Applying for SAT/ACT Extra Time/Accommodations?

Posted on 18th October 2022

A guide for students and schools

For a printable and easy-to-read pdf format of this blog, please click here.

*Please also watch our webinar guiding families and schools through the process! Please click here.*

If a student receives extra time or special equipment in exams at school due to things like dyslexia, health conditions etc, they may be entitled to similar allowances on the SAT and ACT. Even better, they will likely be granted at least 50% extra time, and in some cases the option to take the test over several days! However, it’s not as simple as just sending off the same documents as you send for exams to the SAT or ACT, and a very careful process must be followed well in advance of your desired test date.

There are a lot of pitfalls, so please read this carefully, and send it to all schools and parents involved.

This guide has been updated as of October 2022 and is now split into two halves: first for students/families, and next for schools. If you are a teacher/advisor at a school, we recommend reading the student process as well as the school information, so you get an understanding of what it’s like from the students’ side. You can skip to the school section here.

Information for Students and Families

Early warning: If you think you might want to apply for accommodations (extra time), start this process NOW. It can easily take three months or longer to get everything in order. Things you should do now are:

  • Tell your school that you would like accommodations – they will have to submit documentation to the SAT or ACT.
  • Show your school this guide, so they understand the process.
  • Decide which test to take (see below).
  • Get an Educational Psychologist’s report that explicitly references this test and standardised tests in general. (We have recommendations of trustworthy psychologists – please contact us.)
  • Do not book any test dates yet – you need to wait for some things to happen as per below.

Choose the right test

Students should make sure they’re doing the test that’s right for them. We have a Diagnostic Test that helps students decide, but in general, because time is less of an issue, students who prefer maths do the SAT, and students who prefer English do the ACT. However, there are a few logistical points to consider:

  • Where is the nearest test centre that can support extra time students?
  • Will your school let you do the test in school?
  • Do you need a laptop to do the test?
  • Do you need to do the test over multiple days?

In general: it is often easier to take the SAT with extra time than the ACT, unless your school allows you to take the ACT in school. This is because there are not many ACT test centres that can support accommodations (only one in the UK!)

Testing possibilities


  • If a student takes the SAT, the only accommodation available is normally 50% extra time, and the test must be taken in a test centre in one go. It normally cannot be taken in school. This test will take place on the same day as normal tests, on a Saturday morning.
  • From March 2023, the SAT will be digital, but students with extra time will be able to choose between doing it on paper or on a computer. The test will still take place in a test centre, but on your own laptop.


If a student takes the ACT, the options are as follows:

  • Take the test at a test centre on computer with 50% extra time, on a normal test date, on a Friday or Saturday morning (not afternoon). In this case it cannot be done on paper. Very few test centres exist that can support this.
  • Take the test on paper in school, with 50%-200% extra time, or over several days. This can be on any day(s) within a specified 16-day test window (16 days from the date of the official test), as decided by the school and student. This is by far the preferred option, but the school must be on board for this to happen. We strongly recommend that students and schools follow this option, as per below.

If an ACT student cannot get their school to allow them to do the test in school, we recommend taking the SAT instead, as it will save a lot of hassle later.

Registering for the tests – Students/Families

As soon as the above is clear, students/families will need to register (though they cannot do this for SAT until later – see below).

ACT registration

For the ACT, the registration process is as follows:

1)     Get agreement that the school will administer the test on paper in school. If not, you must be confident that there is an ACT test centre where you can take the test nearby (unlikely). In this case, it might be best to swap to the SAT.

2)    Get an Educational Psychologist's report specifically referencing standardised tests as per above, and send it to the school.

3)    Create an ACT account at

4)    Once logged in, go to ‘Register for the ACT’ or similar. When the student registers they will have the option to test with Accommodations (choose ‘yes’).

5)    Then, there are two further options: testing in school or at a test centre, as follows:

ACT Accommodations Registration

As per the above, choose the right-hand box, which is for in-school testing. We strongly recommend that students choose this in-school option, as few test centres are able to support extra time. Please make sure you have liaised with the school about this first, and sent them the information below. Choose ‘No Writing’ and then the appropriate test window.

6)    If you choose the other option (at a test centre), you must make sure that you know there is a test centre where you can take the test nearby, and that you will be taking the test on a computer on a certain date. You can follow the process through to the final screen before paying if you are unsure, and see what is available.

NOTE: be very careful before choosing the test-centre option. It will mean that you cannot take the test in school in the future.

7)    The student will receive an email detailing what to send to the school. They must forward this email to the school, and check with the school separately to make sure it has been received.

8)    Families will need to sign a consent form and send that to the school as well. (The form is supplied in the confirmation email.)

9)    The school will submit all the documentation, and the result will come through in 4-8 weeks.

10) The student will then sit the test in school on a date set agreed with the school, or at a test centre, if that’s what they chose.

11)   If rejected, the school can appeal, but it will add on several weeks to the final decision.

SAT Registration

For the SAT, the registration process is as follows:

1)     Note that you cannot register for an SAT test date until the accommodations are approved by the College Board via your school, so you must do that part first.

2)    Get an Educational Psychologist's report specifically referencing standardised tests as per above, and send it to the school.

3)    The student’s family should sign and submit to a consent form to the school:

4)    The school then submits all the documentation to the College Board.

5)    When the school submits the evidence, they should state whether you need to take the test on a computer or on paper. Make sure to tell them your preference up front! The new Digital SAT, from March 2023, means students with accommodations can take the test on a computer or on paper, but they need to decide beforehand.

6)    Once granted, the student/school will receive an ‘SSD’ code.

7)    The student can then register for the SAT with accommodations via (They will need to create an account first, and enter the SSD code when registering.)

8)    The student will take the test on the normal test date, at a test centre.

FAQs for Students and Families – Common Issues

  • A student registers for accommodations too close to a test date, or doesn’t inform their school early enough. It’s likely that without at least eight weeks’ notice, they won’t be able to take the test – or more, if this is the first time they are registering.
  • The student didn’t have extra time for GCSEs or equivalent. It’s unlikely they will be granted now, unless you have a lot of evidence as to why.
  • The family doesn’t get a new Educational Psychologist’s report. Unless the Ed Psych report is written with US standardised tests in mind, and is less than a year old, it is unlikely that the accommodations will be granted.
  • A student registers for a normal-time test first at a test centre. It is very difficult to get the SAT or ACT to change registrations, or to grant extra time later on.
  • An ACT student initially chooses the ‘test centre’ option for accommodations, rather than the ‘in-school’ option. Since there are almost no ACT test centres that can support extra time, this results in a very long delay in trying to find a test centre. Furthermore, it is almost impossible ever to be allowed to do it in school once you have registered once for a test centre.
  • An ACT student registers for an in-school test before agreeing with the school, and the school is reluctant to host the test. Although we urge schools to allow this, if they don’t agree you must take the test at a test centre.

Strong advice: If your school won’t allow you to take the ACT in school, we recommend considering the SAT instead, as there are lots of SAT test centres that allow extra time, but not many ACT test centres.

Information for schools

Firstly, please be aware that this process can take several months, and the school must do several things early to make sure the process goes smoothly. Secondly, we strongly recommend that you allow your students to take the ACT on paper in school. It is much easier to administer than you think, and saves an awful lot of difficulty for the students. No external students will be able to register for the test.

If that is not possible, then please encourage your students to take the SAT instead, as there are many more test centres available.

Regardless of the test, and where they are sitting it, there are several things you will still need to do early. This is because the school has to submit the documentation in order for students to be allowed extra time or other accommodations.

Things the school should do as early as possible (ie now!)

1)     In Year 11 (Grade 10, or Junior Year) survey your students to find out who might require accommodations or extra time. Inform them early about what they might need to do, and ensure they make a careful decision about the right test for them.

2)    Warn students not to register for any tests until they are sure of the test, and whether it’s in school or at a test centre. It is difficult to get anything changed later!

3)    Tell eligible students to get an Educational Psychologist's report specifically referencing standardised tests. It is rare for accommodations to be granted without this. (We have recommendations of trustworthy psychologists – please contact us.)

4)    Check that your school has a CEEB code here: (check with and without apostrophes!)

This code is required for schools to be listed on both the SAT and ACT sites, as well as the application portals, so students can identify which schools they go to. It does NOT make you become a test centre – it is just an official identifier for your school.

5)    If your school does not have a code, request one via this form:
You will need to register an account using your school email address. Once validated, you can request a CEEB code. Again, this does not mean you will become a test centre! It is an identifier, and very important for students applying to the US.

6)    Register for the ACT's TAA system here: (See note below on Trusted Agents.)

7)    Register for the SAT's SSD account:

Normally the SEN will do this (for both SAT and ACT). This will allow them to submit the documentation to the ACT/SAT once granted. It’s a good idea to get registered for both SAT and ACT now, as it will be useful for any future students.

8)    Tell your ACT students to register as early as possible, for all test windows they might want to take, and to be sure they choose the ‘in-school’ option. (They can register in advance of being granted accommodations.)

9)    Tell your SAT students to register as soon as accommodations are granted.

A note on the ACT – Trusted Agent status

The ACT will normally allow the person who registered above (known as the TAA Coordinator) to submit requests for accommodations. However, there is sometimes some confusion and the ACT says you must be granted authorization by the Trusted Agent in the school. For International Schools the ACT does not require a Trusted Agent. If this issue arises, contact and explain to them that you are an international school!

For either test, once the SEN or similar has been granted access to the relevant system, they can start submitting documentation for students, which will allow them to register or confirm their registrations.

The process is slightly different for the SAT and ACT:

For the SAT:

  • Submit a request online via the SSD account you created above:
  • When you submit the request, make sure to state that the student needs to do the test on paper, if that’s what they prefer. The new SAT is digital from March 2023, but the school can indicate that the student needs to take it on paper instead.
  • Once granted, the student will receive an SSD code allowing them to register for the SAT online at
  • They will choose a test centre that allows extra time.
  • In the future, the student can use the same code for each test; the school does not need to reapply.

For the ACT:

  • Log into the TAA account you created above here: .
  • You should see the students in your system if they have already applied for a test window. Submit the documentation.
  • Once granted, the ACT will send the test papers to the school a couple of weeks before the test window. Agree the date of the test in-school with the student.
  • If the student is taking the test at a test centre, they will receive confirmation from the ACT.
  • For each test, the student needs to register, and then the school must go into the TAA to accept the request, but they do not need to reapply for accommodations each time.

Important difference: SAT students can’t register until they have an SSD code, only once accommodations are granted. ACT students should register for the test first, and then the school applies for accommodations.

Administering the ACT on paper in school

If, as we have recommended, you allow your extra-time students to take the ACT in school, you will be sent the papers by FedEx with a return label. Administer the test according to the instructions at a time and date that suits you in the test window (16 days from the date of the official test date – you will see this when registering). Then send the papers back to the ACT. Results will go to the student’s portal within 2-3 weeks.

You cannot administer the SAT in school unless you choose to become a special test centre. There is no need – there are plenty of test centres available.

FAQs for Schools – Common Issues

  • The school gets confused and thinks that they must become a test centre. This is not the case – you must submit documentation for your students to be granted extra time, but this doesn’t mean that you are a test centre. Even if you allow ACT students to take the test in school, this is only for those students that you allow this for. You are not a test centre.
  • The school has not informed families of the process early enough, and students have started registering for various tests and formats without engaging the school.
  • The school finds that they do not have a CEEB code when trying to apply for accommodations. Schools should make sure they are listed several months before they apply, and anyone reading this should apply now!
  • The school leaves it too late to register for the SAT/ACT portals for requesting accommodations, and then there are hold ups with the SEN/other being granted permission.
  • The school submits documentation that is several years old.
  • A school submits all the evidence without a new Educational Psychologist’s report. Unless the Ed Psych report is written with US standardised tests in mind, and is less than a year old, it is unlikely that the accommodations will be granted.
  • An ACT student registers for a test centre, but then wants to do it in school. It is very hard to get this changed.
  • The ACT doesn’t allow the SEN or whoever has registered as the TAA Coordinator to submit requests without being authorised by the Trusted Agent. This shouldn’t happen for international schools, but sometimes occurs. Contact the ACT at

We realise there is a lot of information here, but we hope that it lays out the important steps. If you require any help, or would like us to be involved in the process (or help fix mistakes!) please get in contact with us via

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