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ACT Extended Time Policy Update


ACT recently announced a policy change for those students taking the ACT with Writing with the time-and-a-half accommodation.  Students will now have exactly five hours to complete the four multiple-choice sections (English, Math, Reading, and Science) and one hour to write the essay.  Previously, students who registered for the ACT with Writing had 6 hours to complete the entire test but decided how much time to devote to the multiple-choice sections and how much time to allocate to the essay.  For example, if a student elected to spend 5 hours and 45 minutes on the English, Math, Reading, and Science sections and 15 minutes on the essay, they were permitted to do so.  With this recent change, after 5 hours of testing, students will only be allowed to work on their essays.  This policy change is in effect for the 2017-2018 school year, beginning with the September test date.

Why did ACT make this change? 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 or ACT with Writing, will have the same five-hour period to complete the four multiple-choice sections.

For further information about this policy change, please refer to the following ACT link:

As a reminder, students who have documented learning differences are eligible for accommodations from both the College Board and the ACT. The process for both is similar:

  • determine eligibility
  • gather the proper documentation
  • submit the application (work with your school)
  • appeal the decision if denied

We’ve updated our Testing Accommodations chart to reflect this change and to highlight the differences between SAT and ACT accommodations request policies.

And finally, as always, we strongly encourage families to meet with their schools’ accommodation coordinators early in the process to ask questions and to ensure that any documentation that is required is gathered and submitted in a timely fashion.


Click here to download a printable PDF

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