How old can ACT scores be?

Life is unpredictable. Sometimes, unexpected events may happen and throw your college plans off course. Perhaps a family member is unwell and you need to care for them. In cases like this, one of the first questions that will cross your mind is how old your ACT score can be until it becomes invalid. Keep reading to find out the answer to this question and more. So How old can ACT scores be?

How old can ACT scores be?

ACT results can be used for five years after they are taken. This is because you have most likely changed during the last five years. There is a chance that you may have already forgotten many of the concepts covered on the ACT exam. As a result, you may have to retake the ACT.

Retaking the ACT is a fantastic way to re-establish your knowledge and refresh your memory. You don’t have to be concerned about the results because retaking the test gives you a high probability of improving your score.

Preparing for the ACT

Preparing adequately for your ACT can help boost your confidence and your ACT score. So, if you decide to retake the test, here are a few tips and recommendations to guide you through the process.

Get help from a tutor

Being able to assess your strengths and weaknesses with the help of a tutor is a vital step in your preparation. An experienced instructor can help you determine if your ACT score is still valid. A tutor can also help you learn how to better manage your time and focus on the most challenging subjects.

In short, having a tutor you can rely on is usually a good idea for preparing for and acing the ACT.

Know what to do when you’re late to take the ACT

If this is due to some trouble with the registration process, the ACT has a procedure to help you out. But the policy of your college of choice determines how late it accepts your scores.

The universities you’re considering may decide when and how they want to receive your ACT results. Colleges often accept test results every two weeks at the earliest. But the school won’t reveal your cumulative score until they’ve gathered all the required scores.

Know when you will get your ACT scores

According to the ACT, answers to multiple-choice questions are usually made available 2–8 weeks following the test date. But your scores may take longer to appear on the site. This may be due to any of these reasons:

  • The information on your admission form and answer sheet did not match.
  • Answer sheets arrived late at the test centers.
  • There was a problem with the information on the test form.
  • Your registration costs are still pending.
  • There has been a discrepancy discovered at your testing center.

Scores may also be delayed because the writing section takes more time to grade than the multiple-choice section. But this is very uncommon.


Now that you know how old your ACT score might be before becoming invalid, you should consider retaking the exam if your old score is five years or older. By retaking the test, you will get to know how the ACT has changed over time. You will also have a better shot at improving your overall score. With this knowledge, your next steps will be smoother and easier to plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Is there an average ACT score?

Yes. The current national average composite score, according to the ACT, is 20.6. Using average scores as a starting point might be helpful. But if you’re curious about how you stack up, check out the admissions requirements for the institutions you’re considering. You can also check what their average scores are, what their minimum attendance requirements are, and what scores are considered for merit scholarships. Most public colleges have an average score of 20.

2) Is It possible to take the ACT after high school?

Yes, you can, and it isn’t too late. But you may not be able to prepare like a high school student. As a result, you may have to design a personalized test prep method or hire a tutor to help you prepare. 

3) What ages are allowed to take the test?

Standardized examinations, such as the ACT, have no age limit. Students as young as 13 are taking the test. But due to rules that prohibit minors under the age of 13 from using the internet, they must submit their application via mail.

4) Can I combine scores from tests taken at different times?

Yes. Students who take the exam on more than one occasion can combine the results from those tests using ACT Superscoring. Each college also has its policy on superscores. So, you need to find out if the schools you’re considering allow superscores.