ACT Test Format

Learn how the ACT Test is structured and familiarize yourself with the test format.

The ACT is composed of five sections:

  • four multiple-choice sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science
  • one optional essay section: Writing

Total testing time is:

  • 2 hours and 55 minutes for the ACT without Writing
  • 3 hours and 35 minutes for the ACT with Writing

The breakdown of each section is as follows:

Section Number of Questions & Time Limit Content/Skills Covered Question Types
English 75 questions in 45 min. grammar & usage, punctuation, sentence structure, strategy, organization, and style four-choice, multiple-choice usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills questions
Math 60 questions in 60 min. pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, and trigonometry five-choice, multiple-choice questions
Reading 40 questions in 35 min. reading comprehension of what is directly stated or implied four-choice, multiple-choice referring and reasoning questions
Science 40 questions in 35 min. interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem solving four-choice, multiple-choice data representation, research summaries, and conflicting viewpoints questions
Writing (optional) 1 essay in 40 min. writing skills essay prompt
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