How Long Are ACT Scores Valid?


If you’re heading back to college after a break, you may be wondering whether your old ACT scores are still valid.  

The good news is, there’s no official expiration date on ACT scores. Ace the test once, and those stellar numbers are yours to keep indefinitely.

However (you knew there was going to be a “however”, right?) the ACT company recommends that college applicants retake the test if their scores are more than five years old. If you’ve had five years of life experience since you sat the exam, your knowledge and capacities are bound to have developed during that time. Fresh scores give schools a more accurate picture of your current abilities.

Some colleges and universities do specify a time limit beyond which test scores are no longer acceptable. Five years is often (but not always) the cutoff. If your target school hasn’t made their policy clear, call the admissions office and ask.

So Are my Old ACT Scores Still Valid? How To Decide

Consider retaking the ACT:

  • if it’s been three years or longer since your first test
  • if you feel that you’ve grown and been changed intellectually since you took it
  • if you believe you could achieve higher scores now than you did then

Definitely plan to retake the ACT:

  • if you’re applying to a school that requires more recent test scores.

Go ahead and have your old scores reported:

  • if you did well on the ACT the first time and you’re applying to a school that has no age-limit on scores.