How it works on College Board tests
A commonly requested accommodation on College Board tests is extended time. When requesting it, schools are asked to indicate the specific subject area(s) in which extended time is needed (reading, written expression, mathematical calculations and speaking), as well as the amount of time the student needs. Students who request more than 100% extended time must provide documentation of their disabilities and their need for accommodations for the College Board's review.
How long is a test with extended time?
On the SAT, time frames for tests with extended time are as follows:
- 50% extra time = 5 hours and 25 minutes
- 100% extra time = 7 hours (school testing; conducted over 2 days)
See Test-Specific Guidelines for information about extended time on the SAT®, AP® and PSAT/NMSQT®. Schools and students should be aware that, when taking College Board tests such as the SAT, students with approval for extended time must sit for the entire test. Students cannot continue to a new section if they complete a section before the time ends, and they cannot leave early.
In some cases, accommodations other than extended time may be more appropriate to accommodate a student's disability. For example:
- A student with a physical disability that causes them to write slowly may request a large block answer sheet (which does not require students to "bubble in")
- Some students with ADHD find that the accommodation of a small group setting helps to reduce distractions.
- Counselors are encouraged to see Other Accommodations for a list of other examples of accommodations provided by the College Board.
Documentation guidelines for extended time
Please keep in mind that a student's documentation must demonstrate not only that he or she has a disability, but also that the student requires the accommodation being requested. Therefore, a student who requests extended time should have documentation that demonstrates difficulty taking tests under timed conditions. In most cases, the documentation should include scores from both timed and extended/untimed tests, to demonstrate any differences caused by the timed conditions.
The following tests are commonly used to measure a student's academic skills in timed settings. Because tests are frequently developed and updated, this list is not exhaustive. There are other timed tests that may also be used. Tests must be conducted under standardized procedures.
- Nelson Denny Reading Test, with standard time and extended time measures Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test (SDRT)
- Stanford Diagnostic Math Test (SDMT)
- Woodcock-Johnson III Fluency Measures
- Test of Written Language-Third Edition (TOWL-3)
When these tests are administered under standardized conditions, and when the results are interpreted within the context of other diagnostic information, they provide useful diagnostic information about testing accommodations. A low processing speed score alone, however, usually does not indicate the need for testing accommodations. In this instance, it would be important to include documentation to support how the depressed processing speed affects the student's overall academic abilities under timed conditions.
See Learning Disabilities for a list of commonly used tests and measures used to measure a student's academic skills in extended time conditions.
Note: When requesting extended time, students with all diagnosed disabilities (physical, psychiatric, learning, etc.), should provide documentation to support their difficulty with test-taking under standard time conditions. In most cases, this is best demonstrated with scores from a timed, academic test, such as the five listed above. In some cases, the following information also may be helpful:
- Detailed description of the disability and explanation of how it affects test-taking under timed conditions (e.g., for a student with Tourette's Syndrome, a detailed description of tics, including duration and frequency of tics).
- Occupational therapy evaluation.
- Teacher Survey on Classroom Learning Behavior (.pdf/79K)
- Comparisons of student's performance under timed and untimed conditions.
- Educational history, including use of extended time.