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How Long Is The ACT Exam?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a student taking act exam while an alarm clock in front

How Long Is The ACT Exam?

In this guide, we will explore how long is the ACT exam, including the duration of each section, breaks, and accommodations for students with disabilities. We will also discuss the benefits of knowing the length of the ACT exam and how it can help students prepare more effectively for test day.

The ACT exam is a standardized test widely used by colleges and universities in the United States as part of their admissions process. The exam measures a student’s college academic readiness by assessing their knowledge and skills in four subject areas: English, Math, Reading, and Science. In addition, there is an optional Writing section that some colleges and universities require for admission. A critical aspect of preparing for the ACT exam is understanding the duration of the test.

How long is the ACT exam?

How long is the ACT exam? The ACT is a standardized test measuring a student’s college academic readiness. It consists of four multiple-choice sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science, plus an optional Writing section. Understanding the duration of the ACT exam is essential to effective test preparation.

an answer sheet

The ACT exam takes approximately 3 hours and 35 minutes to complete. However, the actual time can vary based on several factors, including breaks and accommodations for students with disabilities. Here is a breakdown of the duration of each section of the ACT exam:

  • English: 45 minutes
  • Math: 60 minutes
  • Reading: 35 minutes
  • Science: 35 minutes
  • Writing (optional): 40 minutes

In addition to the four multiple-choice sections, the ACT exam includes a 10-minute break after the second section and a 5-minute break after the fourth section. During these breaks, students can use the restroom, eat a snack, or stretch their legs. It’s important to note that the time for these breaks is not included in the total test time.

Students with disabilities may receive accommodations that extend the overall duration of the ACT exam. For example, students who receive extra time may have up to 6 hours to complete the exam. However, these accommodations must be approved by the ACT organization before the test date.

To maximize their performance on the ACT exam, students should develop effective time management strategies. This includes timing themselves on practice tests, practicing pacing on each section, and utilizing the breaks to recharge their energy.

What time does the ACT start and end?

We have already discussed “How long is the ACT exam?”  The commonly asked question next to that is, “what time does the ACT start and end?”  Well, students should arrive at their testing venues by 8:00 a.m. on the day of their exam, and they should leave by 12:35 p.m. if they do not take the optional writing portion and by 1:35 p.m. if they do. There is frequently extra time between the start and end times to distribute materials, move between sessions, give pupils breaks, and read out instructions.

As students sign up for the exam, they should think about how long it will take them to drive to the testing center on the morning of the exam, as they may feel sleepy during the exam if they have just driven for a long time.

Also, if all students arrive prepared for the ACT with all the necessary things and no forbidden objects, proctors and students can prevent delays and begin the exam sooner. Students who were given extra time should plan on leaving at least a couple of hours after the exam’s customary end time.

The benefits of knowing the length of the ACT exam

Knowing the length of the ACT exam provides several benefits for students preparing to take the test. Here are some of the key advantages:

Better time management: Knowing the duration of each section of the ACT exam helps students manage their time effectively. Understanding how long they must complete each section allows them to pace themselves and avoid wasting time on any given section. This can help reduce stress and improve performance.

Reduced anxiety: The ACT exam can be a source of anxiety for many students. Knowing how long is the Act exam and how much time they have to complete each section can help reduce anxiety and make the test feel more manageable.

Improved test scores: Effective time management is essential for achieving a high score on the ACT exam. By developing a plan for managing their time, students can ensure that they have enough time to answer every question and review their work. This can lead to improved test scores.

Increased confidence: Knowing the length of the ACT exam and having a plan for managing their time can increase a student’s confidence going into the test. Feeling confident can help students perform better and stay focused throughout the exam.

Avoiding surprises: Knowing the length of the ACT exam can help students avoid surprises on test day. For example, they will know when to expect breaks and how long they have to complete each section. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and allow students to focus on the test.

Adequate preparation: Knowing the length of the ACT exam helps students prepare adequately for the test. They can plan their study schedule to ensure they have enough time to cover all the material in each section. This can help improve their performance on the test and help them avoid cramming or feeling unprepared.

Better planning for accommodations: Students with disabilities or those who require accommodations can better plan for the ACT exam when they know the length of the test. They can work with their school or the ACT organization to arrange an extra period or other accommodations. Having a plan can help reduce stress and ensure they have the necessary accommodations on test day.

Identifying areas of difficulty: By knowing how long is the ACT exam and the length of each section, students can identify areas where they may struggle. For example, if they consistently run out of time on the Reading section, they can focus their practice efforts on improving their reading speed and comprehension. This can help improve their scores and boost their confidence on test day.

a female student sitting on a field waiting for the campus tour to commence

Efficient use of time: When students know the length of the ACT exam, they can use their time more efficiently. They can avoid spending too much time on difficult questions or sections and instead focus on the questions they can answer quickly and accurately. This can help improve their overall score and ensure they have enough time to complete each section.

Overall, knowing the length of the ACT exam is essential to effective test preparation. It helps students manage their time, reduce anxiety, improve test scores, increase confidence, avoid surprises, prepare adequately, plan for accommodations, identify areas of difficulty, and use their time more efficiently. By understanding the duration of each section, students can develop a plan for success on the ACT exam.

Having all the necessary information is essential before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you with any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.

 

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