Key Takeaways

  • You can get extra time on the ACT if you have a disability. To qualify, work with your school and provide proof, like reports from doctors.
  • Different kinds of help are available, including more time to finish the test or special tools and settings.
  • Sign up for the ACT first, then fill out a form asking for extra time before the registration deadline.
  • If your request for extra time is denied, don’t give up. Find out why it was denied and try again with new information.
  • Prepare for test day by checking your testing site details in advance and packing needed items, such as an admission ticket and photo ID.

Preparing for college entrance exams like the ACT can feel overwhelming. One common worry is not having enough time to finish all the questions. Luckily, there’s good news! If you need more time due to a disability, you might qualify for extended time on your ACT.

A key fact is that applying for extra time on the ACT takes about 5-10 business days to process. This article will guide you through how to ask for and receive extra time or other accommodations based on your needs.

You’ll learn about the different types of help available and what steps to take with your school official and documentation.

Read on if getting that additional time could make a big difference in taking your test. Let’s get started!

Types of ACT Accommodations

extra time on the act - monochrome drawing of a classroom with students sitting at desks. ACT is written on the blackboard

ACT offers different types of help for students who need it. One kind is extra time to finish, and another is a special setup to take the test.

National Standard Time with ACT Accommodations

Students with disabilities can get extra help during the ACT. This type of aid is called National Standard Time with ACT Accommodations. It lets students take the test with some changes to fit their needs.

Students still finish in the usual time but might get breaks or use tools that help them.

To qualify, one must show they need these changes according to laws like Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The process includes getting a form from an educator and providing proof of disability, such as reports from doctors or psychologists.

These steps ensure everyone has a fair chance of doing well on this important college admissions test.

National Extended Time (50% more time)

National Extended Time gives test takers 50% more time on the ACT. This means you can spend up to 4.5 hours. It’s a popular choice for those who need a bit more time to show what they know.

To get this extra time, you apply through either National Testing or “Special Testing”. The process involves working with your school and providing proof that you need the extra time.

This accommodation makes taking big tests like the ACT fairer for everyone. Sometimes, your request can be denied. If you have appealed and still been denied, firms like The Hilltop Monitor can help!

Special Testing

Special testing offers extra help for students who need it. This includes those with learning disabilities or other challenges that make taking the ACT hard. They can get special tools like a person to read questions out loud, more breaks, or tests in Braille.

Everything shared to get this help stays private.

To get this support, you have to work with your school and show why you need it. You’ll give proof of your challenges and fill out forms. Your school official will help by sending everything to the ACT team for you.

They look at what you sent and decide if you can get the help needed for the test. If you are denied, don’t give up. You can appeal and even hire assistance to make sure you are being treated fairly.

How to Apply for ACT Accommodations

You need to ask for extra time on the ACT test. First, sign up for the exam and then fill out a form asking for more time.

Registering to test

You must sign up for the ACT test before you can ask for more time. Make sure you meet the registration deadline. Missing this deadline means you cannot request extra time. Start early to avoid stress.

To sign up, go online and fill out a form on the ACT website. You will need an admission ticket for test day. Keep your password safe because it protects your privacy. Note that when registering, if you live in US territories or need wheelchair access.

Submitting a request

Students must ask for accommodations to get extra time on the ACT. They do this through the Test Accessibility and Accommodations System (TAA). A school official, like a counselor, helps with this process.

All requests need to go in by the late registration deadline for standardized exams.

School officials use information from things like special education plans or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 documents. This proves a student needs extra time or other help during the test.

They gather all needed papers and submit them online before time runs out.

Working with a school official

extended time on the act - photo of a middle-aged woman sitting at a desk. The plaque on the desk reads "test coordinator"

Working with a school official is key to getting extra time on the ACT. The test coordinator and accommodations coordinator at your school know how to ask for special arrangements.

They handle the process and submit your request for you. You need certain documents that prove you should get extra time. These include records of any adjustments you’ve had in class before.

Your school’s officials will gather and send these needed papers.

To make sure everything goes smoothly, stay in touch with them during this process. They will update you on your request’s status and help if there are any issues. Trust these coordinators because they want to see you succeed as much as you do! Their job includes making sure students like you have everything ready for standardized tests, ensuring places are wheelchair accessible if needed, and following rules set by laws like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Providing necessary documentation

To qualify for extra time on the ACT under national standard time with accommodations, students must submit specific documents. They need to provide a copy of their Individual Education Plan (IEP) or any other proof that shows they need more test time.

This paperwork proves to the ACT organization that a student has challenges that require special testing conditions.

School officials help by sending these important papers to the right place. The process involves filling out a special form and gathering evidence of the student’s needs. This might include medical records or educational assessments.

Students should make sure all their documentation is clear and up-to-date before submitting it for review by the ACT team.

Using an outside consultant

Hiring an outside expert can make a big difference for families during the college admissions process. This professional knows how to work with both test coordinators and accommodation specialists.

They bring valuable experience to the table, helping you prepare strong requests for ACT accommodations.

If your first try doesn’t succeed, this expert can also guide you through the appeal process. They know what evidence is compelling and how to present it effectively, increasing your chances of getting extra time on the ACT or other help you may need.

The Hilltop Monitor was founded by an attorney to provide exactly this type of assistance!

Tips for Getting ACT Extended Time and Other Accommodations

To get extra time or other help on the ACT, make sure you know all the options. Meet all requirements for extended time and don’t give up if they say no at first.

Understanding the different accommodations available

There are many types of help you can get for the ACT test. You might need more time, a quiet room, or someone to read the questions out loud. Some students might even use a writer or speak instead of writing their answers.

This helps everyone do their best on the test.

If you learn English as another language, there’s help for you too. You can ask for extra time or take your test in a small group. Every student has the chance to show what they know in the way that works best for them.

Qualifications for extended time

Students need to meet specific requirements to get extra time on the ACT. They must have a condition that makes it hard for them to finish tests in the usual amount of time. This could include learning disabilities, ADHD, or physical issues.

The ACT offers two kinds of extra time: National Extended Time gives you 50% more time, while Special accommodations may offer different help based on what the student needs.

To qualify for these options, students must show they really need them through official documents. These papers can be reports from doctors or psychologists or education plans like IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) and 504 Plans from their schools.

Your school staff will help by sending all necessary information to the ACT accommodations committee. If approved, students can use this extra time to better manage test sections and, hopefully, improve their scores.

Appealing a denial

If your request for extra time on the ACT gets turned down, don’t give up. First, ask why they said no. This helps you understand what went wrong. Planning ahead matters a lot here because appealing can take time.

Next, think about other ways to meet your needs if the original plan doesn’t work out. You might find another method that’s just as good. Always keep talking with the people at ACT and offer new information or documents that support your case.

This step can help change their minds.

Planning for accommodations on test day

Make sure to double-check your test site before the big day. Some sites offer special rooms for small group testing or spaces that fit wheelchairs. Know where you’re going and what room you’ll be in.

This avoids last-minute stress.

Pack everything you need the night before. Bring your admission ticket, photo ID, approved calculator, and any other materials allowed for your specific accommodation, like large-print documents or aids for hearing issues.

Arriving early helps, too. You can settle in and not feel rushed.


Getting extra time on the ACT can change your test day. Many students worry about finishing in time. If you need more time because of a learning or physical difference, there are steps to follow.

The ACT offers different types of help like more test time and special testing conditions. To get these, start by signing up for the ACT and asking for what you need. You will work with someone at your school and give proof why you need extra time.

Sometimes, hiring an outside guide helps, too.

Know all the options before applying. Make sure you understand how to qualify for more time or other help. If they say no at first, don’t give up. You can ask them again to look at your request.

Finally, think ahead about how these changes will affect your test day plan.

Make use of all this advice and aim high on your ACT!


1. What do I need to qualify for extra time on the ACT?

To qualify for extra time on the ACT, you must have a documented disability that affects your testing ability.

2. How do I apply for extra time on the ACT?

You apply by submitting an official request with documentation of your disability through the ACT registration process.

3. Who decides if I get extra time on the ACT?

The decision is made by officials at ACT after reviewing your submitted documentation and request form.

4. Can anyone help me with my application for extra time?

Yes, a school counselor or a doctor familiar with your needs can help you prepare and submit your application.

5. What happens if my request for extra time is denied?

If denied, you can appeal the decision by providing additional information or documentation supporting your need for more test-taking time.