ACT Exam Eligibility Criteria & Registration Process

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 27 September 2023 & Read Time 7 minutes



Appearing for the ACT exam is essential for students aspiring to attend college in the United States. It is a standardised measure of academic readiness, aiding college admissions and scholarship opportunities. High ACT scores enhance admission prospects to competitive institutions and can secure financial aid through merit-based scholarships.


Whether you're a high school student planning to take the ACT or a parent seeking information for your child, understanding this test's eligibility criteria and requirements is crucial. Therefore, this blog will explore ACT exam eligibility criteria and the essential requirements you need to know before appearing for the exam.


ACT Exam 2023: Quick Overview

The ACT (American College Testing) exam is a widely recognised standardised test used for college admissions in the United States, generally for undergraduate courses. This comprehensive assessment is designed to measure high school student's readiness for college-level academics and is a critical component of the college application process. The ACT consists of four mandatory sections:

  • English: This section evaluates your grammar, punctuation, and writing skills through multiple-choice questions and a short essay prompt. 

  • Math: The math section assesses your mathematical reasoning and problem-solving abilities, covering topics from pre-algebra to trigonometry.

  • Reading: In this section, you'll answer questions based on passages that test your comprehension, interpretation, and analysis skills.

  • Science: The science section measures your ability to understand, analyse, and draw conclusions from scientific data and experiments.


While the ACT includes these four core sections, an optional Writing (Essay) section is required for admission to some colleges. The essay assesses your ability to develop and support an argument on a given topic.

Students can take this exam through online mode, and the total duration of the exam is 2 hours and 55 minutes. Moreover, the ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with each of the four mandatory sections contributing to your composite score. The optional Writing section receives a separate score on a scale of 2 to 12.


ACT Exam Eligibility Criteria

The ACT does not outline any prerequisites or minimum requirements for taking the test, and it is available to all students equally in terms of eligibility. However, students must fulfil course-specific requirements set forth by the colleges they desire to attend, even though there are no ACT requirements for taking the ACT exam. You should only attempt the optional writing section if the colleges you want to apply to require it.


Age Limit to Apply for ACT

There is no specific age limit to apply for the ACT exam. The ACT is open to individuals of all ages, from high school students to adult learners and even younger students, if they feel academically prepared to take the test. Such inclusivity makes the ACT accessible to several individuals considering higher education or other academic pursuits.


As long as you meet the other registration requirements, such as having a valid photo ID and paying the registration fee (or obtaining a fee waiver if eligible), you can register for the ACT regardless of your age. However, high school graduates and people above 13 typically appear for the ACT exam.


How to Register for the ACT Exam

 For ACT registration, you can follow the steps mentioned below:


STEP 1: Create an ACT Web Account

Visit the official ACT website and create an ACT web account by providing your personal information, including your full name, high school academics, date of birth, and contact details.


STEP 2: Choose a Test Date and Location

Log in to your ACT web account and select your preferred test date and testing center location. The website will display available test dates and locations in your area.


STEP 3: Pay the Exam Fee and Upload a Photo

Pay the registration fee for the ACT. You can pay by credit card or by requesting and using a fee waiver if you qualify. After paying the fees, you’ll need to upload a recent, acceptable photo of yourself during registration. The photo will be used for your admission ticket.


STEP 4: Provide Accommodation Requests (if needed)

If you have a disability or require special accommodations, you can request them during registration. You will need to provide appropriate documentation.


STEP 5: Review and Confirm

Carefully review your ACT exam registration information for accuracy before confirming your registration. You'll receive an admission ticket after completing the registration process and payment. Print this ticket and bring it with you on test day, along with a valid photo ID. 


When to Apply for ACT exam?

Ideally, the test must be scheduled two months before the deadline for college applications. ACT test scores generally take 2 to 8 weeks following the test date. Additionally, registering a day beforehand ensures that you will receive your scorecards well in advance before the time of admission. Moreover, there will be a late fee if you register after the deadline, typically two to three weeks before the exam date.



The ACT exam is a vital step in the college admissions process for many students in the United States and beyond. Understanding the eligibility criteria and requirements is essential to ensure a smooth registration process and successful test-taking experience. Overall, remember that the ACT is open to a wide range of students, and with the right preparation, you can work towards achieving your academic goals and pursuing higher education.



Q: Who can take the ACT test?

A: The ACT test is typically taken by high school students who are planning to apply for undergraduate courses in US universities.


Q: How many times can I appear for the ACT exam?

A: You can take the ACT exam up to 12 times in total, with a limit of 7 times in a single calendar year.


Q: What registration-related changes can be done through the MyACT account?

A: Through your MyACT account, you can make corrections in the registration form, like changing the test date, changing the test location, updating personal details, modifying college selection, and adding or removing the writing test.


Q: Do colleges have any specific criteria for admissions to appear for the ACT?

A: Each university has its specific ACT score requirements. For instance, whether you take the optional writing portion will depend on whether the universities you intend to apply to require it or not.


Q: What do I need to bring to the ACT test centre?

A: Following are the basic things that you require at teh test centre:

  • A valid photo ID

  • 2 pencils (sharpened) with erasers

  • A calculator

  • Water bottle


Q: What are the ACT test registration fees?

A: The registration fee for the ACT exam without the optional writing section is 150 USD. If you choose to take the ACT in writing, the fee is 166.50 USD. Moreover, additional fees may apply for late registration or other services.


Q: When is the ACT exam conducted?

A: The ACT exam is typically conducted multiple times throughout the year, with test dates in February, April, June, July, September, October, and December. Specific test dates can vary each year, so checking the official ACT website for the exact information and registration deadlines is advisable.


So, are you all set to start your study abroad journey to USA and appear for the ACT exam? If yes, then we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you cannot travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application. Apart from this, our expert counsellors will also provide assistance in the visa process for your successful study abroad journey. Don't hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

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