Tick. Tick. Tick. Time’s getting short, and all you can seem to do is stare at the clock. What time do ACT scores come out, again? The wait for your scores can be excruciating—especially as the release date nears. And then, at the stroke of midnight (Central Time) on the official release date, there are your scores.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how ACT scores are released, and why some scores are delayed. In addition, we’ll go over what you can do to make the best use of your waiting period.
Wait, WHAT Time Do ACT Scores Come Out?
The ACT releases scores at 12AM Central Time on a given test’s score release day, which is usually two Tuesdays after you take the exam. If you have trouble remembering, just think of Cinderella (although that’s 1AM Eastern and 10PM Pacific Time, so that won’t hold true for all of you).
Scores will appear in your ACT account. It’s important, too, to note that the ACT releases scores in batches. Not every score comes out on exactly the same day.
It’s 5am and I Still Don’t Have My Scores. What’s Up?
If it’s after midnight and your scores haven’t appeared yet, go to bed! Your results may not appear for one, two, three, or even seven days after the official release day. So don’t fret too much if your scores aren’t there the first day.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you took the ACT Writing Test, you’ll be waiting an extra two weeks to receive your complete score anyway. Think of it as training. After all, this is good practice for all the anticipation you’ll feel waiting for fat or thin envelopes from colleges.
While You’re Waiting for Your Scores…
Even if you don’t have to wait a few extra days for scores, the waiting game can still be tough. Don’t sit around all day and twiddle your thumbs. Don’t overthink it, either. Take some advice from Elsa:
Because there’s nothing you can do at this point. And there are few things worse for your physical or mental health than worrying. So take some time and do something else. Have you treated yourself for all your hard work getting ready for and taking the ACT? Get out there and have a little well-deserved fun!
If you really think you did poorly on the ACT, my best advice would be to continue your ACT prep even before you see the results. If you’re going to retake the ACT, you don’t want to fall out of the habit of studying. You could also put in a mail order for the report on how you did on every question plus the answer key, which would really help with prep for a retake (click here for more information on this service plus anything else related to ACT scores).
Even if you’re relatively confident in your test performance, you may still want to go ahead and sign up to retake the test. Even students who score well the first time retake the ACT. When you do get your scores, you can begin to focus your prep on the areas where you struggled. If you need some additional practice this time around, check out Magoosh ACT Prep.
Stay tuned for your ACT results, ACT scholars. And no matter what, be proud! You’ve just taken a big step in the college admissions process, and that’s something to celebrate.
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About Thomas Broderick
Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.
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