If your child doesn’t get accommodations or is just a lousy test taker, all is not lost. Many schools do not require standardized tests: Community colleges don’t look at them, and hundreds of four-year schools are also making them optional.
For a list of test-optional schools, go to FairTest.org.
By Valle Dwight
Students with learning disabilities are going to college in record numbers, and the first step in that process is often standardized college admission tests. If your high schooler has a learning disability and is on an IEP, you might think that he’d automatically qualify for accommodations on such tests as the SAT and ACT. But it ain’t necessarily so.
Accommodations on admission tests can include extra time, larger print, frequent breaks, and preferential seating, all of which may be necessary to even the playing field for teenagers with learning issues. But to get them, students must prove that they (a) have a learning disability and (b) need the accommodations.
At the College Board, some 70,000 students request accommodations each year, according to Steven Pereira, executive director of the association's Services for Students With Disabilities. Usually 80% to 85% are granted their request. In many cases, proving the disability and need is straightforward, but not always, he says. “A lot of factors weigh in,” Pereira says.
Experts agree that the key to getting accommodations is time and documentation.
“You have to be on top of this early,” says Julieta Contreras, a tutor at Chyten Tutors and Test Preparation in Scottsdale, Ariz. She adds that parents have to get involved to make sure the school and student are working on the application early enough. “Usually in high school, parents stop going into school, but this is a time they need to start advocating for their child, even if the kids are resistant.”
Contreras suggests starting the process by the end of sophomore year, and Pereira says that freshman year is not too early.
Sign up for our free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.