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How long does the ACT take?

Thumbtack Editors
Answered

Total time for the ACT is 2 hours and 55 minutes. If students elect to do the optional writing section, the ACT will be 3 hours and 35 minutes. The ACT college entrance exam has multiple sections. The students receive a set amount of time for each section, within which they complete as much of that category as possible before they must stop. For each timed section, there is a five-minute warning before time is up. There is a 10-minute break between the math and reading sections. When tutors coach students in ACT prep, they can provide timed runs to simulate the experience of taking the different subject matter tests. As part of ACT prep, it’s important to take the entire exam at least once as a practice run. Here is a breakdown of timing and number of questions for each section.

  • ACT English test: 45 minutes for 75 questions that test students’ understanding of standard English rules, production of writing, and vocabulary.
  • ACT mathematics test: 60 minutes for 60 questions that test students’ understanding of math skills up to the start of senior year of high school.  
  • Ten-minute break.
  • ACT reading test: 35 minutes for 40 questions that measure students’ reading comprehension.
  • ACT science test: 35 minutes for 40 questions that measure students’ understanding and problem-solving skills in the realm of natural sciences.
  • ACT writing test: 40-minute written essay that will measure students' writing skills.

 

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