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Everything You Need to Know About Extra Time for Standardized Tests

There’s a reason everyone has nightmares about failing tests or showing up late to them in their underwear. Schools hype them up a big deal, the results of tests like the SAT are critical to getting into a good college, which in turn secures you a career…the list goes on and on.
However, people with disabilities struggle with these tests even more and need accommodations to do their best work. But what are these accommodations, and how can you get them? Well, you’re in luck. We’re here to break down everything you need to know about extra time for standardized tests! So without further ado, let’s begin!

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The Flaws of Standardized Tests

People with disabilities like ADHD, dyslexia, or impaired motor functions perform worse on tests than their peers due to the time limit imposed on these tests. Those with neurological or physical impairments have difficulty focusing, miss important keywords in questions, pick answers on impulse, and have difficulty with time management skills even if they study for hours on end. As a result, when a time limit goes on the test, their performance suffers.


The intense pressure our society puts on academic results can also cause students to develop test anxiety. This will result in students skipping answers to make sure they finish ahead of the time limit or so they don’t look “stupid” in front of their peers. 

Getting the Accommodations

To remedy this, associations like the College Board have taken steps to provide these students with time extensions to allow them to perform to the best of their ability. However, there are several requirements you have to meet before this extra time gets given out.
For starters, the test organization will need a record of your school history from grade school to present. They will also require a detailed description of your medical and developmental history.

Finally, you will need to undergo a series of tests done by neuropsychologists to clarify that your disability is to the extent that you require extra time. These tests will involve checking your memory, response to various stimuli, etc. 

Make sure to follow these instructions to the letter. If you skip a step or try something else (like a letter from your primary care physician) your application will get denied and you’ll be out of luck.

In addition to extra time, other accommodations can be made to assist specific students. For example, students with ADD or ADHD can find taking tests in a smaller group than normal helps them to stay focused better. Breaks in between portions of these tests can also get extended to accommodate various conditions.

Leveling the Playing Field


And there you have it! Now that you know all about how to get extra time for standardized tests and how it works, you can go forward ready to face any test that comes your way! And if you think you require more help with mental disabilities like ADHD, reach out to us and see how we can help!

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