How Long Does the ACT Take?

Have you ever wondered when will the ACT Test starts and when can you leave after taking hours of test. Learn about How long does the ACT Take, when does it actually start and end and more.

Updated by Selva Kumar on 4th February 2020

The ACT test takes 3 hours and 50 minutes with the optional essay and including the breaks.

We all know that time is something that can’t be bought to be back upon once losing it. Especially in exams like the ACT, without knowing the proper timing, there are chances of the exams getting ruined. So it is better to know how long the ACT takes and how to manage the given time efficiently.

In this article, we will be discussing on the ACT exam time, breakdown of each section and more.


Also, Read About What is the ACT?


ACT Start Time

The students are required to report on or before 8:00 AM on the test day, though the test starts around 8:30 AM, in the meantime, the students checked in and they will be asked to fill out their information on their test booklets and answer sheets.

The students are required to arrive at the test center by 7:30 and 7:45 to 

Skip the last-minute pressure and also in order to reduce the stress and anxiety caused at a last-minute hurry.

Before you find your assigned room and seat, you will have to keep your bag somewhere outside the testing room.


ACT Test Length

The ACT is 3 hours and 50 minutes long, including the optional Essay and the breaks. The students who don’t write the essay can leave once you have finished the four sections(English, Math, Reading, Science)

The following table shows the breakdown of the number of questions and time allowed for each section along with the breaks

Order

Section

Number of Questions

Total time(minutes)

Time per question

(Approx)*

1

English

75

45 mins

36 seconds

2

Math

60

60 mins

1 minute

3

Break

__

10 mins

__

4

Reading

40

35 mins

52 seconds

5

Science

40

35 mins

52 seconds

6

Break

__

5 mins

__

7

Writing

1 essay

40 mins

40 mins

 

Total

215 questions(without writing)

 216 questions(with writing)

3 hours 5 mins (Without writing)

3 hours 50 mins (With writing)

 

*note: the time per question section is an estimation

Now you might have a question, what is the exact starting and ending time of each section, the following table shows the information of starting and ending time for each section.

ACT Section

Start Time

End Time

English

8:30 am

9:15 am

Math

9:15 am

10:15 am

Break

10:15 am

10:25 am

Reading

10:25 am

11:00 am

Science

11:00 am

11:35 am

Break(Students not taking the writing section may leave)

11:35 am

11:40 am

Writing

11:40 am

12:20 pm

The ACT Test is mostly conducted on Saturday if you are taking the ACT on another day of the week, due to personal or religious factors, you need not worry because your testing schedule remains the same as the regular Saturday testing.


How to Plan for the ACT?

You might have experienced a black day or bad incidents which shouldn’t be happening on such day, but don’t make your ACT day come into that list.

Here are a few tips that might make your ACT day better.


Keep it Ready

Pack your things the day before, we don’t want you to pack at the last moment hastily which results in tension and you might even forget few important materials needed such as pencil, eraser, approved calculator( not the TI-89 calculator) and more.

Take Rest

Make sure your body has sufficient energy to write the intense time packed test. So it is recommended that you have at least 7 hours of good sleep.

Build the enthusiasm

Wake up a bit early on the test day try to do some physical exercise like going for a jog or simple stretches, and also do some mental exercises like meditation, especially in order to build up the confidence and mental strength to write the test with enthusiasm.

Proper Fuel

You can’t take the entire 4 hour ACT test with an empty stomach, so eat some healthy, protein-packed breakfast like fruits, veggies, and eggs if you are an eggetarian. And coffee would keep you activated for more than four hours. Drink coffee only if you are used to it.

Take your break.

Though you’re enthusiastic during the test, your brain will need some rest and fuel, So take a break, by filling your stomach with a little snack, and use the restroom even if you don’t feel like it, because you want to regret it during the exam.

Be cool

Before getting into your allotted classroom, you’ll find many nervous test-takers fretting around with English passage or with the math problems, but don’t worry all you have to do is ignore everyone and every word at the last moment, be calm and be confident, that’s all is needed.

Reward Yourself

Once the test is done, be calm and don’t think about it, whatever happens just forget it and give your self a mental break. It could be the best reward you can give yourself and your brain. Go on a tour, or learn something new and many more, it is up to you.

All the best!


Also, Read How Long Does The SAT Take?