The ABCs of the TIR and QAS: Ordering a Copy of your ACT or SAT

The ABCs of the TIR and QAS: Ordering a Copy of your ACT or SAT

One of the most frustrating experiences for a student is seeing a disappointing test score but not knowing which questions were wrong. As humans, we crave the ability to learn from our mistakes, but many students don’t have the ability to do that after an official ACT or SAT. The score report you receive from the ACT or SAT doesn’t necessarily provide much in the way of feedback. What many families don’t realize, though, is that the ACT and SAT offer several test administrations in a year that permit test-takers to order a copy of their test and answers.

The ACT refers to this service as a “Test Information Release” (TIR), and the SAT offers the “Question-and-Answer Service” (QAS).* These services provide students with the actual test questions they completed on test day, as well as their answers and the correct answers. Typically, these documents also include scoring information about how students achieved their scale scores (ACT 1-36, SAT 200-800). These services do cost a fee, and they can only be ordered from specific test day administrations. Here’s a breakdown of the similarities and differences between the ACT’s TIR and SAT’s QAS:

ACT Test Information ReleaseSAT Question and Answer Service
Fee$30$18 (fee waiver available)
FormatAccess to the full test booklet in pdf format in the student’s MY ACT accountAccess to the test questions in the student’s College Board account
PeriodUp to 6 months after the test dateUp to 5 months after the test date
Test DatesApril, June, DecemberMarch, May, October
When will my test arrive?6-8 weeks after taking ACT or 3-5 weeks after ordering TIR (if requested after the test administration)6-8 weeks after taking SAT or ordering QAS
Essay included?You can receive a copy of the writing prompt, the scoring rubric, and both 1-6 scores assigned to the essay.The SAT discontinued its essay
The difficulty level of test questions?Not includedYes, the QAS also includes information about the type of test questions and their levels of difficulty
More InformationMore ACT InformationMore SAT Information
Order FormOrder Form LinkOrder Form Link

Because both services are only provided for specific test administrations in a year, it’s crucial to consider how important this option is when registering for a specific test date. Students who order the ACT’s TIR and SAT’s QAS don’t just receive the correct answers and a list of their own answers but also a PDF copy of the ACT test booklet or online access to the SAT test questions. It’s important to note, though, that students do not receive their actual test booklet, but rather a clean new copy of the test. You can order your TIR or QAS while registering for your upcoming test date or during the 5-6 months after your test date. For anyone who’s taken an ACT or SAT in the past 5-6 months, you can print and complete an order form (in the table above) and mail it into the ACT or SAT to request your report. Please note that the ACT has increased the cost for TIRs ordered after the test to $40.00. 

The table above lists the dates for which you can order a TIR or QAS, but it’s important to note that these are for the national test dates offered in those months. Now, what is a “national test date?” These are tests administered in the United States on the official national Saturday test date. The only exceptions are the Non-Saturday ACT Testing in April and the Non-Saturday SAT testing in May. The SAT allows international test-takers outside of the US and Canada to order a QAS only for the May SAT administration. This is also the only QAS option for students utilizing school-based testing accommodations.

Now what’s the benefit of ordering a TIR or QAS? Students can carefully review exactly what they got right and wrong afterwards. We highly recommend that students review their TIR and/or QAS with an experienced tutor who can walk them through what they’re seeing on their test. Because this test access is not your actual booklet from test day, you cannot check your work, but this new clean copy does allow you to go back and re-do any question from the test. This can be an excellent tool for test preparation. Be careful, though, because these services can take up to 6-8 weeks to receive, so do not expect to receive them before the next test’s registration deadline. The ACT has recently begun uploading the PDF of the TIR test and answer sheet to students’ ACT accounts a week after they receive their scores. 

At Seeley Test Pros, we highly recommend taking a test administration that offers a TIR or QAS, and we are happy to offer our assistance in making sense of your score report. For any student taking an upcoming TIR or QAS date, consider purchasing this add-on service if you want the opportunity to review in pursuit of an even better score on the next ACT or SAT.

*Be careful not to confuse the SAT’s Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) with their Student Answer Service (SAS). The SAS only provides students with a report on how they answered different types of questions, not the actual test questions themselves.