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Accommodations for SAT, ACT and Other College Board Exams

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Students with learning or other disabilities may be eligible to have accommodations when taking the PSAT, SAT, and AP tests.

How does a student need to qualify for testing accommodations?

To qualify, a student must 1) have a documented disability 2) show that taking the College Board exams will be impacted by the disability 3) prove the accommodation requested is needed and 4) already use the requested accommodation on school tests.  Often if a student has an IEP or 504 Plan in place, the same accommodations they receive in school will be approved for use during the College Board Exams.  However, if the accommodations are used without prior approval from the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), the student scores will be canceled.

To apply for adaptations to the College Board tests, a student needs to send a request and all documentation to SSD at least seven weeks before the testing date.  While a parent can apply for a student, it is generally easier and more effective to have the high school guidance counselor apply.  In addition to the application, SSD will need documentation of the disability and how it will impact the student when taking the SAT or other College Board exam.  Testing should be less than five years old and usually includes an educational, developmental and medical history documenting the severity and the effects of the diagnosis.  When a student applies to the school and has an IEP or a 504 Plan, there is generally less required documentation.

The student will also include which accommodations he/she is requesting and why they are necessary for the testing.  Some of the modifications that can be utilized are an extended time, large print, longer/more frequent breaks, small group setting, use of a reader, audio test format, and/or the use of a calculator.

Once a student is notified of approval for accommodations through SSD, they do not need to re-apply.  The student will be given an SSD number to use when registering for future tests.  The approval is effective until one year after graduation for the SAT, SAT subject tests, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and AP Exams.

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