As of September 2018, the ACT changed how students can use their extended time. Find out how it might affect your students.

ACT Extended Time

Summing it Up

Students who qualify for extended time will still have the same total amount of extra time. Before, students could spend their extra time (1.5 hrs) on whichever of the four tests they chose. Now that time is proportionally allocated across the four subject tests. This is a change for the ACT but exactly how the SAT allocates extended time.

Read the full ACT press release.

Who Benefits?

Students who struggle with time management and organization, typically those with ADHD. This might also help students with weak flexible thinking who often have difficulty evaluating trade-offs. Not needing to make decisions about how to allocate that large block of time across four tests can be one less thing to worry about it.

The new structure ensures they spend sufficient time on every section and minimizes the chance that they get stuck on a single area at the expense of overall performance. However, it will be critical that they have clear score optimization strategies for every subject test given the new time constraints. Find ACT strategies.

Who Might Lose?

There are two types of students whose scores might suffer. Students with a subject-specific learning disability or who are considerably stronger in one subject than another are most likely to see a decline in scores. In the past they could allocate more time to their weaker subject.

Find strategies by subject test here to help them make the most of the time they have.

Students with slower processing are also likely to show declines. Even students who work very slowly are usually able to finish the English in the regularly allotted time. The prior format enabled students to use the extra time from English to spend on the other sections. No longer. It will be more important than ever to use timed test-taking strategies.

Which Test Should Students Take?

Mindprint ACT / SAT Concordance Report


As before, it still depends on which are your stronger skills and subjects, and which are your weaker ones. Use the chart below to help you decide. Or contact us about our newly available integrated diagnostic report, Mindprint for Test Prep, available to tutoring professionals worldwide.

How Do Students Get Extended Time?

Students with diagnosed disabilities or English learning needs might qualify for time-and-a-half. In order to qualify, the student must have a professionally diagnosed condition, documentation of the condition on file at school, and use those accommodations on tests in school.

Need help determining if your student might qualify? Mindprint can help. Ask us how.