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Testing Accommodations: A How-to Guide

Students with physical or learning disabilities may be eligible for special accommodations when taking standardized tests. Applying for testing accommodations is an extra step in the testing process and takes time, so planning ahead is crucial. Students who have a professionally diagnosed condition and who make use of special accommodations in their daily school activities and exams are likely eligible for testing accommodations. If your child falls into this category and is planning to take the PSAT, SAT, or ACT next year, start the application process now to ensure that everything is in order on test day.

Available adjustments to the test setting include (but are not limited to):

  • Seating that allows a student to lip read
  • A printed copy of spoken directions
  • Large-text test copies
  • Access to medicine or snacks to cope with a medical condition
  • Extended time

How to apply:

  • Contact your student's school counselor. In most cases, students receive these special accommodations directly through their schools. Students or parents who need to submit a request without the school's involvement may visit collegeboard.com to obtain a Student Eligibility Form.
  • Submit any necessary additional documentation that demonstrates: 1) your child has a disability that will hinder his or her ability to succeed on the test; and 2) the requested accommodations are appropriate for that disability.

Note: The PSAT accommodations review process takes about seven weeks. It is recommended that students submit accommodation application materials the spring before taking the test.

Information furnished by collegeboard.com. For additional information on testing accommodations, visit Testing Accommodations.

Accommodations are similar to what is offered for the PSAT, including (but not limited to):

  • Non-standard formats (such as Braille, large type, etc.)
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • An exam reader
  • Extended time
  • Extended breaks

How to apply:

  • Ask your child's school counselor for a Student Eligibility Form, and complete it. The school may also need to complete a portion of the form.
  • Submit the form in the spring before your student's first College Board test.

Once your child receives his or her eligibility letter, submit registration materials, including the necessary information outlined in the letter.

Note: Review takes about seven weeks from receipt of the application. Eligibility deadlines are earlier than SAT registration deadlines, so keep an eye on the calendar. If your student has received accommodations for the PSAT, however, those accommodations will automatically be in place for the SAT. If your student needs different accommodations, or his or her original request was denied, visit collegeboard.com for the appropriate forms and instructions. These processes will most likely be done through your student's counseling office.

Information furnished by collegeboard.com. For additional information on SAT testing accommodations, visit studypoint.com.

Extended time and alternate test formats are available for students who:

  • Have a professionally diagnosed condition and documentation on file at school
  • Normally use more than time and a half for school tests
  • Normally use alternate test formats, such as Braille, a reader, etc.

To learn what type of testing is best for your student, visit act.org.

How to apply:

  • Visit act.org to find out if your child qualifies.
  • Submit the documentation outlined on the website to ACT for review.
  • Once all documentation has been submitted and reviewed, the student will receive notification of which accommodations were approved and what testing site will be able to provide those accommodations.

Note: After the application materials are in, the ACT may contact your child's school for additional documentation. To ensure completion of all steps before the test date, get your student's application materials in as early as possible.

Information furnished by act.org. Visit studypoint.com for more information on ACT testing accommodations.

Preparation: The Best Accommodation
If your child is receiving testing accommodations on the official test day, it's important that those same accommodations are in place for his or her test prep as well. Whether your child is working independently through a test-prep guidebook, participating in a classroom program, or working with a private tutor, your child's test prep should be adapted to suit his or her unique needs. If he or she is receiving extended time on test day, then extra time should be provided for any proctored or practice tests. For example, if your child is receiving a large-type test booklet on test day, then it's important that any practice exams he or she takes are also printed in large type. Large print and other alternate formats of the College Board's The Official SAT Study Guide can be obtained by contacting their Services for Students with Disabilities Department at 844-255-7728. For information on alternate format prep materials for the ACT, contact ACT Special Testing at 319-337-1332.

If you have any further questions about testing accommodations, we're here to help! Feel free to reach out to one of our Enrollment Consultants at 1-87STUDYPOINT or visit our Tutoring Resource Center for more information about all three exams.

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