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Should my teachers reveal that I had extra time on tests (for ADD) in their comments?

bushka5bushka5 Posts: 10Registered User New Member
edited December 2007 in High School Life
I go to a top-notch private prep boarding school. I also have ADD (diagnosed 5 years ago). Extra time really helps me -- if I know everything on the test, inside and out, but have to complete the test in the normal amount of time, it's very unlikely that I will get an A (which would reflect my knowledge of the material). If, say, I get a half hour or an hour extra, (50-100%), then I can complete the test (and receive a grade which fairly reflects my knowledge of the material).

For example: On one math test, which I felt prepared for, I got a 38% (out of 100). Then I prepared for the next test, requested extra time (maybe 30 min extra), and I got a 98 (our tests are notoriously tough, and anything above a 90 is an incredible accomplishment. 60 points in 30 minutes <-- obviously, I need the extra time.. I was equally prepared for both tests.

I started getting extra time a little after mid-terms (hadn't thought of it before then). It was rather unofficial and undocumented (I went to the teachers to ask for extra time, not through the school psychiatrist or someone). In my last class of the day (physics), the teacher would leave when the period ended and just let me stay in the classroom and finish the test (and leave it on his desk and shut the lights off when I was ready to leave) when I was ready. He didn't know I actually had ADD until the last test -- he was just giving me extra time to complete the test.

In French, my teacher let me make up a test I missed at night (at her apt), and I ended up spending 2 hours on it.. got a 92 (accurately reflected my understanding).

In math, I did tell the teacher I had ADD (was talking with her about why I see things differently than others, and why I learn differently and I mentioned that I was diagnosed, and we talked about how this explains in part why i do things differently).

In English and art, it was irrelevent because there were no in-class tests, just papers and projects. (Which, actually, I ended up taking longer to complete than others because I take both subjects very seriously and don't want to turn in something which is not a challenge or the absolute best it could be... I put a LOTTTT of thought into these... I admit to being an overthinker when it comes these.. but it's because I'm passionate about them.)

Anyway, I got my grades back the other day, which always include a few paragraphs from each teacher of commentary on you as a student.

Here's the problem: in those comments, they talked about my taking a long time to complete tests.

My French teacher, from whom I received extra time from twice (when making up tests), said "it should be noted here that bushka5 was allotted extra time on all of her tests, sometimes up to a full extra period". I don't believe she made this mistake on purpose, but it is not true, and because I'm supposed to get extra time for my ADD, isn't that confidential??? It's not like I'm a dumb student who needs 2 hours to take a test to guess answers.... and this is what it will seem like to someone (ie COLLEGE ADMISSIONS) who reads it. should it be "noted"?? is that fair?

my physics teacher wrote "i worry about her need for what seems to be near limitless time on tests" and "she spent 3.5 hours on the final exam -- an unusually large amount of time for one test"..... 1) for the vast majority of that time, i was sitting in his room, waiting for him to come back so he could clarify a few questions.. when he didn't show for a while, i started to write out long explanations (maybe 5 full pages of writing -- I'm very tenacious, and want my grade to accurately reflect my ability, whatever that may be.... and i KNEW this stuff inside and out, but sometimes his phrasing is incredibly ambiguous) for the problems for each possible explanation he could give. ie, if he said X is what he meant, then here is my answer and explanation, if Y is what he meant, then here is my alternate answer and explanation.. etc. this is why it took me 3.5 hours (the final exam was a 1.5 hour test). i was complete with most of the test in under an hour, but his phrasing on a few (5 maybe) was very ambiguous, so i waited so i could clarify.

my english and art teachers talked about how my projects were late (and art teacher said i was too much of a perfectionist and english said i was disorganized), but they both noted that i was one of the most "brilliant" students they've ever come across in their 60+ years of teaching at this top school... but they didn't give me a's due to me being late and disorganized.

^these 2, i suppose, were rather fair, but the reason i take so long is because i'm incredibly thorough, and it takes me a while to be thorough with ADD.



Keep in mind that I am officially diagnosed with ADD.... and that when you take, say, the SAT's with extended time, it's not mentioned in your score report.
bushka5 is offline
Post edited by bushka5 on

Replies to: Should my teachers reveal that I had extra time on tests (for ADD) in their comments?

  • NarcissaNarcissa Posts: 3,935- Senior Member
    i think u should tell them you have ADD then--it's probalby just a misunderstanding
  • Jonathan1Jonathan1 Posts: 5,744Registered User Senior Member
    What school do you go to?
  • Janelle09Janelle09 Posts: 281Registered User Junior Member
    I think you should ask your teachers if they could possibly leave those bits out. Explain your need for extra time to them and describe your ADD to them if they don't already know about it. If the teachers who wrote those things already know that you have ADD, I am not sure if there is anything you can say to the those teacher to change their minds about writing those things.
  • bushka5bushka5 Posts: 10Registered User New Member
    they already wrote them --- grades can't be retracted.
  • alexxalexx Posts: 326Registered User Junior Member
    I don't know, maybe it's a good thing your teachers included it. This is college - I've met students with ADD and a lot of the time professors didn't really care (maybe they've seen it many times and thought they were fake claims). At least this way they'll know it's real.

    Besides, if you need extra time on college exams they're going to find out about it anyway. ;)

    Alex
  • demeterdemeter Posts: 1,367Registered User Senior Member
    It was rather unofficial and undocumented (I went to the teachers to ask for extra time, not through the school psychiatrist or someone).
    So, you didn't go through the proper channels to get it officially documented with the school? From what you said in the rest of your post, I got the impression that your math teacher is the only one who knows you have ADD, which means your other teachers gave you time extensions for their own reasons.

    I don't know what the laws are regarding disclosing learning disabilities, but your teachers probably aren't knowingly disclosing private information. They may just be voicing concern; they might suspect that you have ADD, and their comments are meant to encourage you to see a doctor (which you already have done, of course).

    I suggest that you and your parents officially talk to the school psychiatrist and bring documentation of your ADD. Your unofficial way of doing it doesn't sound quite efficient, since it relies on individual teachers and their willingness to grant you extensions. What if you meet a teacher who refuses to give you extensions because you don't have official documentation? Also, find out if those comments appear on an official transcript. Official transcripts often look very different from the term/semester report card; my report cards had brief comments, but those didn't show up on the transcript sent to colleges. You might quietly ask your teachers not to mention your test accommodations, but if the only people to see those comments are you and your parents, I wouldn't worry too much about them affecting college admissions.
  • KameraKamera Posts: 233Registered User Junior Member
    Absolutely they should, especially considering your school won't be reporting it, as the time was given unofficially.

    Part of test-taking is time - everyone is on an equal basis in that they have the same amount of time to complete the same assignment. I personally have issues with people being given extra time at all, but that's another story.

    Your ADD is part of who you are, and it certainly affects your scholastic performance. The colleges have every right to know, and if your teachers are the ones who have been handling the extra time issue because of your ADD, then they are the appropriate people to inform the colleges.
  • bushka5bushka5 Posts: 10Registered User New Member
    WHat??? colleges don't have the RIGHT to know -- it's a confidential DISABILITY.
  • Infinite_TruthInfinite_Truth Posts: 570Registered User Member
    I'd tell them, because even though its confidential, if u dont tell them you will have no right to be accomadated for your disability.

    Thus that means you will be treated as if you didnt have ADD, and professors wont care, meaning you will have an extremely difficult time in college.

    I'd suggest once your in college or even before, the first thing you should do is report it to the proper authorities and get proper accomodations. That, or risk failing.
  • YauYau Posts: 353Registered User Member
    You should repost this in the learning differences and challenges section. Your college of choice has no right to know of your disability and it is up to you if you disclose the issue during admissions, as many believe this could negatively impact you. Once accepted to the university you can apply for your disability accommodations. The teachers should not disclose the accommodations for your ADD. However, you must go through the school. Their concerns are valid (without the ADD knowledge) and they are just trying to relay them back to you. The colleges will also probably only receive a grade sheet merely listing the grades for each semester (which would almost definitely not include the paragraphs from each of your teachers each grading period of your high school career.)
    Again, you colleges do not have any right to know of your disability during the admissions process (exactly why the disability accommodation is not listed on your SAT score report.)
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