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Accommodations and English Learner Supports

ACT is committed to serving examinees with documented disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations appropriate to the examinee's diagnosis and needs. ACT has established policies regarding documentation of an examinee’s disability.

If you currently receive accommodations in school due to a professionally diagnosed and documented disability, see the ACT Policy for Accommodations Documentation (PDF), which will prepare you and guide you through the process of requesting test accommodations on the ACT test.

ACT recognizes the need to expand access to English learners. Beginning in the fall of 2017, ACT will provide supports on the ACT test to U.S. students who are English learners. These supports are designed to improve access and equity for those students whose proficiency in English might prevent them from fully demonstrating the skills and knowledge they have learned in school. The number of English learners is growing in our country and ACT is committed to improve access and opportunity for them and all underserved learners.

If you currently receive supports in school due to limited English proficiency, see the ACT Policy for English Learner Supports Documentation, which will prepare you and guide you through the process of requesting English learner supports on the ACT test.


Requesting Accommodations and/or English Learner (EL) Supports

All requests for accommodations and EL supports, including appeals, must be submitted by the late registration deadline through the Test Accessibility and Accommodations (TAA) system.

1. Create or log in to an existing account

  • Register for the ACT test
  • Indicate need for accommodations and/or English learner supports
  • Select the type of accommodation and/or English learner supports you need

2. Upon completion of your registration, you'll receive an email with instructions on how to work with your school to submit a request. Forward this email to your school official along with a completed Consent to Release Information to ACT (PDF) form. This email initiates the process.

3. Your school official will submit your request to ACT. ACT will review the request and email the Decision Notification to your school official. Your school official should contact you within two weeks of submitting your request.

Note: The basic fees and registration deadlines for testing with accommodations and/or English learner supports are the same. Find upcoming test dates and deadlines on the Registration page.

All requests for accommodations and EL supports, including appeals, must be submitted by your school official by the published late registration deadlines for your preferred test date.

Accommodations Checklist (PDF)

For immediate answers to commonly asked questions, download FAQs for Students and Parents (PDF)


Special Testing Windows

Special testing is available during the designated three-week testing windows below.

2017-2018 Special Testing Windows
Test DateTesting Window
September 9, 2017September 9 – October 1
October 28, 2017October 28 – November 19
December 9, 2017December 9 – 31
February 10, 2018*February 10 – March 4
April 14, 2018April 14 – May 6
June 9, 2018June 9 – July 1
July 14, 2018**July 14 – August 5

*Special testing is not available outside of the US, US Territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada for the February Testing Window.

**Special testing is not available in New York or California, or outside of the US, US Territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada for the July Testing Window.


Your Privacy

ACT will treat all information you provide to support your request as confidential and will use it solely to determine your eligibility for accommodations and English learner supports. Details about your test accommodations and English learner supports will be shared only with the testing staff and will not be released to anyone else, including your chosen score report recipients. The only exceptions are for those instances in which an examinee’s accommodation/supports-related documents and information are the subject of a subpoena or other court order, or an enforceable request from a government entity. 


Resources for Students and Parents

Downloadable Resources for Students and Parents
File Name and LinkDescription
Preparing for the ACT Test - Special Testing (PDF)Provided free of charge specifically for examinees taking the ACT through Special testing who plan to use an alternate format test.
Parent/Student FAQs for the ACT Test Accommodations (PDF)Answers to commonly asked questions by parents and students who request accommodations and EL supports through TAA.
Consent to Release Information to ACT Form (PDF)Must be printed, signed by parent or legal guardian, or examinee if over age 18, and filed at the school.
National vs. Special (PDF)Download this infographic for a quick reference as to which type of accommodations and EL supports to select.
Accommodations Checklist (PDF)Quick visual reference for the steps to request accommodations and EL supports.
Accommodations Checklist for Homeschooled Students or Examinees No Longer in School (PDF)Quick visual reference for the steps to request accommodations.
Accommodations Checklist for International Examinees (PDF)Quick visual reference for the steps to request accommodations.
ACT® Test Translated Directions for English Learners (PDF)Translated of the test directions for the ACT test booklet in 12 languages.
English Learner Supports Guide (PDF)
Information outlining available supports and how to make a request.
English Learner Info Graphic (PDF)Quick visual reference about available EL supports.
Spanish Version - English Learner Info Graphic (PDF)
Quick visual reference about available EL supports (Spanish).
ACT USB Usage Guidelines (PDF)For examinees using the practice USB materials to prepare for Special testing
ACT-Approved Bilingual Word-to-Word Dictionaries (PDF)Guidelines and a detailed list of approved word-to-word dictionaries for use by examinees approved for English learner supports.
Exceptions Statement Form and Checklist PDF)Examinees who do not currently have an official accommodations plan, EL support plan, IEP, or 504 plan can submit the Exceptions Statement Form to support their request.
Extended Time Testing Policy FAQ (PDF)Frequently asked Questions and Answers about ACT’s updated extended time testing policy

Contact Us

If you have a more specific question, please use the Contact Form.

Still have questions?

Call to speak with an ACT representative at (319) 337-1332

Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Central)

Call wait times may vary.


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