If you’ve been diagnosed with a learning disability, you may want to consider requesting special accommodations when you take the SAT or ACT. Depending on your learning disability, accommodations could include extended time to complete the test, testing over multiple days, access to an audio DVD, or a specific seating arrangement. Students with ADHD, for example, may be able to take the test with extended time in a room with fewer students. There’s no additional charge to complete an accommodated test, and because college admissions committees don’t know when tests were taken under modified circumstances, you shouldn’t hesitate to request accommodations if you need them.
To request an accommodated test, work with your school’s Special Education Coordinator. The process is fairly simple, but timing is really important. Be aware that if you register for the SAT or ACT before you’ve been approved for accommodations, you’ll be registered to complete the test under standard conditions. And if you happen to receive accommodations after you’ve completed the testing, you can’t go back and cancel your scores after the published score cancellation deadline. To receive accommodated testing, you’ll need to complete a separate application and, depending on the date of your most recent assessment and your specific learning difference, you may need to provide additional documentation from your school or medical provider. Just remember to begin this process as early as possible. It may take time to track down the appropriate documentation. And if you’re denied accommodations by the College Board, you’ll want plenty of time for the appeal process.
Check back tomorrow. I’ll review the procedure you need to follow to receive accommodations for the ACT or ACT.
Heather Creech, M.A. CCC-SLP