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ACT Accommodations – What to Know Before You Apply

Authored By: 
Maren Holmen, Director, The Tutoring School

Are you a student taking the ACT with accommodations?  You should know these things before you test:

  • If you think you may need accommodations, make sure that you get the necessary paperwork to your school’s counselor or testing coordinator at least 2 months before you take the test.  (Note: You must register for a test before your school can submit a request for accommodations.)  It can take a while for the ACT to review all of your paperwork, so make sure you aren’t leaving it to the last minute.
  • If you are approved for accommodations that are anything other than 50% extended time, self-paced, you cannot test at a national test center.  These test centers only have proctors for test takers who need no accommodations or get time-and-a-half in one day; all other accommodations (including computer) automatically get pushed to a student’s school.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have a test site.  While your school will likely have this outlined already (test dates, times, etc.), it is your responsibility to notify your school that you will need to test during your registered testing window.
  • On the flip side of this, you will need to take care of your registration for the test; your school cannot register for you (even if they have just completed the process to get approval for your accommodations).  If your school selects a date for you, the ACT will still not send out a test for you unless you register through ACTStudent.org.
  • It can take 2-8 weeks for your test scores to be sent to you, and if you are a student who tests over multiple days in the testing window, it is likely to take closer to 8 weeks from the time your test is sent back to the ACT.  This means that you may not know what your score is before the registration deadline for the next test.

As with anything, knowing what to expect before you start this potentially complicated process will help you make the best decisions for you.

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