The ACT® has guidelines in place to help accommodate testing for students with physical, mental, or sensory disabilities. In order to access these accommodations, the disabilities must be professionally diagnosed, and the student must provide documentation to ACT prior to scheduling for testing. If a student has already scheduled testing, but did not provide documentation or did not ask for accommodation, the student will be able to request to change their testing date.
Students who need to request accommodations cannot register online for the first test. The request to test must be submitted to ACT in writing along with the required documentation. After that, if the student decides to re-take the ACT, he or she is able to register and schedule a testing date online, as long as there are no changes to the original accommodation request. Students should work with their school’s SSD (Services for Students with Disabilities) Coordinator to apply for accommodations for testing. There are three main types of accommodations that are provided: National Standard Time with Accommodations, National Extended Time, and Special Testing.
National Standard Time with Accommodations
National Standard Time with Accommodations is for students who can take the test with the same time limits as other students, but need other help in order to do so. Students with hearing impairments can arrange to be placed in the front of the classroom for lip reading purposes, have a sign language interpreter, or have a printed copy of verbal instructions. Students can arrange to take the test in rooms that are easily accessible by wheelchair. Those with vision impairments can be provided with large print test booklets. If needed, students can apply to have stop-the-clock breaks or have food or medicine available with them during testing.
Extended Time Accommodations
These accommodations allow certain students to take the test with 50% more time than the standard time test. This test can only be scheduled at a national testing center and use either the regular or large print testing booklet. This extended time gives a student 5 hours to take the four required multiple choice tests on Reading, Math, English, and Science. If the student is taking the optional writing test, then the student has 6 hours to complete the test.
Special testing is for students who need extended time or alternate formats of the test. These tests are usually done at the student’s school. If a student normally takes more than 1.5 times normal testing time to complete tests, or requires testing to take place over multiple days due to a documented disability, the special testing is used. This testing is also used if the student normally uses alternate testing materials, such as braille or DVDs or who needs to respond in some other way than writing, such as orally or through a computer.