If you think you might be eligible for accommodations on the SAT or ACT, here are some things to keep in mind:
The most important thing to remember: everything goes through your high school’s guidance department. Have questions? Ask guidance. Need paperwork submitted? Go to guidance. They are the key coordinators of this entire process.
The most common accommodation is 1.5x extended time. Online, you can find the time limits for the extended time SAT (click ‘Test Day Details’) and the extended time ACT. Extended time is far from the only accommodation that is offered: additional breaks, computer for typing the essay, and audio format test are just some of a wide range of accommodations offered to students who can demonstrate a documented need.
If you took the PSAT in school and received an accommodation, then you are likely pre-approved by the College Board for that same accommodation on the SAT, but check with your guidance department to confirm. If you did not take the PSAT or did not receive an accommodation, check out the College Board’s website for SAT accommodations and ask your guidance department to start the application process.
The ACT is administered by a different organization from the SAT. Pre-approval by the College Board for SAT accommodations does NOT ensure ACT accommodations. For the ACT, you must apply separately. One quirk of the ACT’s process is that you’re required to register for an ACT before you can apply for accommodations. Register for an ACT (Ideally one at least 3 months away), then check out the ACT’s accommodations website and ask your guidance department to start the application process.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), colleges will NOT be able to see that your SAT or ACT was taken with accommodations.
Which Test to Choose?
For students who receive the 1.5x extended time accommodation on both the SAT and ACT, we typically recommend the ACT. ACT questions are generally less complex than SAT questions, and the extended time adds flexibility to the ACT’s typically stringent time limitations.