To take College Board exams with accommodations, students with disabilities must request accommodations from the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Accommodations requests must be documented.
Can’t Find the Disability You’re Looking For?
Before using the guidelines on this page, make sure the specific disability you’re documenting is not covered elsewhere, on a page named with a general term.
Many specific disabilities not listed on this website are subtypes of disabilities that are listed. For instance:
- Dyslexia is covered under Learning Disorders.
- Cerebral palsy and diabetes are covered under Physical/Medical Disabilities.
- Autism diagnoses based on DSM-IV are covered under Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Your documentation should meet these seven criteria:
Diagnosis Clearly Stated
Documentation should state the specific disability as diagnosed. The diagnosis should be made by someone with appropriate professional credentials; should be specific; and, when appropriate, should relate the disability to professional standards, such as the DSM-5.
The College Board is aware that some students were diagnosed prior to DSM-5; documentation should include the diagnosis made at the time the student was evaluated.
Short-Term Injuries and Conditions
Most students without a diagnosed disability are ineligible for accommodations through SSD. To learn about assistance for students with short-term injuries or conditions that affect their ability to take the SAT, an SAT Subject Test, or an AP Exam, see Temporary Medical Conditions.
Because disabilities change over time, documentation must be up to date. In most cases, the evaluation and diagnostic testing should be no more than five years old.
Provide relevant educational, developmental, and medical history in support of the 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 disability 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 diagnosis. Provide 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)
Common Diagnostic Tests lists frequently used tests.
Functional Limitation Described
Explain how the disability impacts the student’s daily functioning and ability to participate in College Board exams. Functional limitation can be documented in a variety of ways, depending in part on the specific disability:
- 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).
- Speech and language or occupational therapy evaluations, where applicable.
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 diagnosed disability 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 detailed description of the student’s current symptoms, including their frequency, duration, and intensity, could be helpful.
Students requesting extended time should document difficulty taking timed tests, 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 make the stated diagnosis.