ACCOMMODATION TESTING FOR PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC EXAMINATIONS
Many individuals and students with cognitive and/or mental health related disabilities may be eligible to receive Special Accommodations at their school setting and/or during standardized testing.
As a part of my practice, I conduct psychological assessments, complete necessary forms to support accommodation requests, and draft thorough reports which correctly assess my clients for issues such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, and depression. These assessments assist clients who seek to receive necessary accommodations at school, on standardized exams, or at their workplace. This testing must be both current and comprehensive with a report that meets very specific requirements that vary from organization to organization and must be conducted by a professional with the appropriate credentials and experience.
I possess extensive experience conducting these evaluations and have assisted a substantial number of children, teens, and adult students gain necessary accommodations on exams, including the ISEE, ACT, SAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, DAT, MCAT, and state Bar Exams.
Many view testing accommodations as unfairly skewing results in favor of those who obtain them, thus leaving those who do not have accommodations at a major disadvantage. The reality, however, is much different. Those with disabilities (i.e. learning disabilities, general anxiety disorder, and depression) are negatively impacted in academic situations, standardized testing environments, and other salient areas of life such as work and interpersonal relationships. By definition, a disability places an individual at such a disadvantage over non-disabled individuals that accommodations such as extended time, private room testing, extended breaks between sections and paper and pencil exam forms are essential in order to ‘level the playing field’. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects all individuals with disabilities, not only from discrimination in society and at their workplace, but also on standardized tests such as the SAT, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, and the Bar Exam.
For standardized testing, such as the PSAT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT, Special Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- Extended time during testing
- Use of a computer or other special instruments
- Accommodations for students with hearing impairments
- Extra or extended breaks during tests
- Adjustments to the presentation of the test
- Modifications of allowable responses to the test
- Alterations in the timing and scheduling of the test
- Changes to the testing environment
Special Accommodations at school or university may include, but are not limited to:
- Additional time for completion of homework/tests
- Changes in seating or school/testing environment
- Grouping by ability
- Organizational changes in the classroom and home
- Time management assistance in the classroom and home
- A “shadow” or one-on-one companion
- Ongoing feedback and support
- Permission for the child to provide oral responses, rather than written responses where appropriate to
- demonstrate comprehension
- Assistive technology, when available
If you believe your mental health or cognitive limitations are holding you back, please feel free to schedule an assessment and discover if you may qualify for an accommodation in your school or academic settings.