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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: 1,814 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.
  • Lightning13Lightning13 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    sorry but i want to ask am i able to control each exam time in the test i know that time is standerd for each test
    E 45m
    M 60m
    Reading 35 m
    S 35m
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    @Lightning13 You will be given a block of time for those with 1 1/2 time (I think it is 5 hours) to complete the 4 sections and you can divide the time the way you want, say spend more time on one section and less time on another. Any breaks you take will be taken out of the block of time....
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 753 Member
    edited October 21
    OP in no way should you feel morally obligated to tell schools you received extra time. There are procedures for getting extra time and you went through those procedures. It was decided some time ago that students with disabilities should not have their scores "flagged," and for good reason. I'm sure those who say you are trying to "game" the system would not be willing to trade places with you (i.e., have a disability in order to get accommodations).
    On a happier note, congratulations on your scores! You did great!!
  • Living61Living61 Registered User Posts: 454 Member
    Why don't students have to tell colleges that they were given extra time? Isn't it a misrepresentation if they don't? I understand and agree that some kids truly need the extra time, but I don't understand why they don't have to report their accommodation.
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,250 Senior Member
    edited November 10
    @Living61 , I'm guessing that you haven't read through the this thread, but your question was addressed earlier by more than one person. I know that my post #53 deals with your question. While you might want to read the whole thread and certainly my whole post, here are two parts that are directly relevant:
    The College Board has studies showing that extra time results in a statistically significant improvement for kids with LDs but no statistically significant increase for those without LDs. I also found a doctoral dissertation with the same findings for the ACT. As such, I don't see any reason not to give people the right to replace timed tests in many subjects.

    Conclusion here: Extra time helps students with LDs but does not meaningfully help students without LDs.

    Re your comments on misrepresentation, what do you think is being misrepresented? What you need to think about first is what is the purpose of the test? Is it to see if people have the intellectual horsepower/knowledge or how they perform on timed tests? I dealt with that in post #53.
    Disclosure is the next issue raised. That was the subject of a class action lawsuit that ETS/The College Board settled to avoid losing, I think. High end universities review 10-20 kids per slot. Many are qualified and they are just looking for reasons to reject people who all seem really good. The disclosure of extra time could lead to a "Well, she may have done very well in HS but can she really cut it at Seriously Self-Impressed University where we have the best of the best and the competition can be intense." I suspect that, given the data cited above, disclosing confers an unfair disadvantage on kids with LDs.

    Conclusion here: Disclosure disproportionately hurts students who have accommodations. TCB settled to avoid losing a lawsuit and both TCB and ACT now do not disclose.
  • Living61Living61 Registered User Posts: 454 Member
    Thanks for the clarification @shawbridge
  • LvMyKids2LvMyKids2 Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    what qualifies for more time? Does having real test anxiety count?
  • LvMyKids2LvMyKids2 Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    didnt read whole thing but it appears that it qualifies, atleast I know a few people who had this and qualified for more time. Just very interesting.
  • ucAdmirerucAdmirer Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Wow, I'm really surprised that it was found that extra time does not benefit the average person without a learning disability. I thought that the time constraint was what made the ACT similar in difficulty to the SAT: the ACT has easier, more straight forward questions but gives less time per question to compensate. The reading and science section are especially notorious for being very difficult/impossible for some to complete in the given amount of time.

    This may be a dumb question, but why it is made sure that someone without a learning disability doesn't receive extra time, if it won't give them an unfair advantage anyways?

  • LKnomadLKnomad Registered User Posts: 1,251 Senior Member
    @ucAdmirer well I cannot answer why but I can tell you the hassle it would make. My son has 100% extended time on the SAT. This means that his testing takes two days and might not be taken at a regular testing location. This means extra work for the staff because they need someone to either come in on a Sunday (if he does regular Sat testing) or they need him to miss classes and provide a proctor for Monday or Tuesday or both if he does not use a regular testing location.

    It is even worse for my son because he has one on one testing. So not only does he need extra time but he needs his own proctor and his own testing room. He also needs a keyboard.

    When you have a child with a disability who, in his own words is "punching a rock up a hill" this constant questioning gets really really really old.

    For a test that takes almost 3 hours, imagine needing to spend 6 hours taking the test. Fun and oh so much better. (That was sarcasm.)
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