How to Apply for More Time (And Other Accommodations) on the ACT

Source: Flickr user pennstatelive.

Source: Flickr user pennstatelive.

If a student has a documented disability as defined by the ADA, accommodations might be available for the ACT. These are easiest to transfer over if an IEP or 504 Plan is already in place at your school.

Start by talking to your school counselor. In most cases, you will need a form filled out by a school official, so take that into consideration when it comes to registration deadlines. You aren’t the only student they’ve helped with this, I promise. Plus, they can usually get everything filled out and turned in pretty quickly–less stress for you.

There are 3 different accommodation types (National Standard Time with Accommodations, National Extended Time, and Special Testing). If you just want a quick overview of what’s available, in terms of accommodations, I will provide that below.

As always, if you have any questions, visit ACT’s website for more information.

National Standard Time with ACT Accommodations

This accommodation includes anything at a regular test center that does not require extended time. With this type, you can still take the test at the same location, and oftentimes in the same classroom as your peers.

Examples of these accommodations include: a wheelchair accessible desk, a large-print test book, using the test booklet to mark your answers instead of an answer sheet, having food or drink in the test room, and/or stop-the-clock breaks.

Learn more about these accommodations

Apply for these accommodations

National Extended Time (50% more time)

The extended time test accommodation allows for 50% more time, which means you get 5 hours to take the test (6 hours if also taking the essay portion). With this accommodation you get to work at your own pace–time won’t be called for each test section.

If necessary, you can also request a large-print test booklet or any other available accommodations.

Learn more about National Extended Time

Read the policies and apply for National Extended Time

Special Testing

Special testing accommodations include extended time and alternate test formats. Students requesting these accommodations will still take the ACT at school.

According to ACT, the special testing is for those students who require more than time-and-a-half for tests, testing over multiple days, alternate test forms (e.g., braille, DVDs, a reader, alternate response modes, etc.), or are testing at an international center and need any accommodations.

Learn more about Special Testing

Policies, registration information, and the application form for special testing

Accommodation comparison chart

Deadline for Applying for Accommodations 

As a general rule, it is always best to register and submit all supplemental materials as early as possible. The sooner you have your request in, the more likely you are to be placed at your preferred testing location.

Applications for accommodations are due the same day as the deadline to register for the test. Forms that are received by the late deadline will still be processed. Those received after the late deadline can still be processed for the next testing date.

When registering for the ACT online, your placement might change if your accommodations have been approved. If this is the case, you will be notified, and your admission ticket will change.

It is important to note that your accommodations will be detailed on your admission ticket, but this information is not released with your scores. This means that if you receive accommodations while taking the test, the schools you send your scores to will not be notified of these accommodations.

As I mentioned earlier, make sure you set up a meeting with your school counselor. They have all the information you need about applying for accommodations. It is often the case that a school counselor serves as the testing site lead–so they really know their stuff.

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