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Who Is Eligible?

Some students with documented disabilities are eligible for accommodations on College Board exams. Students cannot take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, PSAT/NMSQT, or AP Exams with accommodations unless their request for accommodations has been approved by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).

School Accommodations Are Not College Board Accommodations

No one qualifies automatically. Use of testing accommodations without College Board approval results in cancellation of scores.

 

In general, students approved by SSD for College Board testing accommodations meet the criteria discussed below:

1. Student Has a Documented Disability

Short-Term Injuries and Conditions

Most students without a diagnosed disability are ineligible for accommodations through SSD. To learn about assistance for students with short-term injuries or conditions that affect their ability to take the SAT, an SAT Subject Test, or an AP Exam, see Temporary Medical Conditions.

Some examples of disabilities include blindness and visual impairments; learning disorders; physical and medical impairments, such as cerebral palsy and diabetes; and motor impairments. There are many others.

Students must have documentation of their disability, such as a current psychoeducational evaluation or a report from a doctor. The type of documentation needed depends on the student’s disability and the accommodations being requested. In some cases, documentation must be submitted to the College Board. Learn more about Providing Documentation.

2. Participation in a College Board Exam Is Impacted

Only One Request Needed

Once approved by the College Board, accommodations can be used on all of these exams:

  • SAT and SAT Subject Tests
  • PSAT/NMSQT
  • AP Exams

SSD does not approve accommodations for any other exams. Find out about accommodations on ReadiStep, CLEP, and ACCUPLACER.

The disability must result in a relevant functional limitation. In other words, it must impact the student’s ability to participate in College Board exams. Students whose disabilities result in functional limitations in the following areas may need accommodations:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Sitting for extended periods 

On the other hand, students like these may not need accommodations:

  • Students who need assistance walking in the hallways or participating in physical education.
  • Students with a hearing impairment who need assistance taking notes in class. College Board exams are primarily written exams.
  • Students with certain psychiatric conditions, such as some specific phobias, that don’t impact them during test taking.

3. Requested Accommodation Is Needed

The student must demonstrate the need for the specific accommodation requested. For example, students requesting extended time should have documentation showing that they have difficulty performing timed tasks, such as testing under timed conditions.

Other typical accommodations include Braille and large-print exams, use of a computer for essays, and extra breaks. However, accommodations are not limited to these; the College Board will consider any accommodation for any documented disability.

4. Accommodation Is Received on School Tests

With few exceptions, students who request an accommodation on College Board exams receive that accommodation on tests that they take in school. However, students who receive an accommodation in school or have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan that includes the accommodation do not automatically qualify for the accommodation on College Board exams. 

The student’s history of receiving accommodations in school and information provided by the school are important in the College Board’s review of requests for accommodations. Yet College Board exams can differ from classroom tests. In some cases, the College Board concludes that accommodations received by a student in school are not appropriate for College Board exams.

Related Topics

Requesting Approval

If you’re new to SSD, start here for the big picture on getting accommodations on College Board exams.

Get an Overview

Commonly Requested Accommodations

Learn what accommodations are like on College Board exams and who they’re appropriate for.

Typical Accommodations