Test Taking – Should I Take the Extra Sections of the ACT?

Recently, several of my students studying for the ACT asked if they should take the extra sections
of the exam: Writing and Experimental.


A. Take the Writing section if:

  1. The college you’re applying to requires it & you’re a Junior or Senior.
  2. You are applying for a scholarship that requires the Writing piece.
B. The Experimental section changes from optional to required in Sept. 2018.
     1. The Experimental score does not count  toward your final composite score*

Recall, the ACT has four standard sections:  English/Math/Reading/Science,
each with multiple choice questions. You have under three hours to finish.   

  1. English
    45 min., 75 questions: Grammar, punctuation, sentence structure & rhetoric
  2. Math
    60 min., 60 questions: Algebra, geometry & trigonometry
  3. Reading
    35 min., 40 questions: Four stories, each story has 10 questions.
  4. Science
    35 min., 40 questions: Read passages,data displayed in tables, graphs & charts.

Beginning this September 2018, included is a mandatory 20 minute Experimental test
located after the Science and before the Writing section. The ACT organization says
they require all students receiving regular time (students who are not getting extra test
time from a disability accommodation) to complete the Experimental test.
It does not count toward your score,but fill it out the section while keeping this fact in mind.


There are two added sections in the ACT exam that do not contribute to your final composite score.
The Writing is optional and may not be needed depending on your college application situation,
and the Experimental is required but has no effect.

If you want to discuss what material to prepare for each the ACT’s four sections and
a brief guidebook on how to study, reach out to me @ david@davidedu.com .


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