SAT Testing Accommodations: Steps & Deadlines | Winward Academy


SAT Testing Accommodations: Steps and Deadlines

The College Board distributes and scores the SAT, PSAT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP exams. For these tests, College Board offers a variety of testing accommodations for students with learning disabilities.

The most frequently requested accommodations include the following:

  • Extended time
  • Large print (for visually impaired students)
  • Use of a computer for the essays
  • Small group setting

The process to apply can seem overwhelming, but the following steps and deadlines will help you understand what to submit and when.

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

College Board requires that a student’s request for accommodation meet the following criteria:

  • Documentation of the disability by a certified evaluator
  • Direct impact on College Board test performance due to disability
  • Inability to perform to potential without accommodation

Please note that the College Board may provide accommodations for one section of the exam (Reading, Writing & Language, Math, or Essay) but not on the entire test. Also, students receiving formal accommodations at their high schools will be automatically approved for similar accommodations on College Board tests.

Step 2: Consolidate Documentation

Approval for accommodation is only granted when applicants provide both of the following:

  1. Formal educational and/or neuropsychological testing conducted by a private neuropsychometrist or by a school official
    • Visual disabilities must have records within two years of the request
    • Medical or psychiatric conditions must have records within the past year of the request
    • Educational and neuropsychological assessments for learning disabilities must have records within the past five years
  2. Record of implementation of the requested accommodations in the student’s high school
Step 3: Apply for Accommodation

Once you’ve determined eligibility and have the two pieces of required documentation, you will complete the Student Eligibility Form (SEF). It is essentially the application to College Board that lists the student’s information, the description of the disability, the desired accommodations, and the documentation.

When this SEF is completed, you have two options to submit to College Board for review:

  1. Submit the SEF through a school official who already oversees the student’s accommodation plan.
  2. Submit the SEF independently without with school official’s assistance.
Step 4: Respond to any Additional Requests

It will take up to 7-8 weeks to hear back from College Board with the decision on the request for accommodations.

  • If you’re approved: College Board will mail an SSD Eligibility Letter. This letter will outline the specific accommodations that are approved and will provide an SSD code. The student must enter this SSD code when registering for any test provided by College Board.
  • If you’re denied: A family may appeal the College Board decision. However, any appeal should be accompanied by additional testing or evidence from the school or from a private evaluator to provide additional reason to grant the requested accommodation. It will take an additional 7-8 weeks to process the appeal.
Step 5: Use Accommodation

Once the accommodations are approved and you’ve registered for a test entering your SSD code, you’ll have the accommodations on test day. Always bring your SSD Eligibility Letter with you the day of the test, just in case.


2018-2019 College Board Test Dates & Deadlines

While College Board has deadlines to submit requests for accommodations, we recommend you submit the SEF as early as possible, even 6-12 months in advance. There is no reason to wait for the deadline, especially if you want to build in a buffer in case you need to appeal the decision.

College Board Test Test Date Documentation Deadline
PSAT/NMSQT October 2018 Dates August 21, 2018
SAT & SAT Subject Tests August 25, 2018 July 6, 2018
SAT & SAT Subject Tests October 6, 2018 August 17, 2018
SAT & SAT Subject Tests November 3, 2018 September 14, 2018
SAT & SAT Subject Tests December 1, 2018 October 12, 2018
PSAT 10 Late February 2019 December 14, 2018
SAT March 9, 2019 January 18, 2019
PSAT 10 April 2019 February 23, 2019
SAT & SAT Subject Tests May 4, 2019 March 15, 2019
AP Exams May 6-17, 2019 February 22, 2019
SAT & SAT Subject Tests June 1, 2019 April 12, 2019


If you’re looking for more information about ACT testing accommodations, you can check out the steps and deadlines for applying for extra time from ACT.


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Jennifer Winward, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Winward is a renowned college instructor, a distinguished 20-year veteran of high school tutoring, and the founder and lead instructor of Winward Academy. She earned her Ph.D. specializing in adolescent brain development and adolescent learning. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude with highest distinction honors. Dr. Winward has been widely recognized for her academic success, published research, and philanthropic efforts with awards from the President of the United States, the California State Assembly, Rotary International, the Marin County School Administrator Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Science Foundation.

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