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Evaluator Tips

Thorough professional documentation of a diagnosed disability is at the heart of every request for accommodations on College Board exams. These exams include the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, Advanced Placement® Exams, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10. For detailed documentation criteria, see Providing Documentation.

Know the SSD Facts

Professionals asked to provide documentation in support of a student’s request for accommodations on a College Board exam should know the following:

Thorough Documentation Required

When documentation is requested for the College Board’s review, a general letter stating only the diagnosis is usually insufficient.

  • Students must be approved by the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) before they can use accommodations on College Board exams.
  • Documentation is thoroughly reviewed by professionals in the field (e.g., psychologists, neuropsychologists, doctors, hearing specialists, ophthalmologists, as appropriate). 
  • A general letter stating only the diagnosis is usually insufficient. 
  • Some accommodations are administered differently on College Board exams than they are on classroom tests. For example, students approved for extended time must stay for the entire test (with the approved extended time), even if they complete a section early. See Typical Accommodations for details on extended time, extra and extended breaks, computer use, and other accommodations.  

Document Three Aspects

To be eligible for accommodations, students need documentation that shows evidence of:

  1. The disability
  2. The functional limitation
  3. The need for the specific accommodations requested

Meet All College Board Documentation Criteria

Requirements vary, depending on:

  • The student’s disability
  • The accommodations requested 

For example, a student with a learning disability should provide cognitive and academic testing, while a student with a visual disability should provide documentation from a visual examination.

See Disability Documentation Guidelines and Accommodation Documentation Guidelines for details.

Provide Detailed, Descriptive Documentation

In all cases, documentation should be detailed and highly descriptive of the individual student. Please include the following:

  • Specific diagnostic information, such as test scores, visual measurements, or detailed medical information
  • Narrative information, explaining the history of the student’s impairment, and how the disability currently impacts the student’s need for accommodations
  • Information about the functional impact of the disability, such as the frequency, duration, and intensity of symptoms

Demonstrate the Need for Requested Accommodations

Documentation should support the need for each requested accommodation. For example, students who request extended time should provide information demonstrating difficulty testing under timed conditions.

Provide Current Documentation

In some cases, a current update may be needed if the initial documentation is outdated. Depending on the student’s disability, this may not require a full evaluation but rather updated information regarding the current impact of the student’s disability.

Related Topics

Who Is Eligible?

Learn how eligibility for accommodations on College Board exams is determined.

Find Out Who’s Eligible

Documenting Your Request

The College Board may request documentation of the student’s disability and need for the specific accommodations requested.

Providing Documentation