The ACT has four required sections and one optional section. Each has its own time limit. The following table shows you how many questions each ACT section has and how much time you have to answer them.

ACT Breakdown by Section

Test Number of Questions Time Allotted
English 75 in 5 passages 45 minutes
Mathematics 60 60 minutes
Reading 40 in 4 passages 35 minutes
Science 40 in 6 pasages 35 minutes
Writing (optional) 1 40 minutes
In total, you have 216 questions to answer in 205 minutes. You get one ten-minute break between the second and third tests (the Mathematics and Reading Tests). If you opt not to take the optional Writing Test, you may be asked to take an additional section of questions. The ACT folks are trying these questions out for future tests, so your answers in this additional section won't count in your scores.

About This Article

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Lisa Zimmer Hatch, MA, and Scott A. Hatch, JD, have been helping students excel on standardized tests and navigate the college admissions process since 1987. They have written curricula and taught students internationally through live lectures, online forums, DVDs, and independent study.

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