Calling all BBQ lovers! It’s time to start preparing for the ACT – looking at you Kansas City juniors!

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog and you’re not in Kansas City, welcome! Most of these dates are national ACT 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.

Here are the upcoming ACT dates in the Kansas City area for 2022-2023:

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

Testing on these dates is available at many testing center locations within the area. To find a center near you and start the registration process, check out this link.

When should you take the ACT?


The most common timeline for ACT testing is to take your test in the spring or summer of your junior year to leave time to retest if necessary in the fall of your senior year. You may not need to take the test more than once, but you want to plan your tests to give you the option to do so in case you end up needing to. If you take your ACT in the fall of your senior year and don’t perform as you’d like to, you won’t have time to retest before college application season.

Have a lot of commitments during the school year? Are you a student-athlete? If so, it may be best to plan to take your ACT in the summer so you can prepare without the added stress of extracurriculars or a heavy class load.

Leave room to study

Before you go register for your test, consider how long you think you will need to study for the test. Every student is different and the amount of time you should reserve for preparation is entirely dependent on your goal score and your starting point.

Looking to raise your score by 1-5 points? You’ll be looking at around 10-30 hours of study time. If you’re looking for more of a score-raise than that, you could find yourself in the triple-digits when it comes to hours of prep. If you have the time to put in 5-10 hours of study time a week you may pick a date only a month or a couple of months out; on a more realistic timeframe of a couple of hours of studying a week, you may need to consider a more longterm test date. Prepare for about 1-6 months of study time depending on your needs.

If you find yourself hoping to get serious score improvement, you may want to pursue an ACT tutor. Multiple point increases aren’t easy to achieve and often don’t come from unassisted studying. Creating a study plan is integral to positive results, and a professional tutor can help you reach your goals. Find local Kansas City ACT tutors here.

Average ACT Scores

Now that we know when the tests are and when you should take them, let’s get ahead of setting your goals for the big test. A good benchmark for a goal score can be to look at the average ACT scores in your area as well as the national ACT score.

StateAverage ACT Score (2021)
Scores listed are composite.

Don’t get upset Kansas readers, many states scored below the national average in 2021.

You might be wondering, why should I care about this information? The fact is, your baseline score goal should be to earn a score equal to or above your state’s average. But why? Chances are, unless you are mandated by the state to take the ACT (Kansas and Missouri do not have these mandates), you’re likely taking the test to satisfy a college application requirement. Performing better, or on par with other students in your area makes you a viable candidate. Nuff said.

What score do you need for college applications?

Based on 2021 data, Kansas City students are revolving around the national average. Remember this though, every university has its own expectations of applicants. The national average is often not considered a competitive score for universities, so let’s take a look at what the average ACT score of accepted applicants was at some popular local schools:

UniversityAverage ACT Score
University of Kansas22-29
Kansas State University22-28
Wichita State University20-27
University of Missouri23-29
Saint Louis University25-31
University of Central Missouri19-25

If you’re considering applying to universities in other states, it’s important to note that the average Kansas and Missouri ACT scores may not be a good benchmark for out-of-state colleges. For example, the average ACT score in California is 26.1, so if you’re looking to head out west after high school, you will need to have a score that matches or exceeds their state’s average in order to be a competitive candidate. Check out this blog to get a breakdown of every state’s average ACT score.

What should you bring?

1. A mask

Though mask mandates are loosening in the Kansas City 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 ACT’s list of prohibited calculators. Make sure that your calculator follows the qualifications or you won’t be able to use it on the exam.

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.

I think everyone has been personally victimized by this eraser at least once in their academic career. Don’t let that happen on your test day.

4. Your admission ticket

Upon registering for the ACT, 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. If you’ve lost your admission ticket, you can print a new one through your MyACT account.

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. There’s a very comprehensive list of forms of ID that are and are not valid. 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.

Sorry, your TopGolf lifetime membership card didn’t make the cut of approved forms of ID for the ACT. I checked. Twice.

… Anything else?

I could go on forever about everything you can and can’t bring to the ACT – 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?” 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 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 ACT 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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