SAT Testing and Accommodations
Many times disabled students’ interested in attending college shy away from the process as soon as they learn they are still required to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). This no longer has to be a challenge. There are ways for exceptional students to successfully take the SAT.
According to College Board, accommodations are available to the students who are eligible. In order to qualify, parents or students will need to request the accommodations through their high school guidance counselor. When a student registers for the test, he or she can also register for accommodations. At that point, the student is responsible for advocating for the proper forms and documentation so that College Board is able to approve the accommodations. Please see their services for students with disabilities web page for more in-depth information.
Sound like a bunch of red-tape? It is. In order to secure accommodations during the test, the application process must be handled approximately thirty days in advance. As anyone can tell you, I am not a fan of red-tape so I tend to try and avoid any indication of it. In this instance, I would apply for accommodations well before the thirty day guideline. Parents are urged to keep a copy of the approval request because the student will need it on testing day.
Parents of juniors and seniors might want to visit the College Board website for more detailed information on college planning.
Which accommodations are available?
Unfortunately, parents do not realize that the accommodations on the IEP will not transfer to College Board and the SAT. What I mean is, College Board provides accommodations to access the test, but the test is not going to be modified. Accommodations for the SAT and high school are not the same. Be sure to clarify which are available with the high school guidance department as well as College Board.
Did you know that SAT/College Board might approve a “read aloud” test if your student has tests read in school? You will need to request this and it is at no extra cost but keep in mind, there is no guarantee your child will have it. Also, it is a good idea to ask the guidance counselor what other options are available. There may be some offered though the testing center.
If your child does receive “read aloud” services for the SAT, be sure to request an appropriate reader for the test. For example, teachers might volunteer from local schools to be proctors for the SAT. While they get paid to do so, they may not be the most qualified to read the test. At the highest level, certain algebraic equations need to be read in a specific pattern for optimum clarity. Unless a teacher is certified in Math, in my opinion, it would be very difficult to read the problems in the way in which they were intended to be read. I couldn’t do it and I don’t know too many people who could.
About 1 week before the test, it is a good idea to confirm with College Board that the accommodations are in place. Be sure any accommodations are communicated to the proctor and are noted on the entrance ticket. This will make a difference because on the day of the test, there will be no changes to your child’s assessment or administration thereof.
Last but not least
The SAT is not always the only tool your student will need get into college. Let your teen know to do the best he or she can on the test. The college or university will insist on these scores but keep in mind, it is not the only requirement for college admission.
C.C. Malloy lives in Greensboro and is a steadfast supporter of children with a disability. Any information here should not be considered legal advice and counsel should be sought for personal educational guidance. For additional support, please visit her website, Bizigal's Exceptional Blooms.