Resources for K-12 ELL Educators

Join schools from across the U.S. in making a difference for our underrepresented students.

ACT Test Accommodations

+50% Time Extension


Bilingual Word-to-Word Dictionary


Directions in 12 Languages

"We're off to a good start. The extended time is definitely helping students. The use of the dictionary and things of that sort are also great aids for the students."

Nadilia Charles
Instructional Specialist,
Multicultural Education
Palm Beach County Schools

Learn Best Practices

Underserved Students Webinar
How You Can Help Underrepresented Students “Aim Higher” 

Teaching SEL Skills Success Story
How East High in Salt Lake City improved academic achievement and preparedness.

ESOL Parents Night Story
Palm Beach Public School district in Florida reaches hundreds of ESOL parents every year.

Sign up to learn more about how you can support your ELL students!

Center for Equity in Learning

ACT's Center for Equity in Learning (CEL) focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement for underserved populations and working learners by furthering ACT’s mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success.

Communication Resources

Resource for educators about the ACT test English Lanugage Learner supports

Resources for hosting your own ESOL Parents Night, including emails, social media, and a presentation.

Resources for letting your students know about an upcoming ACT test date.

Student resources about preparing for college, translated in Spanish.

A Growing Population of English Language Learners

Across the United States, more than 4.7 million K-12 students are English language learners (ELL).



The Readiness Gap

Too often, a lack of language familiarity interferes with students' ability to show what they know. Findings in one ACT research study show that ELL students were far more likely to be well below the academic level that predicts college readiness.



Ask the Expert

¿Qué pueden hacer las escuelas para apoyar a los estudiantes subrepresentados?

Ask the Expert

How does ACT support underrepresented students?

Ask the Expert

¿Cómo apoya ACT a los estudiantes subrepresentados?


Ask the Expert

How has being an English language learner influenced your work at ACT?

Ask the Expert

¿Cómo ha influido el aprendizaje de inglés en tu trabajo en ACT?

New ACT Options - Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities and English Learners FAQs

...on test per IEPs and 504s?

Policies related to extended time will not change. Online testing will be standard time unless the examinee is authorized by ACT for extended time.

We anticipate that most accommodations will stay the same. Some supports may be embedded into the test delivery platform. Work is being done to make our accommodations available in the test delivery platform, including extended time, stop-the-clock breaks, multiple-day testing, text-to-speech and use of some third-party software (e.g. Dragon Naturally Speaking), along with the embedded accessibility features in TAO (e.g. Zoom, highlighter, keyboard navigation)

...individual subject tests? 

Starting in September 2020, students who currently qualify to test with a fee waiver will now receive a total of four fee waivers to use on a full ACT test or a section retest day. It will be up to the student to decide how they would like to use their four waivers, as long as they have taken a full ACT test before they register for a section retest. order to become a test center for online testing? 

We have device, system and infrastructure capabilities outlined as part of September 2020 delivery.  Specifics are being finalized and will be ready well in advance of launch. Learn more about participation in online studies.

...some other significant technical challenge occurs?  

ACT has years of experience delivering tests online and has developed a very rigorous protocol to ensure that test centers are set up to deliver the test without technical issues.  If the unexpected happens, we will have protocols in place to deal with irregularities.

ACT is committed to providing a high-quality assessment that provides a level playing field and fair testing experience for all students, including those with disabilities. As a result, ACT provides accommodations to students who quality. Students will continue to work with local school officials to request available accommodations via our Test Accessibility and Accommodations system (TAA). 

...with extended time?  

All examinees will be able to access accessibility features via the online version of the ACT test, including answer eliminator, answer masking, browser zoom, keyboard navigation, line reader, magnifier, and highlighter. In addition, eligible students may take the online ACT test with timing code 6 (50% extended time in a single session).

Eligible students who require any amount of extended time, including 50% extended time in a single session or other accommodations not available via online testing, may take the ACT via paper testing. 

...paper testing?  


During registration, the student indicates a need for accommodations to access the ACT test. After doing so, the student will be prompted to choose between a preference for online administration at a test center or a paper administration at the student’s home school. Eligible students may take the online ACT test with timing code 6 (50% extended time in a single session). 


  • If a student chooses an online administration with 50% extended time in a single session, the student will schedule a test date and location within the registration system. 

  • If the student chooses a paper administration, scheduling will be done within the Test Accessibility and Accommodations system (TAA).

...registering for section retests in Sept 2020?

Starting in September 2020, eligible students will have 4 fee waivers available to them. Schools can begin requesting fee waivers for the 20-21 school year that can be used for both the full ACT test and section retesting in mid-April.

Have questions? Call 319-337-1270, or contact us.