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:
- 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
- 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:
- Submit the SEF through a school official who already oversees the student’s accommodation plan.
- 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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