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Student & Family Tips

Some students with documented disabilities are eligible for accommodations on College Board exams, including the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, Advanced Placement® Exams, and PSAT/NMSQT. Students must be approved for accommodations by the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) before they can use them on College Board exams. 

Possible accommodations include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Extra breaks between test sections
  • Use of a computer for word processing
  • Tests in Braille or large print
  • Extended testing time

Get Approved by the College Board

Accommodations must be approved by the College Board before test day. If students use accommodations that have not been approved, their scores will be cancelled. Students who use accommodations in school or have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan are not automatically qualified for College Board testing accommodations. They must still request accommodations. Most students who receive accommodations at school and request them from the College Board are approved.

Start Early

It takes approximately seven weeks to process a request for accommodations if College Board review of documentation is required. Start during freshman year if possible. Students who receive accommodations can use them throughout high school. They won’t need to reapply for each College Board exam they take.

See the Calendar for deadlines associated with specific exam administrations. To receive approval in time for the PSAT/NMSQT or the October SAT, students should begin working with their counselor or SSD Coordinator in the spring of the previous school year — well before summer recess. 

Request Accommodations Through School

The fastest and most efficient way for students to get approved for College Board testing accommodations is through their school. School SSD Coordinators can submit the necessary information online.  

To submit a request for accommodations without the assistance of their school, students should ask their counselor or SSD for a paper Student Eligibility Form.

Follow Up with the School

Students whose school is submitting their request for accommodations should check in with their SSD Coordinator to make sure the school does the following:

  • Requests the correct accommodations. Any change to the test administration, such as permission to take medication or use special equipment or technology, must be requested and approved ahead of time. Don’t wait until test day to find out that a necessary accommodation has not been requested.
  • Collects the correct type of documentation. Documentation requirements differ, depending on the disability and accommodations requested.
  • Has up-to-date documentation.

Ensure Evaluators Provide Thorough Evidence

Accommodations requests should be thoroughly documented, demonstrating that:

  1. The student has a disability.
  2. The student needs the specific accommodations requested.

Find detailed requirements for specific disabilities in Providing Documentation. Share the College Board’s Evaluator Tips with the psychologists, doctors, or other professionals providing documentation in support of the student’s request.

The purpose of accommodations is to assist students who have documented disabilities. They are not intended to raise a student’s test score or to assist a student who does not have a disability. Learn what to do for students who don’t have a disability but are unable to test under standard conditions because of a broken arm or other temporary medical condition.

Focus on Test Day Needs

Request only those accommodations needed on test day. College Board tests are primarily written tests given in a quiet, structured environment. Students may use some accommodations in school that they don’t need on College Board exams. Request all accommodations needed on test day, but don’t request accommodations the student doesn’t plan to use.

Ensure Correct Accommodations on Test Day

After the College Board has approved their accommodations, students need to take steps to make sure those accommodations are available on test day. Students will need to:

  • Register for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests using their SSD Eligibility Code.
  • For AP Exams and the PSAT/NMSQT, tell their school counselor, test coordinator, or SSD Coordinator that they plan to test with accommodations. This should be done as soon as possible so there is time to make arrangements and order appropriate materials.
  • If they’re approved just before a test, contact the College Board to see if the accommodations can be used on that test.
  • If they transfer to a new school, tell their new counselor or SSD Coordinator about their approved accommodations and provide their SSD Eligibility Code.
  • Bring their Eligibility Letter to every College Board exam.

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

Who Is Eligible?

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

Find Out Who’s Eligible