SAT, ACT and Exam Access Arrangements

Students at schools in the UK or Europe who need to take the SAT and ACT are pretty well catered for, but for those who receive extra time, scribes, rest breaks or similar additional support in their national or IB exams, getting ready to take these tests can be particularly challenging. Here are my top tips for students with Special Educational Needs thinking of taking either the SAT or ACT:

  • make sure you understand the different requirements between national exams, IB exams and SAT / ACT in terms of what extra support you can get. Just because you get something in the exams you have taken before, don’t assume you will get the same for US tests. In some cases, getting a new Educational Psychologist report written by a US-based psychologist can make a big difference (please contact me if you need an introduction).

  • start early: depending on which test you take (and remember, always take a diagnostic test before you choose), there are different requirements to get approval for extra time or similar. Your school will have to submit forms and paperwork, so they will need time to do this.

  • be aware that you might have to travel a long way, perhaps to another country, to take this test. In some circumstances you are allowed to take the test at your own school (I can support your school in understanding how this works if needs be), but in others you will need to go to a test centre which offers ‘testing with accommodations’ to do this. At present, particularly for the ACT, not many centres in Europe are offering this.

  • even more than for SAT / ACT without access arrangements, make sure you take at least one full mock exam (with an external invigilator) to practice the testing format. These tests are already very long, adding 50% extra time will make them longer still. Getting used to the format is all important.

Please do contact me via the form on this website if you require additional guidance.

USA, EuropeDavid Hawkins