The College Board provides accommodations to SAT test-takers with disabilities. Some of the SAT accommodations include extended time, using a computer on the essay and short-answer questions, extended breaks, using a four-function calculator and more. This article explains the SAT accommodations, who might qualify and how to request them.
Extended Time SAT Accommodation
What is extended time?
- Students with disabilities that cause them to work slowly can receive extended time on the three-hour SAT. The amount of additional time ranges from 50% (4.5 hours total), to 100% (6 hours) to rare circumstances of 150% (7.5 hours).
- Students can also request extended time for specific sections that test competencies related to their disability.
Who might qualify for extended time?
- The College Board states that “students should request extended time only if their disability causes them to work more slowly than other students.”
- Students must have a documented disability. Students receiving extended time oftentimes have learning disabilities such as ADHD.
- In most cases students must already receive extended time for tests they take at school.
Computer SAT Accommodation
What is the computer accommodation?
- Students with disabilities that “impact their ability to read and write” can request permission to use a computer for the SAT essay and short-answer responses, without word processor aids like spell-check and grammar-check.
Who might qualify for computer usage?
- “The computer accommodation is appropriate for students who have a disability that impacts their written language expression,” according to the College Board.
- Students must have a documented disability. Students receiving this accommodation often have “physical disabilities that impair the ability to write”, Dysgraphia or “severe language-based learning disorders,” according to the College Board.
- In most cases students must already be approved to use computers for tests they take at school.
Extra and Extended Breaks SAT Accommodation
What are extra extended breaks?
- All SAT test-takers have a five-minute break in between sections. Students who receive extended breaks have twice the time in between sections, totalling about 10 minutes.
- Students can also receive breaks as needed throughout the test, including breaks during sections.
Who might qualify for extra and extended breaks?
- “Extra and extended breaks are appropriate for students who cannot test for an extended period of time,” according to the College Board.
- Students must have a documented disability. Students receiving this accommodation often require breaks for medication, to use the restroom, to take blood sugar or to rest. Additionally, extra and extended breaks might help students with ADHD.
- In most cases students must already be approved to take extra or extended breaks during tests they take at school.
Reading and Seeing SAT Accommodations
What are reading and seeing accommodations?
- Reading and seeing accommodations include of a large print test book, a Braille test book, Braille graphs, an audio test format, a reader and a magnifier/magnifying machine.
Who might qualify for reading and seeing accommodations?
- Students must have a documented disability that affects their ability to read the contents of the SAT as formatted.
- In most cases students must already be approved to use one of the aforementioned reading aids/ substitutes for tests at school.
Four-Function Calculator SAT Accommodation
What is the four-function calculator accommodation?
- This accommodation allows students a calculator that performs addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square-root and percent during the otherwise no-calculator portion of the Math Test.
Who might qualify for the four-function calculator accommodation?
- This accommodation “ is appropriate for students who have a disability that impacts their ability to perform mathematical calculations,” according to the College Board.
- Students must have a documented learning disability, including an impairment in mathematics or dyscalculia.
- In most cases students must already be approved to use a four-function calculator when otherwise not permitted on tests at school.
How to Request Accommodations
While parents may submit requests for testing accommodations directly to the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), the College Board recommends that families submit them through their schools instead. Here are the steps to request extended time through your school.
- Identify the SSD Coordinator at your child’s school. This is the person who submits accommodation requests to the College Board.
- The parent or guardian must sign the Parent Consent Form (PDF) and give it to the SSD Coordinator.
- If not already in the school’s possession, provide the SSD with documentation that shows evidence of the following, per the College Board:
- The disability
- The degree to which the student’s activities are affected (functional limitation)
- The need for the specific accommodations requested
- The SSD Coordinator at your school may notify you that there are additional questions about the documentation related your child’s need for accommodations.
- The SSD Coordinator at your school submits the request and ensures that no additional documentation is needed.
- The student and SSD Coordinator are notified by the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities when a decision is made.
- For more about the process of submitting a request through your child’s school, go here.