To take College Board exams with accommodations, students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) must request accommodations from the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).
Accommodation requests must be documented. Make sure your documentation meets these seven criteria:
Diagnosis Clearly Stated
Documentation should state the specific disability as diagnosed. The ADHD diagnosis should be made by someone with appropriate professional credentials; should be specific; and should reference the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5 or whichever edition was current at the time of diagnosis).
Because disabilities and accommodation needs change over time, documentation must be up to date. In most ADHD cases, the educational evaluation and testing should be no more than five years old. Cognitive testing may be older than five years, but testing performed before third grade may not provide a valid indication of the student’s current ability. Medical or psychiatric testing should have a current update, completed within the last year.
Provide relevant educational, developmental, and medical history in support of the ADHD diagnosis and the functional limitation. Information about the student’s history of receiving school accommodations and current use of accommodations helps the College Board understand the nature and severity of the student’s ADHD and the need for accommodations. Teacher observations are often helpful as well; they may be recorded on the Teacher Survey Form (.pdf/240KB).
Documentation should describe the comprehensive testing and techniques used to arrive at the ADHD diagnosis. Provide the evaluator’s full report, including the following:
- A summary of the assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis
- A narrative summary of the evaluation results
- Test results with subtest scores (standard or scaled scores)
Tests used to diagnose ADHD may differ, depending on the accommodations being requested. For instance, requests for extended time should be supported by comprehensive cognitive and academic assessments that are:
- Individually administered
- Nationally normed
- Administered under standardized conditions
Common DiagnosticTests lists frequently used tests.
Students who want to take College Board exams in a small group, on the other hand, don’t need to provide these test results.
Functional Limitation Described
Explain how ADHD impacts the student’s daily functioning and ability to participate in College Board exams. For example, does the student work more slowly than other students? Is the student able to read the test? Write an essay?
Functional limitation can be documented in a variety of ways:
- Psychoeducational evaluations, including both test scores and narrative.
- Standardized test scores, including standard and scaled scores. Use national norms to support both the diagnosis and functional limitation.
- Summary of the student's developmental, educational, and/or medical history
- Teacher observations. You may want to use the Teacher Survey Form (.pdf/240KB).
Recommended Accommodations Justified
Describe the specific accommodations requested and explain why they are needed. The reason for requesting a particular accommodation is not always evident from the diagnosis.
Be sure your rationale for specific accommodations focuses on the following:
- Connection between the student’s ADHD diagnosis and the requested accommodations
- Current needs of the student
- Reasons requested accommodations are needed on the College Board’s standardized exams, which are primarily written
A request for extended time should document difficulty taking timed tasks, include the amount of extended time required or the maximum amount of time the student can be tested in a day, and include current scores on timed and untimed/extended time tests.
See Accommodation Documentation Guidelines for documentation requirements specific to extended time, computer use, and other typical accommodations.
Professional Credentials Listed
Establish the evaluator’s professional credentials. Evaluators must be authorized by the state in which they practice to administer the necessary tests and to diagnose ADHD.