If you have already had accommodations for tests in school, such as extended time or large-print text, you probably already know there is a specific process to get this type of accommodation for the SAT and ACT tests. If you are new to requesting accommodations, there are many pieces you need to know. Either way, it takes time to get approval for accommodations, so plan ahead and start early! Here is crucial information to make sure you get what you need:
How do I know if I qualify for accommodations?
- You have a documented disability
- Your disability will impact the result of the test
- You actually need the accommodations you request
What is the process for applying for accommodations?
Work with your school to:
- Gather the proper documentation
- Submit an application to the College Board for the SAT or a request for the ACT. Include the following in your application:
- Documentation of your disability
- Documentation of your need for the accommodation
- Appeal the decision if denied
- It takes about seven weeks from the time the required documentation is sent, so check deadlines and apply early
- If you get denied and need to appeal, even more time may be needed
- Hint: For the SAT or ACT fall test dates next year, begin in the spring of the previous school year before the school year ends
Students will have five hours to complete the four multiple-choice sections of the test. If choosing to take the essay section, the student will be given one hour to complete this optional section. This change standardizes the timing of the test to ensure that all examinees with this time-and-a-half accommodation, regardless of whether they are taking the ACT with or without the essay section, will have the same five-hour period to finish the four multiple-choice sections.
Practice and Get Additional Help
If you have a documented learning disability, it’s a good idea to get some extra support and tutoring for taking the SAT or ACT. Look for an instructor:
- with a good track record preparing students for these tests
- someone who understands and has taught students with your specific disability or has a range of experience
- try to find a one-to-one teaching structure so your teacher focuses specifically on your personally weakest areas, maximizing your time together
Rhode Island Tutorial & Educational Services (RITES) has been preparing students for the SATs and ACTs for the last six years. We have experience with the new formats and understand the changes, in order to help students choose the right test for them and learn the most effective way to take these tests for their best results. RITES SAT/ACT tutors work one-to-one with their students and tailor the instruction to meet each individual’s specific needs. SAT/ACT prep packages are available.