Getting Extended Time on the SAT
While the SAT may be nerve-wracking for everyone, it can be even more anxiety-inducing for students with disabilities. It’s hard to stay calm and focus on getting correct answers when your mind is filled solely with the ticking of the clock, counting down a time limit that isn’t nearly long enough. Understandably, students with documented disabilities are given extra time to complete the different sections of the SAT. By following proper protocol, students can ensure that their test day is fair and as stress-free as possible.
It’s important to note that requests need to be made in plenty of time. It can take seven weeks for a request to be processed! Just because you’re given extra time to complete exams in the classroom does not mean you automatically get extended time on the SAT. You have to have your request approved by Services for Students with Disabilities, or SSD.
Who qualifies for extended time on the SAT?
Any student with a documented disability, such as a learning disorder, a medical issue, or a motor impairment, may qualify for extra time. Because the SAT is a 3-hour written test, any student that has limitations in “reading, writing, or sitting for extended periods” are good candidates to request extra time. The student should have some sort of proof that their disability makes them unable to take this exam under the time limitations, and they must also receive this accommodation on their typical, day-to-day tests in school.
What extended time options are available?
The amount of extra time a test taker gets depends on which subjects they need extra time for, and how much extra time they need. Some students will need extra time for every subject, while others will only need extra time for a few. Typically, students will get 50% (time and a half) or 100% (double time) to complete their test, though some can receive even more. To ensure that the extra time doesn’t create a never-ending, arduous testing experience, student with double time (or more) will get the test over two days, rather than one.
How do I request extended time on the SAT?
The best way to go about requesting this accommodation is through your school. If you already receive extended time on your school tests, you’ve probably worked with your school’s SSD Coordinator. They will be your best resource throughout this request process. Not only do they know exactly what they need to do in order to get your accommodation, they can submit your request online through SSD Online, and rarely need to prevent extra documentation. They will help simplify the process for you. If you cannot work through an SSD Coordinator at your school, you will need to email Services for Students with Disabilities in order to request a Student Eligibility Form.
What documentation will I need to provide?
First, you need to document your disability. You can find documentation details and guidelines for specific disabilities here.
Second, you will need to document that you have trouble taking timed tests. You will need to give a thorough account of how your disability affects your test taking abilities, and how those would negatively impact your SAT performance. Specificity is key! You should include your history with your disability in academic settings, your common symptoms, your scores from both timed and untimed tests, any therapy evaluations you have, and this survey form, if appropriate. The more documentation you give College Board and the SSD, the more likely you are to receive extended time.