Even though I took the SAT, it was recommended that I also take the ACT (plus writing) test, as colleges liked to see that students took both exams. While getting my SAT accommodations for my print disability was fairly easy, since I had taken an AP exam in the past, getting my ACT accommodations was extremely stressful.
Getting denied and approved for accommodations
I was denied my initial request for large print, however was approved for triple time, and received notification about this eleven days prior to the test. Following that, my mom and I contacted the ACT organization, who requested more documentation for my disability, so we sent them my IEP and certification of low vision from my ophthalmologist. We also got the school testing coordinator involved in the process. Nine days after I was initially denied accommodations, and two days before the exam, I was approved for everything I needed.
Testing environment and extended time
Like my SAT, I took the test in a small group setting in a different classroom than the rest of the students. We went to the school I would be testing at the day before my exam to fill out forms as well, so when I got there, they could immediately start my exam. Since I had triple time on each section on the test, the sooner I started the exam, the sooner the exam would be over. While I was approved to take the exam over the course of several days, I chose to take it all in one day.
- I received a large-text test booklet with 18-point Arial font
- The testing coordinator transferred the responses from my booklet to the answer document as a scribe
- I was allowed to mark in my test booklet
- Use of my colored pens and highlighters for the test
- I had two desks that I used to spread out materials
- The lights were replaced with lamps in the testing room to reduce the risk of flickering fluorescent lights
- I took a break between each section because of leg spasms, but never left the classroom
- Accommodations For Print Materials
- My Eight Favorite Free Fonts For Print Disabilities
- What’s in my Bag- High School Edition
- Photosensitivity in the Classroom
- Navigating High School With a Leg Brace
- Use of the myScript calculator app on my personal iPad with guided access enabled
- I also was permitted to use a magnifier and a blank 3 x 5 index card for tracking text. The index card was especially helpful when tracking math and science text.
- I was not allowed to use a computer for any section except for the writing section. I used Microsoft Word and had spell check and the internet disabled.
- Five Calculator Apps That Help Students With Low Vision In The Classroom
- How To Use Guided Access For Testing
- Computer Lab Accommodations For Low Vision Students
I received my scores about six weeks after everyone else, as is typical for most large print exams. One thing I liked is that I was able to see how I did in individual sections. It was relatively easy to send scores to the colleges I applied to.
Comprehensive list of my ACT accommodations
My official list of ACT accommodations includes:
- Small group setting
- Extended time- Triple time on each section
- Large print text booklet with 18 point Arial font
- Scribe for bubble sheet
- Mark in test booklet
- Colored pens and highlighters
- Two desks
- Lamps instead of overhead lights
- Untimed breaks as needed
- Calculator app with guided access
- Magnifying glass
- Blank index card for tracking
- Computer for writing section
Overall, I would recommend taking both the ACT and SAT tests, as colleges like to see both. Make sure to file for accommodations several weeks in advance, and submit every piece of documentation you could possibly think of.