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At a Glance: College Entrance Testing Accommodations

By Victoria Scanlan Stefanakos

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College entrance exams can be difficult for students with learning and attention issues. If your child is eligible, accommodations on the SAT or ACT can help. Here are four types of accommodations testing companies offer.

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At a Glance: College Entrance Testing Accommodations

College testing companies oer four types of accommodations. Your child may already use accommodations like these in school. But that doesn’t automatically mean he’ll be allowed to use them on the SAT or ACT. Application deadlines are about two months before your child’s test date. So be sure to start the process early.

Timing/Scheduling
Extended time: If your child works slowly, the SAT allows either 50% extra time (one long day, with breaks) or 100% extra time (7 hours total, taken over two days). The ACT offers 50% more time, too.
Scheduling: If your child needs breaks to concentrate, the SAT and ACT may permit testing over several days, and testing at a set time of day.

Presentation
Comfort is key to making sense of test questions. Large print is available on both the SAT and ACT. Both offer other aids including test readers, the use of audio, and having fewer items on each page.

Response
Filling out empty bubble sheets may feel overwhelming to your child. The SAT allows students to respond verbally. Students may also use a large block answer sheet, a digital recorder or a basic computer. Both the SAT and ACT let students record answers directly in their test booklet.

Setting
Distractions can derail some children with learning and attention issues. The SAT offers small group settings, private rooms, screens to block distractions, an alternative test site (with a proctor) and special seating.
Graphic of At a Glance: College Entrance Testing Accommodations
Graphic of At a Glance: College Entrance Testing Accommodations

About the Author

Portrait of Victoria Scanlan Stefanakos

Victoria Scanlan Stefanakos is a writer and editor for many national publications.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Jenn Osen Foss

Jenn Osen-Foss, M.A.T., is an instructional coach, supporting teachers in using differentiated instruction, interventions and co-planning.

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