In Accommodations, Uncategorized

Accessing SAT/ACT Testing Accommodations

Old school SAT

The new SAT will be completely digital.

Recent Changes to SAT

There are many changes ahead for Colorado students taking the SAT this year.

Take your testing to the next level.

The most significant change is the digital administration of a test in pencil and paper format since 1926. Our partners, at TPAPT, offer support in preparations and acclimations to the new test.

One thing that has remained the same is access to test accommodations. College Board, the authors of SAT, and ACT provide testing accommodations for eligible students.

Accessing SAT/ACT Testing Accommodations

Your school counselor/case manager will likely apply for accommodations on your behalf if your young person has been previously identified as eligible for accommodations. If you attend a private school or are homeschooled, the process will require some parent prompting and advocacy. Parents can engage with College Board to request appropriate accommodations in the case that school staff are not available to support this process.

Your request may be presented to your school counselor or case manager. You can make the request yourself if your young person has not been identified and is not currently receiving formal or informal accommodations. The process will take time and may not meet your young person’s testing timeline. A clinical evaluation can provide the documentation required for school and testing accommodations. This process can take a few weeks dependent upon the clinician’s availability and may cost a few or even several thousand dollars. Universities and your health care network may offer more affordable options but scheduling may require six to nine months.

High School Tutoring ServicesCriteria for SAT/ACT Accommodations

Both ACT and College Board hold criteria for testing accommodations. This includes the documented use of similar accommodations at school for a minimum of six months. The testing agencies look for detailed diagnostic evaluations conducted within the last several years. Many students who are engaged in the process of accommodations eligibility may take their first test without accommodations in the spring of their Junior year and take later tests in the summer and fall of their senior year with approved accommodations. There is no indication in the score results that the student took the test with accommodations.

The Seven Basic Criteria

  1. The diagnosis is clearly stated.
  2. The information is current.
  3. The student’s educational, developmental, and medical history is presented.
  4. The diagnosis is supported.
  5. The functional limitation is described.
  6. The recommended accommodations are justified.
  7. The evaluators’ professional credentials are established.

Consider the above criteria if you are considering your young person’s eligibility for testing accommodations. Do they benefit from direct accommodations or are you seeking a strategy to create an advantage and increase SAT/ACT performance? 

Types of Accommodations

Most testing accommodations are provided within a separate and generally smaller group setting. Some students eligible for accommodations may impulsively waive them on the day of the test based on being asked to sit in an alternate space.

Extra time on classroom tests is one of the most common accommodations. Many students struggle to complete standardized tests in the allotted minutes, and research has found that having more time can raise scores for students who have a decent grasp of the test material, whether or not they have a disability. (NYT, 7/30/19) Students may find that without extended time, they cannot complete the entire test. Extended time can create a significant advantage.

Other accommodations are intended to address the needs of focus or perceptual challenges such as more frequent breaks, and large print materials. Students with physical challenges may have access to writing technology or a scribe.

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Use of SAT/ACT Accommodations Before & During the Test

This will be the topic of our upcoming workshop, Use of SAT/ACT Accommodations Before & During the Test.

We will discuss accommodation strategies relevant to both test preparation and within the test setting.

  • Building Stamina
  • Focus Strategies
  • Pros and Cons of Extended Time
  • Stress Management and Visualization Techniques

Contact Just2 Educational Services today for more information about testing accommodations and access to our clinical evaluation referral list.


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