Standardized Test Accommodations -- How have you gotten them?


I just found out that everyone in Odin's class will be administered the PSAT at the end of October. At 7:30 in the morning! -- which is a really bad time of day for him because he tends to stay up all night, even on the odd occasions when he doesn't want to.

My meeting with the school to discuss accommodations in light of Odin's recent ADHD diagnosis isn't until next week, and of course that's just the beginning of the process to get a 504 plan or IEP. Has anyone here gotten an accommodation for the PSAT, and how did that work? I'm thinking I don't have enough lead time, as the College Board(?) won't give an accommodation if the school hasn't yet done so. But Odin's neuropsychologist said he would benefit from extra time on standardized tests because his deficit is in the area of processing speed, so I feel like I ought to be giving this a shot.


Well-Known Member
I have received PSAT, ACT and SAT accommodations for my 2 youngest sons; my older children did not require them. The older of the two also received accommodations for his placement tests at community college. The younger is a HS junior.

First question, is your son in 10th or 11th grade? 10th grade doesn't count and in reality the only thing the PSAT is good for is the potential for a scholarship if you score highly enough. I believe that this year's PSAT is only being given during the school day and that it will be a new format.

My sons are both classified as Learning Disability (LD)-dyslexia. They are textbook cases of it but, fortunately, they both read well above grade level and score in the highest percentile of comprehension. On the other hand, although they understand everything they read, it takes them forever to actually read it. Hence, my application for accommodations.

If your son is not yet classified, it may be too late for this administration of the PSAT. As I noted above, though, the test doesn't really count for anything. Once he is classified, the school should take care of filing for the accommodations, I don't recall doing it myself, other than asking the school to do it. The accommodations offered will vary by child and diagnosis. My sons got extended time, separate location (because they had extended time, not because they couldn't take a test in the same room - my oldest son had separate location at various points due to his ADHD, but not for the standardized tests), use of calculator for all math sections, not just those that require it. At various points, they have had the test read to them, have been able to scribe or use a computer, the older one was scantron exempt in hs and allowed to use graph paper for all math problems. The accommodations offered are generally equivalent to those the child receives via IEP.

Good luck.


Thank you, svengandhi, that's very interesting. Odin is only in 10th grade; I'd forgotten that 11th grade is the key year. By then, I hope, we'll have a track record of getting accommodations from the school. The CHADD article that runawaybunny sent was terrific, as my son's issues are much like those of the boy featured in the article. I hope the arguments suggested there work for me without my having to end up at the Justice Department, needless to say. Best wishes to you and your family!