ACT Test Format

The ACT is composed of four multiple-choice sections—English, Math, Reading, and Science—and one optional essay section—Writing. Total testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes for the ACT without Writing and 3 hours and 35 minutes for the ACT with Writing. The breakdown of each section is as follows:


# of Questions & Time Limit

Content/Skills Covered

Question Types


75 questions in 45 min.

Grammar & usage, punctuation, sentence structure, strategy, organization, and style

Four-choice, multiple-choice usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills questions


60 questions in 60 min.

Pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, and trigonometry

Five-choice, multiple-choice questions


40 questions in 35 min.

Reading comprehension of what is directly stated or implied

Four-choice, multiple-choice referring and reasoning questions


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 30 min.

Writing skills

Essay prompt

 *The content above is quoted and modified from