Can my child get accommodations for AP testing?

Q. Can kids get testing accommodations on AP exams like they do with PSATs and SATs? If so, can you walk me through what I need to do?

A. Yes, it’s definitely possible to get on an AP exam. There are two routes you can take to get them.

Has your child already qualified for accommodations on the SAT or PSAT? If so, then they’re already approved for AP exams. That’s because the College Board administers all three of these tests: the SAT, PSAT, and AP exams.

If your child hasn’t applied yet for accommodations on any of these tests, they can apply for them on their own. But this process can be confusing.

My advice is to ask the school to do it for you. The school’s coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) can submit the required paperwork. This person may be a special educator, guidance director, or a counselor.

If your child’s request for accommodations is approved, they’ll be given an SSD number. They need to use this number every time they register to take tests that are given by the College Board.

For AP tests, your child will also need to notify their school to get approval for accommodations. The school will need to make proper arrangements to provide the accommodations.

I highly recommend applying for accommodations as early as possible. Ninth or tenth grade would be great. I also recommend starting this process as early in the school year as possible.

That’s because once you or the school submit the accommodations request, it can take seven weeks to be approved. And those seven weeks don’t include the time it takes to get all the materials required to submit the request. That process can take several weeks too.

AP tests take place in May. So to be safe, it’s good for you or for the school to try to submit all the documentation the College Board needs by mid-February.


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