Overview of Accommodations Requests: SAT vs. ACT

ACT and SAT are agencies that conduct accommodation tests for disabled students. The College Board (SAT) and ACT has rolled out guidelines to assist both schools and students prepare for the accommodation request tests.SAT vs. ACT

The guideline highlights the requirements that are most important to the College Board.

Below are the requirements and steps established by the College Board (SAT) and ACT testing agency.

Eligibility Verification

A student should meet the following requirements to ensure approval of accommodation requests:

  • For both the College Board and ACT, the disability is diagnosed and documented by a trained and certified evaluator. The documentation for the ACT should include information about the present or past accommodations made in related settings.
  • The disability should have an influence on both College Board and ACT assessments.
  • For the College Board assessment, an accommodation may be approved based on a section of the test. In the ACT assessment, there are two packages that applicants may have to consider: National Extended Time and Special Testing.

Arrange Documentation

Securing an accommodation approval for both College Board and ACT is based on two types of documentation:

  • College Board demands that disability testing conducted by a neuropsychologist should be done within the previous five years. That of the ACT should be done within the last three years.
  • Visual testing disabilities of the College Board assessment should be done within the previous five years of the request and within the last 3 years for that of the ACT.
  • Medical and psychiatric conditions must be done within a year of the request for both College Board and ACT assessment.

Submit Your Request

  • For the College Board, the cornerstone of a request for accommodation is the Student Eligibility Form (SEF). The form is essentially a cover letter or summary of the application that lists identifying information, a description of the disability, the accommodations desired, and a summary of the documentation. The ACT requires students to register for an online testing date. When registration is complete, families will be asked to indicate the type of accommodation they are applying for: National Extended Time or Special Test.

Respond to Decision Letters

  • If the submitted request is accepted by the College Board, letter of compliance will be sent to the student indicating the approved special accommodation requirements (e.g., PSAT, SAT, AP subjects and exams) for all College Board tests. The letter will also contain an SSD code that must be entered when registering the student for all official test dates. SSD coordinators can find SSD codes for students by connecting to the online SSD Online application system.
  • If the ACT accommodation is approved, the Test Accommodations Coordinator for the National Extended Time package receives an electronic decision statement with a confirmation message on the Test Accessibility and Accommodations System (TAA). Unfortunately, students are not automatically informed of the status of their application and may want to check their TACs in the weeks following the original submission. After approval of the extended national schedule, the student must log into the ACT and print the original registration forms, which should indicate that the extended course is now issued.
  • For the special testing, the TAC receives an electronic decision statement, reviews approved adaptations with the student and arranges for testing (usually on campus) in the current test window.

Get Into Your Accommodations

  • After registering for an official CB test with SSD code, students can expect to have housing ready for them on the day of the test. Testers must bring their SSD eligibility letters to the test site.
  • Extended National students must print their registration tickets and bring them to the exam center. The day of the accommodation will be ready on the day of the test. Students with special tests must have completed the exam day logistics (date and time, room location, approved accommodation locations, etc.) prior to the official test date with the TACs. Most students with special exams take ACT in their schools.

NeuroHealth specializes in working with schools, teachers, and parents to find the right school accommodations for each student.

If you want our help understanding accommodations for ACT and SAT, or you think your child could have a learning disorder that keeps him or her from excelling in school – contact us at (847) 886-4137.