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ACT with Extended Time


Replies to: ACT with Extended Time

  • FluddBFluddB Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @Dikaiopolis From what I've noticed, a number of people have an issue with the idea of extended time, but understand the necessity and importance of it upon learning of specific circumstances under which it is granted. Perhaps my personal extended time experience will provide such a context. Above, Dikaiopolis states that "anyone with half a brain could get a high score given enough time to reason through the questions." In ninth and tenth grade, I had a similar attitude toward the granting of accommodations, both within the classroom and on standardized tests. Of course, all of this was from the perspective of someone who had never experienced what the classroom situation is like for a student who receives accommodations.

    My opinion changed out of necessity, after I literally lost a piece of my brain. As a result, I was not only unable to retain newly presented information for more than 30 seconds but also incapable of remaining awake for consistent periods of time. When I finally was able to return to school, I fought with my parents and school counselors when they recommended implementing an IEP or 504 plan to provide me with accommodations that included extended time - all the neuropsychological testing demonstrated that my actual intelligence was just as high as it had been before my accident. Then I took the PSAT without any accommodations, and understood why I needed extended time (I fell asleep multiple times during the test - likely distracting other students - and forgot the context of questions when I was midway through answering them). After the first round of SAT scores were released for my grade, there was only one student who had received a perfect score, and it happened to be someone who took the test with extended time. A number of students openly expressed their discontent with this, seemingly ignoring the fact that this student was exceptionally gifted, and that maybe, just maybe, his score was the result of his intelligence and hard work.

    Therefore, Dikaiopolis, I am intrigued to learn more about your opinion on this topic. Although, at the moment, I do not have time to write more on this topic, I also believe that extended time often serves as a disadvantage, rather than advantage, to students who do not need the accommodation. By the way, how are Philippos and Xanthias doing?!
  • techmom99techmom99 Registered User Posts: 1,666 Senior Member
    @Dikaiopolis -

    With all due respect, I believe that you misapprehend the nature and purpose of accommodations such as extra time.

    I have 5 children and an H whose dyslexia was not diagnosed until law school. He is fully aware that there is NO way he would get into law school now. He literally went to the office of a new school and talked his way in. I met him there - I enrolled as a scholarship student because it was a new school and was offering good money to students with good stats. Given our genetic mix, our kids run the gamut. On top of that, the two eldest suffered lead poisoning in the early 90's.

    The 2 youngest are dyslexic. They both receive extended time on standardized testing. They read more slowly than my other kids and they process things more slowly. The older of the two really didn't care and didn't study. His results didn't change too much when he got more time. The youngest, my current senior, did better on the ACT with extra time. The first time, his accommodations were denied because the school wrote the wrong thing on the application. He said that he was able to finish the passages with more time. Having more time didn't change his basic intelligence, it just enabled him to compete against students who read at a normal grade level. Nobody defined words for him, he had to know what they meant in order to answer the questions. Having more time on the math section meant that he was able to complete the same amount of problems that a non-dyslexic student who reads at grade level could do. My sons both have comprehension in the 99th percentile, but read slowly.

    As for curving the results, I don't believe in that. The tests of students with accommodations should be graded on teh same scale as others. All I wanted was for my sons to be able to demonstrate what they were able to do on an even playing field. In real life, there are careers that you can have where there are no time limits or at least not the artificially imposed ones of standardized tests. I venture that if the SAT/ACT were given on an unlimited time basis, most people would score in the same range as they would otherwise. If you don't know or can't figure it out, extra time isn't going to help.

    The purpose of accommodations is not to give certain people a leg up over other candidates. It's to put them on the same rung.

    Believe me, if I could take away my sons' dyslexia and not have them need accommodations, I would in a second. So would they. The older of the two once told me that if he had a choice of being less smart and having no LD's, he would choose that. Being twice exceptional stinks, according to my three kids (and H) who are. They fully understand how their ability to achieve is limited by their issues.
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