Advice for Students and Families
Accommodations for College Board exams—including the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, SAT, and AP Exams—must first be approved by College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).
Get approved by SSD.
Most students who receive accommodations at school and request them from College Board are approved; however, students must still request accommodations from College Board and have approval from SSD before test day—otherwise their test scores will be cancelled.
If a review of documentation is required, a request for accommodations can take up to seven weeks.
For example: To receive approval in time for the PSAT/NMSQT or the October SAT, students should begin working with their counselor or SSD coordinator in the spring of the previous school year—well before summer recess.
A good overall strategy is to make a request during freshman year of high school. Once SSD approves accommodations, the student can then use the same accommodations throughout high school without reapplying.
Know Your Dates and Deadlines
If a request is not submitted in time, accommodations might not be approved and in place in time for test day. Check the calendar for this year’s test dates and deadlines.
Request accommodations through the school.
The fastest and most efficient way for students to get approved for accommodations is to request through the school because the family will have less paperwork and the school’s SSD coordinator can submit information online.
To submit a request for accommodations without going through the school, the family will need to fill out the paper Student Eligibility Form and provide documentation.
How to Request Accommodations
Read more advice on submitting requests for students diagnosed with learning disorders that require use of assistive technology.
Follow up with the school.
Even if the SSD coordinator is submitting the request for accommodations, students should still make sure that:
- All needed accommodations have been requested—including changes (such as permission to take medication).
- All needed documentation is submitted.
- Documentation is up to date
Make sure evaluators provide enough evidence.
Accommodations requests must be thoroughly documented—a doctor’s note is not sufficient. All requests must demonstrate that:
- The student has a disability.
- The student needs the accommodations requested.
View our documentation guidelines for frequently requested accommodations (such as extended time) as well as documentation guidelines listed by disability.
Share College Board’s advice for evaluators with any psychologists, doctors, or other professionals providing documentation in support of your student’s request.
How to Provide Documentation
Learn the seven basic criteria for documentation and find documentation guidelines listed by accommodation and/or by disability.
Request only what is needed on test day.
Students may use accommodations in school that they don’t need on College Board exams—which are primarily written tests given in a quiet, structured environment. Do not request accommodations that the student does not plan to use.
Take advantage of any special-format practice tests that may be available.
Make sure accommodations are available on test day.
Once accommodations are approved, students should follow through with these steps:
- If they are taking the SAT, they should register for the SAT using their SSD number.
- If they are taking AP Exams, the PSAT/NMSQT, or the PSAT 10, they should tell the SSD coordinator that they plan to test with accommodations so that the coordinator can make arrangements and order appropriate materials.
- If they transfer to a new school, tell the SSD coordinator about approved accommodations and provide their SSD number.
- Bring the eligibility letter to every College Board exam—even if they have used the same accommodation on previous tests.