Welcome, Texans! Are you looking to find ACT or SAT information for the Dallas area for 2022-2023? You’ve come to the right place.

If you’re not a Dallas local, welcome anyway! Most of these dates are national test dates, so even if you’re reading from the mountains in Colorado or from the beach in Florida, these dates are likely available to you too.

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Here are the upcoming ACT and SAT dates in the Dallas area:

National ACT Dates

Test DateRegistration DeadlineLATE Registration Deadline*
June 11, 2022May 6May 20
July 16, 2022June 17June 24
September 10, 2022August 5August 19
October 22, 2022September 16September 30
December 10, 2022November 4November 11
February 11, 2023January 6January 20
April 15, 2023March 10March 24
June 10, 2023May 5May 19
July 15, 2023June 16June 23
*Late fee applies

To register for one of these dates, visit ACT’s website to locate a test center and schedule your ACT test.

National SAT Dates

Test DateRegistration DeadlineLATE Registration Deadline*
May 7, 2022April 8April 26
June 4, 2022May 5May 25
August 27, 2022July 30August 13
October 1, 2022September 3September 17
November 5, 2022October 8October 22
December 3, 2022November 5November 19
March 11, 2023February 11February 25
May 6, 2023April 8April 22
June 3, 2023May 6May 20
*Late fee applies

Please note: any dates underlined have been released by College Board as anticipated dates and have not yet been confirmed. Check here to see any and all official SAT dates, and to register for a test near you.

Free ACT and SAT Testing

Students attending high school within the Dallas Independent School District will receive a free SAT and ACT test. These tests are taken during the school day and are paid for by Dallas ISD in an effort to increase college admissions rates. Juniors will take the SAT in the spring, and seniors will take the ACT in the fall. For more information, including test dates, visit Dallas ISD’s SAT & ACT Information page, or reach out to a counselor within your school.

Not a DISD student? Your district may still offer this to you. Visit your school district’s site, or contact a counselor at your school for more information.

When should you take the ACT/SAT?


Most college preparatory testing happens during your junior year of high school, specifically the spring or summer, but sometimes as early as the fall. Avoid taking your first attempt at these tests your senior year, if possible. Not all students retake the ACT or SAT, but if you take it the first time and don’t get the score you were hoping for, you want to have enough time to retake without cramming before college applications.

You should aim to be finished with your tests, and have scores you are happy with, no later than the fall of your senior year. Any later and you may not be ready for college application season. At the least, you’ll have less time to focus on writing a compelling application essay.

If you’re a student-athlete, student-employee, or just a busy student, the school year can be a hard time to focus on the ACT/SAT. With extracurriculars and heavy course loads, it can be hard to focus on and dedicate time to a quality study plan. If you fall in this boat, summer testing may be the best bet to focus on scoring high.

Studying takes time

Don’t register for a test just because you know you’re free that weekend. Another element to consider is how long you will need to study before the big test. Every student is different and the time you need to study is heavily dependent on your current/practice scores and what you’d like to be scoring when it comes time for the real deal.

If you’re looking for some casual score growth (0-30 points on the SAT, 1-5 points on the ACT), you’re looking at around 10-30 hours of study time. If you’re really dissatisfied with your current score projection and looking for a big point increase, you may find yourself deep in as high as 80-100 hours of prep. It’s up to you to split this up to work with your schedule. If you can dedicate 5-10 hours a week to test prep, you could probably start looking at tests in the next month or so. If you’re on a more realistic timeframe, you’ll likely only have a couple of hours a week to focus on test prep, and will want to register for a test farther out. Most students study for these tests for 1-6 months depending on their goals.

need a tutor: 2 people studying together

Score miracles can happen, but they aren’t always the most likely thing. If you’re finding yourself yearning for a score that seems out of reach, you may want to pursue an ACT/SAT tutor. Just studying likely won’t give you insane score results, you may have an issue with your test strategy altogether; that’s what tutors are for. Creating a study plan is integral to positive results, and a professional tutor can help you reach your goals. Find local Dallas ACT and SAT tutors here.

Average Scores in Dallas

So now you know when the tests are, but what should your score goal be? Take a look at how 2021 test-takers performed in Texas, and nationally overall.

Average ACT Score (2021)Average SAT Score (2021)
Scores listed are composite.

You may notice that Texas’ average test scores fall below the national average. Don’t worry, this is less concerning than it may seem. Texas is a huge state, with lots of students testing every year. Because of that, it’s normal for scores to skew below the national average because of the large number of students who test. For context, nearly 670,000 students took the SAT or PSAT in 2021.

Why are these numbers important? Bragging rights, for one; y’all beat Oklahoma’s ACT score, I know that’s important to you Texans – for some reason. But these scores actually do mean something. It’s important that you recognize how you compare to other students in your state to see if you’re on track for your applications or not. These scores may not be your ultimate score goal, but it’s a good place to start when you’re considering your study strategy.

Feeling Overwhelmed? Get 1-on-1 Help from a Test Geek Tutor

What score do you need for college applications?

Looking to attend a university in-state? Lucky for you, Texas is home to many popular and high-ranked universities. Unlucky for you, Texas colleges have higher expectations for your test scores; simply meeting the state or national average may hinder your chance of acceptance. Test scores are not the end-all-be-all of a college application, but performing above or on par with your chosen university’s average scores will help you be a better candidate.

UniversityAverage ACT ScoreAverage SAT Score
University of Texas – Dallas26-331350
University of Texas – Austin26-331355
Texas A&M University26-321275
Rice University*34-361505
Baylor University26-311293
University of Houston22-281225
Texas Tech University22-271155
Texas Christian University25-311250
University of Dallas23-301235
Rice University announces new platform for faculty recruitment, advancement  - Interfolio
*Fun fact: Rice University is considered the “Harvard of the South” and is the 19th toughest college to gain entry to in the United States.

Ready to hang up the metaphorical cowboy hat and try for schools in other states? Remember: an acceptable or average ACT/SAT score at a Texas university may not be enough for universities in other states. For example, if you’re interested in applying to schools in California, your test scores will need to reflect the average Californian student’s test score (26.1 ACT), not a Texas student’s average test score (20.1 ACT) in order to be a competitive candidate.

Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves as told by Spongebob / Twitter
Are you really going to leave all of that yeehaw behind? Your choice.

Once you have your shortlist of schools you plan on applying to, make sure you are aware of the average test score of an accepted student at that institution. Even if a school says they don’t have a specific benchmark for test scores, they do expect their students to perform a certain way and it’s on you to be ready to tackle those scores.

Check out this blog to get a breakdown of every state’s average test score.

What should you bring to the test?

These next 5 things are the most important things to remember to bring with you on your test day. So important that if you forget even one of them, you may not be able to take your test. Don’t forget!

1. A mask

Though mask mandates are loosening in the Dallas area, your test center may still require one. Bring one with you; best-case scenario, you don’t have to wear it. If you show up on test day without a mask, and the test center does require it, you may not be able to take the test.

2. A calculator

Your test center is not required to provide calculators, and likely won’t have extra if you forget yours at home. Double-check that you have yours before you walk out the door in the morning! Remember: not every calculator is created equal. Students are permitted one 4-function, scientific, or graphing calculator as long as they are not on the list of prohibited calculators. Make sure that your calculator follows the qualifications or you won’t be able to use it on the exam. To check if your calculator is good to go, visit these links:

3. #2 pencils

Same as the calculator, the location you’re taking your test at doesn’t have to provide them, so it’s best to pack your own. These have to be #2 pencils, not mechanical pencils, pens, crayons, scented markers, feather quills – you get the gist. Bring two just in case, and make sure they have reliable erasers. If you bubble in an answer and want to change it later, you need to be thorough in removing any old markings from your score sheet.

4. Your admission ticket

Upon registering for the ACT or SAT, you should be provided with an admission ticket. Print this out and bring it with you to your test! If you forget your ticket on test day, your scores may be delayed, or worse, you may not be able to test. If you’ve lost your admission ticket, you can always print a new one here:

5. Photo ID

This ID must be an original, current (valid) ID issued by a city/state/federal government agency or your school. If you do not bring one with you, you may not be allowed to take your test. This ID must also be in hard plastic card format. Paper or electronic formats are NOT acceptable – looking at you, temporary driver’s license folks.

… Anything else?

I could go on forever about everything you can and can’t bring to your next test – a wristwatch, yes. chainsaw, no. – but at the end of the day, you know yourself best. Definitely don’t forget those first 5, you will need those to actually be able to take the test; anything after that is up to you so long as it’s permitted. If you’d like a snack or a water bottle with you for breaks, feel free. If you’re wondering if you can bring something I didn’t mention, a “Can I bring x to the ACT/SAT?” Google search should suffice. More often than not, if it isn’t essential to take the test, it’s likely not permitted; don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Get Ready!

All that’s left to do is to pick your test day! Book as far in advance as you can to ensure you get a spot on your chosen day; test centers can fill up quickly. Getting it on the schedule early can help you develop your study plan and avoid accidentally double-booking yourself with other things.

It goes without saying that you should study for the big test. ACT and SAT preparation can be a stressful and anxious experience, but it doesn’t have to be! Reach out to a local tutor to help you strategize your study plan and prepare you to reach your score goal!

Aenne Thom
Aenne is a marketing associate at Test Geek who loves to find the most creative way to problem solve. In her free time, she likes to make a mess in her kitchen and calls it baking.

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