Are you ready to take the ACT but feel as though you will need more time? While the test can take anywhere from three hours to three and half hours if you’ve also decided to take the additional writing portion, you still may find you need more time.
If you believe you will need more time, it’s important to plan ahead before registering to see if you qualify for ACT accommodations.
How Long Is the ACT?
It’s important to know that the ACT time limit can be restrictive to students who need additional time during testing. For each portion of the test, the ACT does have a time limit.
Times very for each section depending on the subject that is being tested. Subjects can take as little as 35 minutes or last as long 60 minutes. It's necessary to have this amount of time to complete the 215 questions. This time doesn't include the additional writing test, which you can elect to take and pay extra for. This section of the test has an ACT time limit of 40 minutes.
How Can You Get ACT Extended Time?
In order to qualify for ACT accommodations to receive extended time to take it, it’s important that you organize any documentation you have from a professional diagnosis and any documentation you have from your current school, such as an IEP, which is an Individual Education Plan or a Section 504 plan.
If you don’t have either of these, then official documentation from a professional diagnosis is necessary. It’s important that any piece of documentation you have that you plan to share state why you qualify for ACT accommodations. It must be current and relevant to your status now.
Your current school should have all of your documentation on file and can help gather and review all the paperwork to make sure it’s ready. Once your documentation is ready an official from your school, most likely a guidance counselor, will submit your request, which will be signed by a parent or guardian. The ACT committee will then review your request and make a decision before you’re scheduled to take the ACT.
How Does the ACT Work?
Once you’re registered for the ACT, you’ll receive your date, time and location. Once you have this information, you should prepare how you most feel comfortable. Some students find studying the free online tests and quizzes helps them prepare, while others find value in upgrading and purchasing additional ACT online prep.
Students also find it beneficial and better for their learning style if they purchase access to face-to-face ACT classes that help them better understand what to expect on the test and how the day of testing works. Purchasing additional test prep help can be very valuable but can also be costly.
On the day of the test, the proctor will expect the student to come prepared with their entrance ticket, photo identification, sharpened pencils, an approved calculator and a watch to help keep track of time.
What Happens on Test Day?
It’s important to arrive at the 8 a.m. entrance time. When it’s time to take the ACT test, your test proctor will communicate all of the expectations of the morning and start at exactly 8:30 a.m. Each subject will be announced when it’s time to begin that portion along with the amount of time you have to take the test.
Once you’ve completed each subject, you will most likely be dismissed at around 12:35 p.m. If you’re also taking the writing test, you will be dismissed one hour later.
The ACT time limit may feel constricting, but it might be just the amount of time you need. If you need more time and qualify under ACT accommodations, you’ll be sure to have all the time you need.
As a communications professional in the greater Philadelphia region, Jerisha enjoys writing informative advancement communications pieces for philanthropic organizations. When not writing, Jerisha is an adjunct faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences at Wilmington University where she guides full-time students and full-time working adults through the writing process. Jerisha holds an M.F.A. in creative writing and enjoys writing education articles and essays.