SAT Tip of the Week: Understanding and Utilizing Testing Accommodations on the SAT

SAT Tip of the Week - FullHigh school students want to be as prepared as possible when it’s time to sit down and take the SAT exam. Some students, however, may find themselves less prepared than others – especially if they have a physical disability, medical condition, or learning disability might wonder about the actual process of taking the test. Will they be able to get the assistance they need to do their best on the SAT? The answer is yes.

When it comes to the SAT, testing accommodations are available for students who truly need them. It’s a good idea for students in need of testing accommodations to make their requests as soon as possible so that the College Board has ample time to evaluate the details each request. Let’s examine the process of getting SAT testing accommodations as well as some of the resources available to high school students in need of them:

Who Is Eligible for SAT Accommodations?
In order to be eligible for SAT testing accommodations, a student must have a documented disability. Some examples of medical conditions and disabilities that may qualify a student for testing accommodations are diabetes, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, blindness, deafness, and some learning disabilities.

When the College Board considers a student’s request for testing accommodations, the members look at whether the student uses accommodations in classes at school. The basic question to consider is, “Does the student’s condition impact their ability to take the SAT?” If so, the request for testing accommodations is likely to be approved. For example, if a person has a disability that doesn’t allow them to sit for long periods of time, an accommodation may be made for that student to take a break during the exam. Or a student who is blind can request a Braille test book or even an audio version of the SAT.

Examples of Testing Accommodations for the SAT
The type of testing accommodations a student receives depends on their disability or condition. The Braille test booklet and audio test mentioned above are two examples of SAT testing accommodations. A student who is partially blind may request a magnifying machine or even a test book featuring large print. Alternatively, a student with a documented learning disability may receive an extended amount of time to complete the SAT, while a student with diabetes may be able to pause during the test to take a blood sugar reading or eat something to correct a fluctuation in blood sugar levels without being penalized for stopping the timer on the test. The accommodations given fit the individual situations of each student with a disability or medical condition.

How to Arrange for SAT Accommodations
Getting a testing accommodation for the SAT requires a student to submit a request in writing – they can do this with the help of their guidance counselor at school by submitting the request online. This request must include documentation from the student’s doctor as well as an explanation from the student as to how their disability or condition affects the test-taking process.

How Long Does it Take to Be Approved for SAT Accommodations?
It takes approximately seven weeks for the College Board to review all of a student’s documentation, so if you are a student who requires an SAT accommodation, it would be best to send all of your information in as early as possible. If there is a document missing or the board has a question for you regarding your situation, it’s likely to take longer to approve the request. Students interested in getting accommodations for the SAT should also be sure to note the deadlines for making a request and to submit their information for these requests well in advance.

At Veritas Prep, we provide valuable SAT preparation courses to students who want to submit their best work on this important exam. Each of our professional tutors scored in the top one percent of all students taking the exam, so the strategies and test-taking tips given to Veritas Prep students are coming directly from the experts! Call our offices at Veritas Prep today and learn how our convenient tutoring options can help you do your best on the test.

Are you trying to decide whether to take the SAT or the ACT? Register for our upcoming free online SAT vs. ACT Workshop to gain a better understanding of each test and decide which one is right for you. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

How to Take the GMAT with a Disability

As the world’s fastest-growing GMAT prep company, we often receive questions from test takers who want to know how they can take the GMAT with a disability. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the organization that runs the GMAT, is committed to providing access to the exam to test takers with a variety of disabilities. While it can be hard to find, GMAC has a page on its web site that contains most of what you need to know if you have a disability and are considering taking the GMAT.

That page provides a general overview of how to register for the exam and request specific accomodations if you have a disability. Also, be sure to read this document: Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities. GMAC will accomodate you if any of these disabilities apply to you:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Physical or Systemic Disabilities
  • Psychiatric Disabilities
  • Deafness or Hard-of-Hearing Disabilities
  • Blindness or Low-Vision Disabilities

If you fall into one of the above camps, GMAC and Pearson VUE (the company that runs the test centers where you will take the GMAT) can make a variety of accommodations. including giving you more time on the exam (up to 100% more time), extended rest breaks during the exam, a reader who can read test questions aloud to you, or enlarged fonts on the computer screen. Overall, GMAC wants the GMAT to measure your true ability, and does not want it to be clouded by a disability that you may have.

If you want to get a feel for the real GMAT exam and see how you will do under timed testing conditions, try Veritas Prep’s free practice GMAT exam.