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How to Get Extra Time on Tests (Or Other Special Accommodations)



If you are a:

  • high school student planning to take the GED, PSAT, SAT, ACT, or NMSQT, or
  • college or postgraduate student planning to take the LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, State Bar Examination, or other test, AND
  • you feel you need extra time or other special accommodations in order to be successful,

this article will tell you what you need to know.

If you’re in the New York City area, call me today to schedule an evaluation! You’ll need to submit documentation from a qualified professional with your accommodation request.

Here are some commonly asked questions about receiving extra time or other accommodations for standardized tests.

What does the law say about how to get extra time on tests?

Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), testing entities must provide accommodations to individuals with disabilities who have difficulty taking timed tests.

Why is this the law? According to the ADA — and as you may know from experience — standardized tests are “gateways to educational and employment opportunities”. You can’t make it too far in your education without having to take standardized tests.

Whether seeking admission to a high school, college, or graduate program, or attempting to obtain a professional license or certification for a trade, it is difficult to achieve such goals without sitting for some kind of standardized exam or high-stakes test.

The ADA was created to ensure that individuals with disabilities are entitled to equal opportunities as individuals without. And that’s why special accommodations are offered.

That said, you still have to prove that you need accommodations.

How do I prove that I need accommodations?

To prove that you need extra time or other testing accommodations, you’ll need to submit a request with documentation showing that you have a disability and that disability will make it difficult for you to take a timed test.

You may also be required to show proof of past testing accommodations.

What kinds of disabilities qualify me for accommodations?

Physical disabilities or learning disabilities that affect your ability to successfully complete a timed standardized test will qualify you for accommodations. These include ADD, ADHD, processing speed disorders, a reading disorder (Dyslexia), writing or math disorders, anxiety and other emotional disorders, memory disorders, and more.

What types of accommodations are available?

Common accommodations include extra time for testing, testing in a separate proctored exam room, stop-the-clock breaks during testing, reduced distraction testing environments, and the use of a computer for written portions.

What type of professional do I need to see?

You’ll need to have an up-to-date diagnosis from a qualified professional. This professional should be licensed and/or credentialed, and have expertise in the disabilities you’re requesting accommodation for.

I specialize in evaluating students for testing accommodations based upon learning disabilities such as:

What type of tests or evaluations do I need to submit with my request?

The professional you see will perform a number of tests to determine whether you have a disability that will qualify you for accommodations, and you will submit the documentation with your request.

My comprehensive evaluation includes a Neuropsychological Assessment which determines cognitive functioning. Cognitive functioning is anything that helps a person learn, such as reasoning, memory, attention, language, etc.

The Neuropsychological Assessment includes:

  • IQ testing
  • Educational testing – reading, writing, math
  • Executive functioning — helps you plan, organize, and complete tasks
  • Memory
  • Emotional functioning — awareness, expression, and regulation of emotions
  • Attention
  • Auditory learning
  • Visual-spatial learning

Will it be indicated on my test scores that I received accommodations?

That used to be the case, but not anymore. So for example, if you’re taking the SAT for college admission or the LSAT for law school admission, it will not be indicated on your scores that you tested with special accommodations.

So there you go. If you have any other questions about how to get extra time on tests or other special accommodations, please contact me and I’d be happy to discuss them with you!

Schedule your assessment today!

(featured image source: Wikimedia Commons)