ACT Timing With Breaks | General Schedule and Extensions

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On ACT test day, it’s helpful to know much time you have to answer each section’s questions, and, more importantly when are your breaks. Thankfully, ACT timing with breaks is the same for every major test date.

Here is how the ACT timing with breaks works on test day for everyone, as well as special extensions.

Before arriving at the testing center, check out this ACT checklist for test day first.

ACT Timing Schedule With Breaks On Test Day

ACT Section Total Time Start Time End Time
English 45 minutes 8:30 AM 9:15 AM
Math 60 minutes 9:15 AM 10:15 AM
Break 10 minutes 10:15 AM 10:25 AM
Reading 35 minutes 10:25 AM 11:00 AM
Science 35 minutes 11:00 AM 11:35 AM
Break 5 minutes 11:35 AM 11:40 AM
Writing (optional) 40 minutes 11:40 AM 12:20 PM

ACT Time Extensions

For students with specific disabilities, ACT can provide extended time for the test.

Specific disabilities can include ADHD, a specific condition, or autism spectrum disorder. In order to qualify for an extended time, students must provide official documentation regarding their disability.

This is done by providing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan through the student’s school. Document processing can take between 1-4 weeks to complete, and an official school coordinator must put in the request.

Here is some additional information about ACT time extensions for students with disabilities:

  • For students that qualify for time and a half, five hours are allotted to complete the ACT without the Writing section.
    • If the Writing section is taken, an additional hour is included.
    • The test sections are administered in the same order, but students can self-pace throughout the test.
  • Students who qualify for time and a half can use their time as necessary.
    • Rather than the regular timed format, there are no specific time limits per section.
    • If a student needs an extra half hour on the Math section, that’s fine. However, the entire test does need to finish up within the allotted hours.

Breaks are not different for students allowed a time extension. For longer break times, a special request must be made.

Testing occurs at a national test center on a Saturday morning. Students still need to be at the testing center by 7:45 AM at the latest, with doors closing at 8:00 AM.

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