ACT Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Instructor: Donna Smith
Students with disabilities can request alternative ACT exam formats and adaptations to their testing environment. Learn about available testing accommodations and how to sign up for them.

ACT Accommodations

Students who need extended testing time, alternative test formats, or other special testing conditions due to a disability can sign up for accommodations.

Test Site Adaptations

Students with disabilities who are able to test under the standard time limit can request such accommodations as access to wheelchair accessible rooms and large-print test booklets. They can also take breaks off the clock, mark responses in the test booklet, and bring medical supplies, food, or drink into the classroom.

Students with hearing impairments can have a sign language interpreter accompany them or ask for printed copies of the test proctor's instructions. Hearing-impaired students are also allowed seating where they can lip read instructions and visually receive notice of test start and stop times.

Extended Testing Time

Extended testing time is available to students who can complete the paper version of the test but need more than the standard 2 hours and 55 minutes. Students who request this testing accommodation are allotted 5 hours of self-paced testing time. A total of 6 hours is given to students who opt to complete the essay.

Special Testing

This accommodation is for students who require more than 5 hours of testing time or need to test over the course of more than one day. Special testing is also designed to meet the needs of students who require test content to be delivered in braille or other formats. Students can receive permission to respond to questions orally and write essays with the aid of a computer or scribe as well.

Registration Requirements for Accommodations

To sign up for test site adaptations or extended testing time, students can complete the first part of the registration process online. In addition to online registration, students have to mail a request form for testing accommodations along with documentation of their disability. Applicants for special testing must register by mail with the help of a school counselor.

Here are some types of disabilities that are accommodated by the ACT:

  • Attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism spectrum or Asperger's disorder
  • Learning disabilities
  • Medical conditions
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Speech and language disorders
  • Visual or hearing impairments
  • Traumatic brain injuries

To find out more about recognized disabilities and the documenting process for special testing, you can go to the ACT website. All materials needed for registration should be postmarked by the deadline to avoid any extra fees. These deadlines fall just over a month before the test dates.

ACT Accommodations and Test Prep

The ACT prep resources available at accommodate students of all abilities. Video lessons are short (typically around 5 minutes each) and provide an engaging alternative format that can aid in learning. Each lesson includes a complete transcript for those with auditory impairments. Students also have access to experts who can answer questions and guide them through the process of applying for ACT accommodations.

These online resources offer self-paced learning from school, home, and on any mobile device. The comprehensive ACT Prep: Practice & Study Guide gives you an overview of the ACT and explains how to register, access your scores, and calculate your results. You can learn about test-taking strategies, practice with quizzes and longer exams, and watch short instructional videos. If you only need to brush up on a particular section of the ACT, specific courses are available with the same convenient options as the full ACT Prep course.

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