ACT Accommodations: What You Need to Know

Student with blonde hair typing on her laptop to apply for ACT accommodations
January 25, 2023
Types of ACT AccommodationsWho Qualifies for ACT Accommodations?How to Apply for ACT AccommodationsACT Accommodation Request DeadlinesFAQs: ACT Test Accommodations


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 01/25/23

Are you wondering if you qualify for an ACT accommodation? This guide covers who qualifies for ACT accommodations, how to apply for them, and their application deadlines. 

In the U.S., many colleges and universities require students to take the ACT to apply to their undergraduate programs. The ACT is a standardized test to assess high school students' English, math, reading, and science knowledge and skills

The four components of the ACT, which include English, reading, math, and science, have their time constraints. 

The English section consists of 75 questions, and students have 45 minutes to complete it. The English section measures students' understanding of standard written English and their ability to edit and revise written material. 

The math section includes 60 questions which students will have 60 minutes to complete. This section tests students' knowledge of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. 

The reading section has 40 questions with a 35-minute time constraint. This section assesses students' ability to understand and interpret written passages.

Lastly, the science section measures students' ability to interpret and analyze scientific data and consists of 4o questions with a 35-minute time constraint.

The test is typically offered several times per year at nationwide testing centers, and students can register to take the test online.

For some students, standard test-taking conditions may pose a significant challenge, making it difficult for them to demonstrate their true abilities. In order to level the playing field for these students, the ACT offers accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Students with disabilities or other special needs may be eligible for accommodations, such as extended time or assistive technology to help them fully participate in the test. If you want to learn more about accommodations for the ACT test, this article dives into that.

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Types of ACT Accommodations

ACT provides two types of accommodation programs: National Testing and Special Testing. Each of these programs offers different types of ACT accommodations based on the applicant's accessibility needs.

Below is an overview of what kind of accommodations each program provides. 

National Testing

Those who are not proficient in English or have a documented disability that can be accommodated at a test center will receive accommodations under the National testing program. These include:

National testing accommodations will be held at designated test centers on standard, national test days. 

Special Testing

Special testing accommodations are not offered at standard testing centers on national testing days. Those who qualify will take the ACT on designated days. These types of accommodations include:

ACT reviews all requests for accommodations on a case-by-case basis. It is important to submit your request as early as possible, as the review process can take several weeks.

Who Qualifies for ACT Accommodations?

Students with documented disabilities are eligible to receive accommodations on the ACT exam. Below is a list of disabilities the ACT recognizes as eligible for accommodations. 

For students with a valid, current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan that authorizes accommodations, a copy of the IEP or 504 Plan will be sufficient to demonstrate eligibility for the same accommodations on the ACT. 

However, supporting documentation must be submitted to students without a plan at school or other types of plans, including an official accommodations plan, health care plan, or individual service plan. Here are ACT's criteria for diagnostic documentation

ACT evaluates each accommodation request on a case-by-case basis using the appropriate documentation.

How to Apply for ACT Accommodations

To apply for ACT test accommodations, you will need to follow these steps:

Here is a helpful checklist from ACT that highlights what you need to request accommodations.

ACT Accommodation Request Deadlines

ACT will provide accommodations for eligible examinees who take the test. You must work with a school official to make a request as your ACT accommodations will be based on those you already receive in school. Accommodations must be approved by ACT in advance, a request alone is not enough. 

Accommodation requests must be submitted by the late registration deadline for your preferred test date. Below is a chart that shows the 2022-2023 ACT test dates and the late registration deadlines. 

2022-2023 Test Dates

Source: ACT

Applicants must submit the request through the Test Accessibility and Accommodations (TAA) system.

ACT Test Accommodations: FAQs

If you still have questions about ACT test accommodations, check out these frequently asked questions. 

1. Can You Get Extra Time on the ACT?

Yes, it is possible to get extra time on the ACT. Students who have documented disabilities may be eligible for accommodations such as extra time on the test. Depending on the disability, a person could be eligible for double or even triple time on the test.

To request extra time, students must provide documentation of their disability from a medical professional and complete an accommodations request form. Once you submit this form, you must wait for the ACT to approve it. 

2. Can You Get Accommodations for Anxiety on The ACT?

Yes, you may be able to get accommodations for anxiety on the ACT. The ACT offers accommodations for students with documented disabilities, including anxiety. To make a request, you must provide documentation of your disability or health-related needs and submit a form for accommodations through the ACT's online request process.

3. Does ACT Give Extra Time for ADHD?

Yes, the ACT does offer extra time as an accommodation for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Suppose you have ADHD and would like extra time for the ACT

In that case, you will need to provide documentation of your ADHD by a medical professional with your request submission.

4. Does It Take Longer To Get ACT Scores if You Have Accommodations?

No, it doesn’t take longer to receive your ACT score if you have accommodations. However, there might be other reasons why your ACT score has been delayed, such as:

It can take between 10 days to up to eight weeks to get your ACT results.

Final Thoughts

It can be stressful and confusing applying to ACT accommodations. However, there are a lot of resources out there, such as this guide, to help you with the application process. Also, remember that your school officials are here to help with the application process.

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