Know your standardized testing accommodation options and deadlines early – as early as freshman year of high school.
SAT and ACT Testing Accommodations – Frequently Asked Questions
When should accommodations be requested?
- For accommodation for sophomore PSAT or PLAN, requests should be made spring of freshman year.
- If accommodations are not needed for tests given in the fall of sophomore year of high school, accommodation requests should be made in the spring of sophomore year.
Who submits the request?
- The school disability coordinator or guidance counselor – When making the request, the counselor should be specific about what the student needs.
What must be included in the request?
- Evidence of a professionally diagnosed disability and documentation proving how the student’s limitation impacts both daily functioning and the ability to take standardized tests Formal psychological testing for the ACT must be no more than 3 years old. Formal psychological testing for the SAT must be no more than 5 years old. Generally, testing should be repeated for students when they are 16 as the tests are then given on the adult scale.
What are the differences between the extended time accommodations for the SAT and the ACT?
50% Extended Time:
- SAT: Time and a half is given per section. The student must wait for the time to expire for each section before moving on to the next – The full-time spent on the test is 1.5 times as long as it would be without accommodations.
- ACT: Student self-paces through the test, going on to the next section at his or her own pace. The test ends when he student finishes OR when the 1.5 time has expired.
100% Extended Time / Special Testing at school (typically for students with more severe deficiencies than ADHD)
- ACT – The student takes one section per day. He/she is given double the standard time for each section. For example, English would be 90 minutes, Math would be 2 hours etc.
When will I hear if the accommodation has been granted?
- ACT Response Time: about 4 weeks
- SAT Response Time: about 7 weeks
Who grants a higher percentage of accommodation requests – ACT or College Board (SAT)?
When accommodations are approved, what tests do they include?
- College Board Accommodations Include: SAT, PSAT, AP Exams
- ACT Accommodations Include: ACT, PLAN
EDNaviagators suggests that students with disabilities get the wheels in motion for accommodations spring of freshman year of high school. Have the request submitted before the end of freshman year.
Submit requests to both College Board and ACT since the only way to know which test is better for the student is for the student to take full practice tests of each.
Since these guidelines and procedures are subject to change, it is always best to confirm with the official websites:
Services for Students with Disabilities: The College Board
Services for Students with Disabilities: ACT
Sandy Aprahamian, Independent Educational Consultant, EDNavigators