Results reporting window

October 23 November 9 - December 17

Most ED/EA application results are completed by middle of December which means they are evaluating your SAT or ACT score way before that, like the first weeks or so after you submit your application.

It's not like they do a holistic review first, and then wait to see if your SAT or ACT match up. The SAT/ACT is sometimes used a 1st round of filtering for colleges. So if they have some number like 1350 or 27, they will eliminate all the applications in the first couple weeks that do not meet an academic standard. Other colleges use an academic index which is formula based on your GPA and test scores. So if their Academic Index thresh hold is 195 out of 240, they just sweep all the applications with less than 195 into the deny bin right away.

If you are not prepared to do well on the ACT in September, then I wouldn't take it and focus on taking the Oct or Dec tests. Since you only took it 1 time, there is no issue with you taking it a 2nd or a 3rd time.

If your test scores, grades, ECs, essays, recommendation, spike activities are not in the optimum range for the schools you are vying to get into, I would not be applying anywhere ED or EA. I would recommend you improve your academic and EC narrative and get your test scores up. That would be a better use of your time than rushing to apply early. Applying early makes the most sense if you are a recruited athlete, legacy, a child of a wealthy donor, a child of faculty, or someone who can't really improve their application narrative because they are at the top of their game. Also if you are a high achieving low income, marginalized applicant who is BIPOC I'd recommend trying to get into Questbridge and applying early.

For everyone else, the bump you think by applying early really is not much of a bump at top schools because about 1/3rd to 1/2 of the seats are already spoke for.

Good luck.

2 days ago

As the other answers have said, you will need to take the ACT or SAT by October latest for schools to receive your scores before they make EA decisions. I recommend taking it in October if you feel prepared by then, but if not, put more work into your essays and ECs. You will be able to submit your applications regardless of whether or not you know your test scores. Hope this helps!

2 days ago

It really depends on the school you plan on applying to, but most colleges request you to do your tests by October for Early action


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