How To Get ACT and SAT Accommodations

Posted 2 years ago in HEALTH EATING.

It can be pretty complicated for parents trying to figure out the best way to obtain ACT and SAT accommodations for ADHD.

How To Get ACT and SAT Accommodations

How To Get ACT and SAT Accommodations For ADHD, Part 1

however, Judith Bass makes it seem easy and (almost) simple in this series of two parts.

The mere idea of standardized tests can create stress and anxiety for children with ADHD and sometimes parents. The most complex and overwhelming is figuring out how to obtain ACT and SAT accommodations for ADHD.

There are many concerns:

  1. What do you need to know about when to apply and what you should do to apply?
  2. How can you tell whether or not you should use all?
  3. Would it be better for colleges to allow students to take an SAT and the ACT with no accommodations?
  4. Which test is the best test that matches your child's learning method?
  5. Does extended time always represent the best choice for students who have ADHD?

The following information will give you an understanding of testing accommodations to help you feel less intimidated by the test.

Do Colleges Know When a Student has Used Accommodations?

In 2003 and 2003 in 2003, the College Board (SAT) and the ACT decided to end their "flagging" of non-standard testing since it discriminated against students who are disabled. Since then, the colleges have not had any method of determining who uses longer testing times. All tests, whether taken in standard or non-standard conditions - are evaluated the same way.

Are Accommodations Fair?

Many claims that it's an unfair advantage for students with ADHD to be given additional time. But, a study conducted by the College Board in 2003 showed that students who didn't require extra time improved their scores by not more than ten percentage points for Verbal (CR) and 20 percent in Math when given extended time. On the other hand, students diagnosed with learning disabilities had their scores increase to an average of for verbal (CR) and 38 points in Math when given extended time.

Accommodations are designed to create a level playing field for students who cannot focus for a prolonged period or have to move around to recover focus and focus. The goal test is to help students show their understanding and not to demonstrate how quickly they work. As parents, it is not your responsibility to defend your children's rights to access the accommodations to which they are entitled.

What Accommodations Are Available?

The most commonly used accommodations for students who have ADHD are:


  1. 50% longer time
  2. Extended time 100% (over two days)
  3. Answers to test book
  4. Small group setting
  5. Computers are used to write essays.
  6. Additional breaks (5 minutes) in addition to the standard breaks
  7. Extra breaks (10 minutes)


  1. 50% longer time
  2. Extended time 100% (over several days)
  3. Testing multiple days (3-week time frame)
  4. Answers in the test book
  5. Distraction-reduced setting
  6. The use of computers for writing essays

Which Accommodations to Request?

It is essential to consider what the child with ADHD needs instead of merely asking for a 50% longer duration. The objective is to identify the appropriate accommodations for the student, not just the diagnosis.

For instance, students who have attention-deficit ADHD may require extended duration because they lose focus and require "mental breaks" during the test. On the other hand, students who have hyperactive ADHD may be able to complete each portion within the time frame but may require extended breaks to unwind and get moving. If your child has trouble following directions, you may request that they complete the test booklet instead of using their Scantron (bubble) questionnaire.

What is Multiple Day Testing, and How Does it Work?

Another option is testing multiple days offered by the ACT. It is specifically designed for students who have ADHD and have trouble staying awake for any duration. When you register on the internet for the ACT, then select "Yes" to the question regarding accommodations requested and pick "Special Testing." The complete registration will trigger an email to the school counsellor of your child, and they will then be able to submit an online application to request accommodations for your child.

Here's how it goes after it's accepted:

  1. The student will take the ACT at her school with an official proctor.
  2. There is a 3-week period to finish the ACT
  3. The tests have to be completed in the specified sequence
  4. The student can assemble each part of the ACT on an alternate day

It offers opportunities that are not limited to those who require extended time and students who don't need ample time but do best in a shorter focused period. It also permits students with a weak memory to go through every section of the ACT separately and focus on a single subject at once. Students who could not sit for 5 hours and 45 minutes, regardless of breaks, can also benefit from the multiple-day option. When the student has completed their test, they are permitted to go out of the testing area.

How Does Extended Time Work?

How extended time is handled is a crucial aspect to be considered by students who have ADHD. When taking the SAT, students will be given extra time in each segment, and once they have finished, they have to wait until the entire time has passed for that section before proceeding to the next one. It can be highly frustrating for those with ADHD who cannot sit still for extended lengths of time. It can also cause fatigue since students take the final section of the test around 3 1/2 hours after they begin. This SAT extended-time test lasts four hours and 30 minutes, minus the optional essay. If students require an extended period, the test will be administered at the student's home school for two days. The duration of ample time at 100% is six hours.

For the ACT, extended time tests are self-paced and are the best alternative for students who have ADHD. Students can utilize their time in a manner that is most beneficial to them. You can double the time in the math section, for instance, and take advantage of the expected timing for the Reading section. If the student can finish in less than five hours, they will still need to sit for the test, but they don't need to re-train to take more tests.


For children with ADHD or other issues requiring executive functions, being provided with ACT and SAT accommodations will enable them to show their abilities fairly.

Based on the revised guidelines for both the SAT Based on the revised criteria for both the SAT and ACT and ACT, it's easier to obtain accommodations for both tests than it was previously. Suppose your child is a beneficiary of an IEP or 504 Plan or accommodations Plan or Accommodations Plan. In that case, the accommodations requested must be approved based on the services they receive in the school. If the request is rejected, you can appeal with additional documentation, and you should give enough time. If it's granted, you'll be able to tell that your child required it!

In any case, the accommodations offer a chance to let the child shine. You might be amazed by the outcomes.

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Tags: ADHD, Health, SAT, Act,

Jack Ryan

Living in United States