A majority of colleges still require standardized test results as part of the application process. For students with documented learning differences, the College Board and the ACT offer specific accommodations with similar requirements. Colleges are not told that an applicant has received testing accommodations, so students should not hesitate to submit a request.
Students must provide detailed official evidence of their disability. This includes a disability diagnosis by a credentialed professional and official evidence of the impact the disability has had on the applicant’s school performance. Ideally, students and parents should meet with their school coordinator in the spring of their sophomore year to review the entire process, but no later than fall of junior year.
Here are the basic steps to follow:
Applicants complete the Student Eligibility Form. This detailed and complex form may negate the requirements for the lengthy evaluation or school-based accommodations plan. Approval may take from 1-5 weeks, or longer. Apply in early fall and you should receive a decision by December. The decision letter indicates which accommodations have been approved, and students must enter the SSD code, provided with the decision letter, when registering for all official test dates. This approval covers all College Board testing for all future testing dates. Accommodations requested can include Braille, large-print exams, use of a computer, extra breaks or a quiet room. Students should bring their SSD Eligibility Letters with them on test days.
Students must first register for an ACT test date online. During the registration process, students indicate which type of accommodations they are applying for and after submitting their registration, the ACT system will send an email with detailed instructions on the next steps.
The student’s school coordinator, together with the applicant, will submit the detailed online request through the Test Accessibility and Accommodations System (TAA). The form is far less detailed than the College Board’s form, and students should assume that they will need to submit all their documentation – the evaluation and school-based education plan – for the complete ACT review process.
The ACT accommodations review process typically takes about 6 weeks. Approval for National Extended Time is indicated on the registration ticket. This approval covers all subsequent test dates and must be supplied during the registration process. The coordinator also receives the Special Testing decision and will work with the student to make the appropriate arrangements. There are appeal processes in place if a request has been denied for either test.
To learn more about College Planning,
Call Us at (626)-821-9181 to Schedule a FREE College Planning Consultation!