How to Register for the ACT®

act phase 3 test prep Nov 18, 2021

Okay, so I know this may sound straightforward, but I frequently have students ask about how to register for the ACT®.

In some cases the ACT® is offered through your school (if you attend a public or private school). In these cases the ACT® date does not correlate with the typical 7 days a year the ACT is offered, and registration is usually completed by your guidance counselor.

If you are homeschooled or planning on taking a regularly scheduled ACT®, here is what you should do:

First off, you should ask the question should I register for this upcoming ACT® test date? I talk about choosing dates for the ACT here, so if you are unsure check out that post! You want to give some evaluation to whether you have time to adequately prepare for this test. I recommend 4+ weeks of active prep before each exam, preferably 8-16 weeks for your first test (check out my FREE 10-page ACT prep guide here or my online ACT prep course here).

Once you have decided that you for sure want to register for the upcoming ACT®, here are the steps:

  1. Go to If you have never taken the ACT® before (or haven't taken it since September of 2020 when they changed login systems) then you will need to create an account. Otherwise, you will sign in using the email address and password you created last time.
  2. If you are creating a new account, fill out the information and create a password. You will then need to verify your account by your email or text. NOTE: I strongly recommend creating a new email just for the ACT®/your college applications, as lots of unsolicited emails can end up sent to that address.
  3. Once you are logged in you will click "Register for the ACT." You will need a credit card (or voucher/fee waiver), your high school grades and courses (they say you need them, but it is optional and you can opt-out), and a personal photo (you can upload that later if needed).
  4. You will choose which country you will be testing in, whether you need accommodations, and whether you want the test with or without writing. NOTE: In most cases the writing section is not necessary unless you are applying to a very selective school or you are going into an English or journalism-related field.
  5. You will then select the city where you want to take the test and you will be given options of nearby locations. NOTE: Test locations are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so I recommend registering early so that you can pick your preferred location.
  6. Choose your testing center and test date, and click "Add to Cart."
  7. You will be given an option to add prep resources to your cart. Personally, I think there are much better options than the Kaplan programs presented to you there (you can check out my ACT® prep program that contains access to Magoosh's ACT® Prep Program AND's ACT® Prep Program AND my 16-week and 4-week crash course plus LIVE study sessions for only $197 here), and typically you can get the Official Guide to the ACT® (which I DO recommend) cheaper on Amazon.
  8. You can upload a photo now or later come back and do that. You can also skip the demographic information by clicking "I prefer not to respond" (which I typically recommend skipping, as it is just the ACT® collecting data on you that they will then SELL to colleges!).
  9. You will have to choose a college major and occupation you plan to enter (you can choose "Undecided").
  10. You will have to read the terms and conditions and check that you understand and agree.
  11. You will then fill in the card information and billing data to pay for your registration.
  12. That's it! You can then print your admissions ticket.

Again, I strongly recommend not giving ANY information not absolutely required on the form as it WILL be sold.

Want to get your best score on the ACT®? Check out my FREE 10-page ACT® prep guide here or my online ACT® prep course here, which includes LIVE help for the 4 Wednesdays leading up to each exam date!

If you have any questions please post in the comments below!

*UniversityReady and UniversityReady's ACT® Prep Course are not affiliated with or endorsed by ACT Inc, makers of the ACT®.

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