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New for 2017

Beginning in January 2017, the College Board will use a new streamlined process for requesting testing accommodations for students.  

The new review process means that the College Board is allowing automatic approval of accommodations in more situations. 

SSD coordinators and others who submit requests don’t have to do anything different. Continue to submit requests on SSD Online as you always have. In many cases, you will notice that the request process is quicker, with fewer requests for documentation.

Below are answers to some of your questions about the new process for requesting accommodations.

When does the new policy take effect?

Beginning January 1, 2017, all new requests for accommodations will be reviewed under the new policy.

Note that the SSD Online request system will look the same for a little while as we update it. If you’re requesting accommodations for a student with an IEP or 504 Plan, you’ll notice the changes on SSD Online by the end of January. For private school students with a formal, school-based plan, you’ll see changes by the end of March. However, you don’t need to wait until then to submit requests for review under the new process. 

If my accommodations request was denied, should I resubmit it after January 1, 2017?

You can resubmit your request at any time, and the College Board will review it. Documentation should be included.

Are there any exceptions to the new policy?

Yes. Learn more about exceptions.

I attend a private school and have a formal plan that is not an IEP or 504 Plan. Will my accommodations be automatically approved by the College Board?

Most students with a formal school-based plan that meets College Board criteria will also have their accommodations approved under the new policy. See the College Board criteria.

Learn more about testing supports for English Language Learners.

New for 2016-17

A number of new SSD policies took effect with the release of the redesigned SAT Suite of Assessments tests in 2015-16. There are some additional changes for 2016-17.

Below are answers to some of your questions about the changes for school years 2015-16 and 2016-17.

If I was approved for accommodations before the new tests were released, will I need to reapply when I take the redesigned SAT, redesigned PSAT/NMSQT, or PSAT?

No. However, if you wish to apply for a new accommodation for which you are not currently approved, you must submit an Accommodations Change Request.

What changed for 2016-17?

  • The PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 Regular Print test books for nonstandard testers (“pink book”) have been discontinued for 2016-17.  All students will test with the standard test book, unless an alternate format (large print, Braille, MP3 audio, and assistive technology—compatible test forms) is approved and ordered.

What was the impact of the redesigned SAT Suite of Assessments on SSD?

  • The cassette test format was replaced with an MP3 audio test format.
  • Students who are approved for extended time are also provided extra breaks in between test sections.
  • Students who are approved for extended time for only part of the SAT (e.g., math only), receive extended time for only the designated sections. Learn more about extended time

What new test formats and accommodations are available?

  • Assistive technology–compatible test format: This is a digital test form, delivered on a flash drive, for use with screen readers and other assistive technology.
  • MP3 audio test format: This is an audio version of the test, delivered on a flash drive; it allows student with reading or visual impairments to listen to the test. The MP3 audio test format accommodation replaces the cassette test format accommodation.
  • Four-function calculator: Students who are approved for this accommodation are permitted to use a four-function calculator for Math Test sections that do not permit the use of a calculator. Learn more at Four-Function Calculator and Four-Function Calculator: Documentation.

What’s the difference between the assistive technology–compatible test form and the MP3 audio test form?

The MP3 audio form is an audio format only — students will listen to the test.  The assistive technology–compatible form is a digital version of the written test — students will use their screen readers to listen to the test.

I am approved for extended time in math only, but would need it for the entire test.  What should I do?

Speak to your school’s SSD Coordinator or counselor to determine if additional time is needed.  If so, your school can submit an Accommodations Change Request for you using SSD Online, or you can print out and submit an accommodations change request form. 

Are practice tests available for the new assessments?

Yes. Practice tests can be requested for all formats. Additionally, students who plan to use the assistive technology–compatible format can find practice tests in this format online. Go to SAT Practice Tests for Assistive Technology or PSAT/NMSQT Practice Test for Assistive Technology.

I am currently approved to test with the cassette format. What accommodation will I get?

You will be automatically provided with the MP3 audio format, unless you request a different  accommodation. To request a different accommodation, such as a reader or the assistive technology–compatible test format, speak to your school’s SSD Coordinator about submitting an Accommodations Change Request.

I’m approved for computer use, and I’m taking the SAT without the SAT Essay. Where will I test?

You will take the SAT in a test center. 

Are accommodations available for the PSAT 8/9?

Yes. However, they do not need to be approved by the College Board. Schools can approve these accommodations. Test coordinators must order nonstandard test formats when they place their test orders. Learn more about the PSAT 8/9 and accommodations.