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Securing SAT and ACT Accommodations for Your College Bound Student

SAT and ACT testing seems to be a year-round past time for high school Junior and Seniors. SAT Subject Matter Tests and AP exams are coming up in May for Seniors. Also, Juniors are scheduling their first SAT and ACT for the spring 2017 test dates. Both the Educational Testing Service and the College Board provide accommodations for students with disabilities. These accommodations may include extra time, extra breaks, use of a computer, and reading and seeing accommodations for eligible students. A full list of available accommodations can be found on the Educational Testing Service for ACT tests and College Board websites.

Requests for Accommodations for College Board’s SAT, PSAT 10, PSAT/NMSQT, SAT Subject tests and AP exams must be made at least seven (7) weeks prior to the scheduled test date: The Accommodation Request Deadline for all spring 2017 College Board exams is February 17, 2017.

Educational Testing Services suggests that all requests for accommodations be made at least 3 to 4 weeks prior to a scheduled ACT exam.

Accommodation requests for the College Board exams must be made through its Services for Students with Disabilities. They recommend working with your school’s testing accommodation coordinator when requesting accommodations (although parents/students can request accommodations directly with the Services for Students with Disabilities). In December, the College Board announced an overhaul of its process for disabled students requesting testing accommodations. The overhaul will make it easier for disabled students to receive the needed support on College Board assessments.

Similarly, this past summer, the Education Testing Service changed its procedures for requesting accommodations. Parents can no longer make requests for accommodation on behalf of their students. Rather, ACT accommodations requests must be made through your student’s guidance counselor, using a new Educational Testing Services on-line system. Your student’s guidance counselor will also submit the required supporting documentation for you. The Education Testing Service processes accommodations requests faster than the College Board. Nevertheless, allowing extra time for submitting additional information and/or appealing denials of accommodations requests with both testing services is always recommended.

The Special Education Team at McDowell, Posternock, Apell and Detrick has helped college bound high school students with disabilities successfully secure appropriate and necessary testing accommodations, even after multiple denials. These accommodations have included extended time (both time and a half and double time), use of a computer, extra breaks and even special testing accommodations for more complex disabilities. These accommodations have placed our clients on a level playing field with their non-disabled peers, allowing our clients to demonstrate their full potential to prospective colleges.

For additional information on or assistance with both College Board and Educational Testing Service accommodations requests, contact the Special Education Team at McDowell, Posternock, Apell and Detrick, P.C. at 656-242-8151.