IvyEducation Test Prep for ACT test changes

Well, it looks like someone at the ACT company read my blog about single day Extended Time (see https://ivyed.net/anxiety-adhd-and-the-act/). Effective with the September 2018 ACT administration, “Examinees approved for National Extended Time or for Timing Code 6 will have 50 percent extended time for each section of the ACT, with a hard stop after each section. Examinees will no longer have to self-pace through the four multiple-choice sections over the allotted five hours. All examinees in the test room will begin the same section at the same time and have the same amount of time to complete that section.” This came from a statement issued by Julie Wilt, Director of ACT Test Administration to high school counselors. This change means that for students who take the National Extended Time (time and a half in ONE day) ACT, there will be prescribed start and stop times for each section. This translates into the following:

  • English – 70 minutes (compared to 45 minutes standard)
  • Mathematics – 90 minutes (compared to 60 minutes standard)
  • Reading – 55 minutes (compared to 35 minutes standard)
  • Science – 55 minutes (compared to 35 minutes standard)

I like this change in that students do not have to manage their own time, which is especially helpful for students with executive and/or time management issues. I think it will also lessen distractions since students will not be starting and stopping sections at different times for each section. There will be a 15-minute break after math (section 2), and a short one before the optional essay, for those students taking it. More details can be found here: http://leadershipblog.act.org/2018/05/act-announces-upcoming-changes-to.html. There is a useful FAQ sheet here, too: https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/FAQ-TAA-Changes.pdf.

In the reminder sent out by Ms. Wilt, she also noted that there continues to be a “fifth test” for some students: “The fifth test is 20 minutes long and doesn’t impact the examinee’s ACT Composite score or subject test scores. Examinees testing with extended time will not take the fifth test.” The bold is my added emphasis, noting that students with Extended Time will not be subjected to the “tryout” or what we call the “experimental” section of the test. The ACT is testing new questions and needs statistical analysis so they give these questions to students. The SAT may have a similar experimental section (see this article for more information).

Finally, Ms. Wilt offers some information about proctors checking calculators before students begin the second section (math). She notes, “We will no longer require testing staff to check for prohibited calculators prior to the start of Test 2 (mathematics). It’s the examinee’s responsibility to bring—and use—a permitted calculator for the math test. Staff will continue to monitor examinees during the math test to ensure only permitted calculators are used.” I like this announcement, too! Students are responsible for following the ACT Calculator Policy: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-day.html.

Again, these changes will go into effect with the September 2018 ACT administration and see here for more info about registering and official test dates: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act.html.

At Ivy Ed, we are always keeping abreast of changes and we’re here to answer questions!