ACT Dates 2021/2022 Academic Year

Taking A Practice ACT

ACT Dates 2021/2022 with deadlines are viewable in the table below. Be sure to register on time so you can insure a seat at the test center of your choice!

For a few years, the ACT was more popular than the SAT. That was back c. 2012-2017. Ever since the SAT retooled, it has been the (slightly) more popular test. Also, keep in mind that since c. 2009, the ACT has been accepted in lieu of an SAT for all colleges and universities that require or recommend a standardized test score. So you can disregard talk about the SAT being the better/more accepted test.

Little known fact: You can use a calculator on the entire math section of the ACT, while you can use a calculator only on one of the math sections of the SAT. Granted, the calculator-friendly math section of the SAT comprises 38 of the 58 total math questions (~66%), so the majority of SAT math is calculator friendly.

The ACT Science Section

This name is misleading as only 4 of the 40 questions of the science section require science knowledge. It ought to be called the data analysis section. Most of the questions youíll encounter in this section deal with interpreting the results of science experiments and analyzing data from tables and charts. In parts of it, youíll interpolate/extrapolate data points in graphs.

Basically, if you have a good grasp of algebra and can read graphs and tables, you should be fine. If you opt to take the ACT over the SAT, youíll definitely want to take practice science sections. The more familiar you are with the types of questions in the ACT science section, the better youíll do. For most students, itís the anxiety that hampers them the most. Repeated exposure fo ACT science sessions will help to allay some of your fears about the section.

Next, the concern is the placement of the ACT science section. As it is the last section, fatigue is definitely a factor. Most unprepared students show a significant dropoff in their science section score relative to their other sections.

The Rest of the ACT

For the most part, the ACT & SAT have morphed to resemble one another more and more over time. The 3 ACT Sections (list these here) correspond to the material of the SAT Sections (list here).

Yet, there are differences in material.

The ACT math focuses slightly more on geometry than the SAT. Also, generally, the SAT makes you think beyond the equation. They might make you solve for a missing side, given the area and one side of a rectangle. Then, on the ACT, you will focus more on plugging values into known equations, rather than making your own.

And, there is the broader question of difficulty. Actually, itís more a question of trickiness. The ACT is more straightforward, while the SAT questions are generally trickier. This is more than made up for in time: the SAT allows you more time per question while the ACT allows less time per question.

In the end, you’re deciding between fewer, yet trickier questions, or more, but more straightforward questions. With the SAT, students doubt themselves afterward, wondering what some questions were actually asking. With the ACT, students are worried that they didn’t finish a section or 2. Between the tests, you need to make the best choice.

Which Test Is Better For You?

Many pundits enjoy making lofty pronouncements about how certain studtnes are better suited to this test of the other. Or, how if youíve taken this level of math, the ACT is better than the SAT.

As a pragmatist who has worked with students on both tests for 25 years, I recommend you take a practice test of eact. A REAL practice test. Theyíre free.

Let me explain:

Both tastemakers provide real versions of practice tests for you to take.

Most of the practice tests from tastemakers are harder than the real thing and graded more severely as well.

Do yourself a favor and take a REAL practice test of each. On different days, but within 1-2 weeks of each other. If you take both on the same day, the latter test will be far harder for you. And likely inaccurate in your benchmark score.

ACT Dates 2021/2022: What now?

Compare your scores from both practice tests. About half the time, students score at least a little bit better on one test than the other.

If you scored like this, choose and prep for the test youíre naturally better suited to.

About the other half of the time, a studentsí score is too close to acll. If this is your case, youíll want to ask yourself some questions:

-Which test did I prefer? 

Some students prefer the content or the format of one test over the other. Go with your instinct on this.

-Which test do you believe you can improve your score on more easily?

Schools donít care which test you take. Despite the cachet of the SAT, the ACT is accepted by all schools. THis includes the Ivies. If you want to take the ACT, be proud! Itís your test. Choose which one suits you better.

ACT Dates 2021/2022

If you do choose some of the ACT dates 2021/2022, be wise about which ones work for you. Give yourself ample time for prep, whether self-prep, group prep or private prep. And make sure the dates donít conflict with other big events. For some reason, one or two of the ACT dates have conflicted with homecoming and other big local events here in Huntington Beach. Schedule your ACT dates in 2021/2022 accordingly. Set yourself up for success.

P.S. Donít prep for both!


By Martin

Martin McSweeney is a National Merit Finalist, Pomona College Graduate, and member of MENSA. He has worked at the Center for Talented Youth (Loyola Marymount University campus); Upward Bound (Harvey Mudd campus); various test prep companies; and Whittier High School. Now, Martin helps students of all abilities improve their relationship with math.