Testing Accommodations for College and Graduate School

This page contains important information about accommodations on testing for College Boards and Graduate School exams.

An accommodation is a “support” for students with disabilities or significant difficulties related to test-taking.  Students who struggle with reading, math, writing, attention and impulse control, and emotional challenges may qualify for this type of support if needed.

Not all students who struggle will qualify for specific accommodations.  While many of us would do better on exams with accommodations, it is necessary to show a documented disability as well as a history of need to qualify for formal accommodations.

Typical Accommodations

While testing accommodations will be different depending on the need of each student, here are some typical supports:

  • Additional time: 50% or 100% more time than typically allowed
  • Quiet, separate space or corral with noise-canceling headphones
  • Enlarged text
  • Computer for typing essays
  • Frequent breaks

College Board and Graduate School Exam Accommodations

Testing accommodations on College Boards (SAT or AP exams) and Graduate School entry exams (i.e. GRE, LSAT) are available for any student with a documented disability.  Eligible disabilities include conditions such as vision impairment, physical disabilities, medical impairments, and learning disabilities.

To qualify for accommodations for a Learning Disability or ADHD, you must have the following:

  • A documented disability: This requires a psychoeducational or neuropsychological assessment, records from your IEP or 504 Plan, or a medical report.
  • A history of accommodations on school testing: This may be formal accommodations through an IEP or 504, or a documented history of receiving extended time or computer access for writing.
  • Evidence that participation on the exam is impacted: The nature of your difficulty must specifically impact you in the exam environment, i.e. if you have a hearing disability it would not impact your ability to take a written test.
  • Evidence that the requested accommodation is needed: In my experience, it is most important to document that the accommodation is necessary for the student to be able to participate in the exam, and this is best shown by a history of needing similar accommodations, formally or informally, throughout schooling.

Apply for Accommodations

  • College entrance exams: Visit the College Board website for more information on SAT and AP exams, including deadlines, requirements, and typical accommodations.
  • Graduate School – General: Visit the ETS website for more information about accommodations on the GMAT.
  • Business School: Visit this site for information about accommodations for the GMAT.
  • Law School: Visit this site for information about accommodations on the LSAT.
  • Other exams: Do a search for your school’s entrance exam and “students with disabilities” to find information specific to your test.

Contact me for more information about an assessment for testing accommodations.  A short consult can help you determine if pursuing accommodations is right for you, and then how to proceed.

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