How Long Do ACT Scores Take to Come Out?

So you took your ACT, and you’re asking, “how long do ACT scores take?” This guide will tell you everything you need to know, plus a few tips.

TCM Staff

3rd November 2022

If you’ve just taken your ACT, you’re probably wondering when you’ll receive your scores. This guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Congratulations! After a long and stressful build-up, you finally managed to take your ACTs. There’s no doubt that you probably felt a weight lift off your shoulders when you finally put your pen down and finished answering the last question on your exam. But the anticipation (and sadly, the anxiety) doesn’t end there!

Now, it becomes a waiting game for your test results. At this point, you’re probably asking, “when will my ACT scores be available?” Don’t worry —  you are not alone! Many others like you are wondering the same thing.

If you’re asking, “how long do ACT scores take to come out?”, this guide will tell you everything you need to know so you won’t have to wait anxiously!

ACT Results: How Long Do You Have to Wait?

If you feel like you might have to wait an eternity to receive your ACT results, don’t worry. You don’t have to get all dramatic and say lines like, “I have to wait how long to get ACT results?”

Fortunately, ACT scores don’t take that long to come out. The wait is somewhat short and merciful, so you won’t have too many restless nights wondering how you did on the exam.

However, it’s worth noting that ACT score release dates vary from student to student. So, don’t worry if someone you know receives theirs before you get yours!

The answer to the question, “how long does it take to get my ACT score back?” is ten days. In some cases, ACT scores can come out as quickly as two business days after your exam. But don’t celebrate yet! Although most students receive their scores within this time period, you may not get yours yet. Additionally, the results that come out within this time period are only for the multiple-choice questions.

ACT scores usually come out on Tuesdays or Thursdays. So, it follows that if you take the test on a Saturday, you can expect it within ten or so days on a Tuesday or Thursday, and so on. 

For those on Eastern Time, scores come out around 1 AM. For those on Central Time, they can expect ACT scores released at midnight. So, if you’re asking, “do ACT scores come out at midnight?,” the answer is yes — if you’re on Central Time. Finally, if you’re on Western Time, that means around 10 PM.

If you don’t receive your results then, check back every week, since the scores release on a weekly schedule. You should have all of your scores within eight weeks of taking the exam.

“But how long do ACT results take if I’m an international student or took my exam outside the United States?” Unfortunately, those who took the ACT outside of the US will have to wait around three weeks before they receive their results.

Now that you have your multiple-choice score, you’re probably wondering about your essay results (if you took the essay, at least). Your essay results will likely come out around two weeks after your multiple-choice scores. 

Related: Read this article to find out when exactly you can expect your ACT results.

When Do You Get ACT Scores Back?

We’ve discussed how long it takes for ACT results to come out, but when exactly can you expect to get your scores back? How long do ACT results take to come out in the real world?

We understand you’re looking for a real answer to the question, “how long does it take to receive ACT scores?” so we put together the table below to give you a few exact date ranges for the 2022-2023 testing period.

Your Test Date

Multiple-Choice Results

Full Scores (with Essay)

September 10, 2022

September 20, 2022

October 4, 2022

October 22, 2022

November 1, 2022

November 15, 2022

December 10, 2022

December 20, 2022

January 3, 2023

February 11, 2023

February 21, 2023

March 7, 2023

April 1, 2023

April 11, 2023

April 25, 2023

June 10, 2023

June 20, 2023

July 4, 2023

July 11, 2023

July 25, 2023

August 8, 2023

How to Request a Score Report

If you got your answer to “how long does it take to get ACT scores back?,” you may now be wondering how you can request score reports. You get four free reports, but if you feel you need more to send to other schools (or for any reason at all), here are the three ways you can request them:

 

  • Make a request online - create an account or sign in to the ACT website, then request your score report. Note that you will need to pay the fee using a valid credit card.
  • Call ACT - if you’d rather make a phone call, you can contact ACT via this number: 31-337-1270.
  • Make a letter of request - the last method is sending a letter of request, though we don’t recommend this option if you’re in a rush as it may take much more time. Write your letter to ACT Customer Care - Score Reports. The address is PO Box 451, Iowa City, IA 52243-0451.

 

What to Do When You Receive Your ACT Scores

When you finally receive your score report, the next thing you need to do is assess how you did. If you feel you did well and got a score within the range you’re happy with, you can start sending your scores out to any schools you applied to.

However, if you feel like you didn’t do well enough, you can then plan to retake the ACT to get results you are satisfied with. Make sure you study hard or join a test prep program to help improve your results!

What If Your ACT Scores Haven’t Been Released Yet?

Your friends are starting to receive their score reports, but you’re left wondering, “why are my ACT scores not posted?” After all, we’ve answered the question, “how long does it take to receive ACT scores?” and established that you should receive yours within an eight-week window.

If you don’t receive your results within the window, there may be a few reasons for the delay. Here are some of those reasons:

  • Your exam day was rescheduled
  • It took the testing headquarters longer to receive your documents for any reason
  • Personal info you put on your test does not match information that you provided when you registered
  • Your test was randomly audited while ACT, Inc. was checking for scoring accuracy
  • You may still owe some registration fees
  • There was an irregularity detected in your scores at your ACT test center (for example, if you improved by leaps and bounds between retakes, ACT, Inc. might check for cheating)

Check back to see your scores on the ACT website weekly (preferably on or after Tuesday). If it has been over eight weeks, don’t hesitate to contact support to ask about your scores.

How Long Do ACT Scores Take to Send to Schools?

You might be wondering which of your schools require all your ACT scores. More importantly, you’re probably asking, “how long do ACT scores take to send to my colleges?”

ACT creates three types of reports: one for your school, one for you, and one for whichever college you’re applying to (or chose). You get four score reports for free, so if you chose some schools to receive your report, they’ll automatically receive them — sometimes even before you do. But there’s no precise answer to the question, “how long does it take to get ACT results to my colleges?”

There are some things you need to remember:

  • ACT does not send test results or create score reports unless they are complete. Thus, if you also did the optional essay, you will need to wait for those results to come out first.
  • When your score is complete, ACT prepares your free score reports. They may also send these reports to your listed colleges.
  • Colleges choose a schedule for when or how often they receive these reports.

Some colleges choose to receive ACT score reports twice a month, while others choose to receive them more frequently. There are also colleges that receive the reports at least once daily by electronic means. When application deadlines get closer, colleges may increase the frequency in which they receive these reports.

If you’re in a rush, you can make a priority score report request to reduce the processing time from about a week to two business days. About three to four working days after your priority request, ACT will send your scores to your school(s).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do ACT scores take so long?

Taking the ACT is one thing, but worrying about how long it takes to get ACT scores is another. Your multiple-choice ACT scores can come out as soon as two business days or ten days after you take your exam. However, it can take longer if you also sat for the optional ACT essay. ACT grading takes so long because there are literally millions of test takers, and your essay is manually graded by real people.

How long does it take to get ACT scores in 2022?

Every year, ACT scores take up to eight weeks from the date you took your exam to come out. So when you take your exam, you can start counting down. Multiple-choice exam results come out within ten days but can come out later, and your essay results will usually come out around two weeks after your multiple-choice results. If you don’t receive your results within eight weeks, get in touch with support.

Conclusion

So, how long do ACT scores take to come out? ACT results usually come out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Results often come out in waves. The first result you can expect will be your multiple-choice score, which could be released as soon as ten days from the day you took your ACT. If you took the essay, results usually come out two weeks after your multiple-choice score.

It’s worth mentioning that your choice might come out later than others. Don’t worry if you don’t receive yours immediately — it can take up to eight weeks for all results to be released. If you still don’t receive your results by then, try contacting support.
Unsure of whether you got a good score? Check out this handy ACT score range guide.

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