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How long is the ACT exam?

The total test time for the ACT exam with the optional ACT writing section is 3 hours and 25 minutes. (Without the ACT writing section, it is 2 hours and 55 minutes.) With short breaks given during the ACT test, the total elapsed time for the ACT test (with ACT writing) is about 3 hours 45 minutes, and the total time without the ACT writing section is about 3 hours 10 minutes. The ACT test administration will begin sometime between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. local time, depending on the particular ACT test site, and end by about 12:45 p.m. Generally, you should plan to arrive at the testing location a comfortable amount of time before 8 a.m.

Shown below is the time breakdown of the ACT test:

  • Section 1. 45 minute section: ACT English
  • Section 2. 60 minute section: ACT Math
  • 10 to 15 minute break
  • Section 3. 35 minute section: ACT Reading
  • Section 4. 35 minute section: ACT Science
  • 5 minute break
  • Section 5. 30 minute section: ACT Writing (optional)

On some test dates, ACT test includes an extra section in the test in order to develop new questions. Your score will not be affected by your answers to these questions.