Your ACT exam is fast approaching. Naturally, you may find yourself making additional preparations for what may be one of the most important exams of your life. You’ve carefully planned out your schedule, created a study guide, and submitted all the necessary requirements upon registration — what’s next?
All there’s left to do is to familiarize yourself not only with the ACT sections, but also with how the entire ACT is administered. How long is the ACT? What is the exam structure? We’re here to help.
Here’s what you need to know about the ACT exam structure, the time allotted for each test section, and bonus guides to help you with your ACT test prep!
The ACT consists of four areas, namely:
The exam’s total time for the exam is 3 hours and 35 minutes. Notice how there’s less time than there are questions in most of the ACT test areas? This only means that you’ll need to make the most out of your time per section — each section will be timed separately.
Whether you’re taking the ACT online or in person, the test will be structured similar to how we listed the areas above.
If you’ll take the ACT online, you must be located abroad or in a district or U.S. state where the online ACT option is offered. If you’re not in either, then you’re expected to take the ACT in person.
While the online and in-person ACT are similarly structured, there are a few advantages to taking it virtually than on paper. These include:
However, this is not to say the in-person ACT is disadvantageous for students. Some students still prefer taking the test on paper simply because this method is more familiar to them. Moreover, in-person ACT administration is what has been done for the longest time, so the processes involved in it are more standardized.
Whatever modality you’ll find yourself taking the ACT in, the test will basically be the same — it’s how you prepare for it that matters.
As to how long it would take before your scores are released, you would have to wait for at least 2 business days if you took the ACT online, and 10 business days if you took it on paper.
Be it for the ACT or other exams, every student is different when it comes to the length of time it will take them to master concepts. Some are content with weeks of studying; others need a lot more time than that.
While study time varies from person to person, it will all depend on important factors such as target scores and familiarity with test material. Of course, if you’re already comfortable with the test material and you’re hitting your target scores, it wouldn’t make sense to immerse yourself in more intense studying. If you’re still far from achieving these, however, you may need more study time or an adjustment to your study plan.
Here are some tips to help you figure out how long you should study for the ACT:
If you’re looking for effective study tools to help you with your ACT prep, consider Achievable’s ACT prep course. What sets our course apart from other materials is that it uses “adaptive learning”, which means you’d feel as though you’re studying with us. How exactly does this work? Our system learns about you and automatically personalizes the study program based on your strengths and weaknesses.
Moreover, we’ve also found a way to determine the most ideal time for reviewing: through spaced repetition.
We know how overwhelming it can be for students to remember concepts for long periods of time, particularly while preparing for the ACT. This algorithm we’ve created can accurately predict when you’re most likely to forget the concepts you’ve previously learned, then schedule a review a little beforehand. This boosts information recall and ensures that you’re studying efficiently.
A bonus: you get to refresh your memory and track your progress at the same time! You can also leave the analysis part to us — using the data we’ve recorded from your progress, we’ll then create a model of your understanding and mastery of the material.
With the right ACT prep tools and strategy, you can beat time pressure both while preparing for the ACT and when you’re actually taking it. Consider the suggestions we’ve listed above, pace yourself when studying, and use a test prep course that offers a more personalized path towards your goals. Good luck!