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