ACT Mandates New Time Limits for Extra-Time Students
Starting in September, extra-time students will no longer be able to self-pace through the ACT test.
The ACT justifies the change, in part, to “improve fairness” to all students. “The new rules,” said ACT Chief Commercial Officer Suzana Delanghe, “will increase fairness for all examinees by better enabling some students to demonstrate their academic achievement without negatively impacting others.”
Given the highly individual way learning disabilities and other challenges to learning are expressed, manifest, and experienced by each child, this change strikes me as both unfair and misguided. I also fail to see how granting extra-time as needed to students with special learning challenges that impact their ability to perform well in the testing situation might negatively impact students who do not have learning challenges that impact their ability to perform well in the testing situation. Finally, not very long ago, students who applied for extra-time based on diagnosed learning differences (LDs) were being decried as liars and cheats, even by university presidents.
If called on for further justification of this decision, I hope Ms. Delanghe and others at American College Testing Program do not further minimize the needs of learning disabled (LD) and other extra-time students, or deny the last two decades of scientific data evincing the need for extra-time test taking for some students, or suggest any more changes need be made that will further impoverish the country’s intellectual capital by obstructing the learning success of some.
What does this mean for you as a parent or student? If your student is taking or retaking the ACT in September, prepare your child for the new extra-time allotments. Help your child prepare for the test using the ACT imposed time limits. Consider reaching out to get help from a test prep tutor or coach who is familiar with learning differences (LDs) and how they impact students in standardized timed test situations.
Do you have questions about this change? I’m always happy to help.
At WCP, we know that every child can meet with success. If you’d like to discuss college or independent school admissions, test prep, tutoring, your child’s learning situation, accommodations, or advocacy, call me. Together, we will ensure that your child doesn’t just succeed, but thrives