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How to Navigate SAT Accommodations

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Even though there is a lot of uncertainty right now surrounding college standardized testing, it is important to know what SAT accommodations are available. This SAT accommodations guide will help you determine whether you qualify for an accommodation and will guide you step by step through the details. If you’re unsure if your child qualifies for any of these accommodations or have questions, our Charleston SAT tutor can help answer these questions. The first thing to look at is what accommodations are available.

Extended Time

The SAT is administered in 4 timed sections. Extended time refers to extra time given to students for whom that time limit places an undue burden. The most common forms of extended time are as follows: Time and a Half (50 percent more time), Double Time (100 percent more time), and More Time (somewhere greater than 6 hours). For Double Time and above, the test is given over two days and at a student’s school rather than at a designated SAT testing center. Students should request extended time if they have a disability or language barrier causes them to work at a slower pace than other students.

Extra/Extended Breaks

Traditionally, breaks between sections of the SAT run between 5-15 minutes. An Extended Breaks accommodation lengthens this time. Usually, Extended Breaks are packaged with Extended Time (Ex. double length breaks with Double Time). There can also be Extra Breaks provided. For example, after the Writing & Language section and before No Calculator Math Section. This is not a point where students usually have a break. Break accommodations are usually awarded to students who have a medical condition that makes extra time between sections necessary, such as needing to test for blood sugar or take medication.

Visual Accommodations

There are several different kinds of SAT accommodations for students with disabilities that require an alternative form to the test rather than the standard SAT booklet. These options include:

• Large-print test book

• Braille test book

• Braille graphs

• MP3 audio test format

• Reader (live person who reads test booklet aloud to student)

• Magnifier/magnifying machine

Usually, these accommodations are made for students who are blind, visually impaired, or have severe reading disabilities.

Test Taking Setting

There are SAT accommodations for students who need a different environment, not the standard classroom setting filled with other students. There are a variety of reasons students may be allowed to take the SAT in one of the alternative locations below:

  • Small group setting
  • Private room
  • Alternative test site (with proctor present)
  • Preferential seating at a regular test site
  • Specific room with wheelchair accessibility

These accommodations are typically handled on a case by case basis, if you have any questions either reach out to your school counselor or a Charleston SAT tutor at Attest to discuss what options will be available in your situation.

Documentation of Disability

In order to be granted an accommodation for the SAT, students need to provide up-to-date documentation from a doctor or medical health professional certifying their disability.

The Disability Directly Affects Taking The SAT

A student’s disability must hinder their ability to take the SAT specifically. Thus, accommodations are typically made for students that have trouble with reading, writing, and sitting in one place for an extended period of time. If you have a disability that is not deemed as an inhibitor to your SAT testing performance, you may not be eligible to apply for the accommodations mentioned above.

How to Apply?

The most efficient way to apply for an accommodation is by working with your school counselor. Since the vast majority of schools already have disability documentation on file for students, it makes the process simpler for your school to request accommodations on your behalf. Plus, your school will likely have a SSD Online coordinator for accessing the SSD Online Disability Accommodation Management System (SSD System) on College Board necessary for applying for SAT accommodations. Your parent or legal guardian will be obligated to sign a consent form available online that enables your school counselor to request this on your behalf. If you have any unanswered questions, you should contact either your school counselor or a representative from College Board for more details.

If you do not have a school counselor who can help you apply, you can submit a paper request directly to the college board. You will have to print the form on the college board’s website and mail or fax it in. The college board notifies students of their decisions by mail. A Charleston SAT tutor is also a great resource if you have any questions about accommodations or how to file the paperwork.

It’s more than a test, it’s your future. SAT and ACT scores are an important part of a student’s college application. If you think you might need accommodations it’s important that you take advantage of them. Don’t skip out on the opportunity if it’s a necessity and if you think it could impact your score.

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