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SAT/ACT accommodations-disclosure to schools


Replies to: SAT/ACT accommodations-disclosure to schools

  • trish02trish02 Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    @iangrodman - Yes! "Thankfully, we live in a world now where most appreciate that those who suffer with conditions like dyslexia and ADHD cab be just as intelligent as those who don't." The naivety that it is a "simple" process to get accommodations is an old and tired argument. It would be interesting to know how many people without accommodations use the entire allocated 3 hours and 50 minutes. I also agree with you that it is more widely accepted that students with dyslexia can be as intelligent as those who don't; arguably it can be shown that many students with dyslexia are gifted and have a higher intelligence than many. But, that is neither here nor there...

    I think the point the OP is making is that some people try to cheat the testing system by getting accommodations that they don't need to gain an "edge" on the test. Maybe that is true, but it would have to be a long and drawn out plan. I can only speak to a dyslexia diagnosis, since that is what I have experience in. To get an accommodation, a student needs to be diagnosed with a learning disability by a licensed psychologist (typically a neuropsychologist) not just identified by a school psychologist, full cognitive tests, show a history of school accommodations, prove that additional time (or accommodation) is needed for the student to commensurate to his or her true ability level, and then have all this reviewed by the College Board. Typically students are diagnosed with Dyslexia in the third grade and have years of accommodations and tests to provide the CB. Additionally, the CB requires that current testing is done to show that the accommodations are still required. If approved for an accommodation, the student is separated from the others and takes the test with a proctor. Trust me, a 16/17 year old child does not like being singled out like that and I am sure he or she would rather be able to take the test like all the other kids.
  • mmk2015mmk2015 Registered User Posts: 546 Member
    I forgot where, but someone made a very good point:

    Why would a doctor or licensed professional risk his/her hard earned license and the $100k-$200k+ salary and all its relevant professional perks to make up some fake diagnosis for a few measly thousand bucks?

    OP, don't worry so much about how the few scam the system.
  • equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 294 Junior Member
    @mmk2015 Totally agree with you! I don't see why a professional would risk their license to diagnose something false! Plus, there's more than just one evaluation they give you. For example, a doctor would give the medical disability sign off, but then a school psychologist would verify the NEED for the accommodations through special testing.

    You also have to provide documentation of use of accommodations through teachers or intervention specialists. There's also a lot more than that I won't get into.

    BUT I think it's highly unlikely that all of these professionals would be in on it and risk there jobs. The process involves multiple people.

    As many have said before, is is a VERY small minority that get accommodations who don't actually need them.
  • 2mrmagoo2mrmagoo Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    OP, FWIW here's my perspective. While those with accommodations do not have to inform colleges, it is my experience that most of those who need accommodations will end up somewhere within their application discussing their specific issues as they are so integral to who the student is, what they have overcome, or what their needs may be. Certainly my son will. A college will clearly be alerted to the likelihood a kid with disabilities will have accommodations, though legally the student can not be discriminated because of this.

    Do some manipulate the system to get an advantage? Possibly some, but I think the percentage of students with accommodations manipulating the system to get them is a relatively small one given the difficulty to get accommodations. (Frankly, my son has several issues including mild dysgraphia. If you saw his signature you wouldn't think it was mild. Despite counselor and neuropsychologist letters, he was denied computer use for the SAT writing. We now have to start he process over and prove that not only was he diagnosed 8th grade, but he has been using this accommodation in testing throughout high school and we may have to retest him for a current diagnosis)

    Yes, it is frustrating when people manipulate the system for their own advantage, just as it is frustrating when some students have others write their essays. It is unclear to me if your issue is mainly with the cheating, or is it also with those with learning disabilities getting additional time? I sense you take issue with both as your solution is to give everyone additional time.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 775 Member
    @2mrmagoo our daughter was denied accommodations for ADHD for the SAT (and also denied on appeal) but was very quickly (within a week) approved for accommodations for the ACT. You might want to look into that, if your child is willing to take the ACT.
  • 2mrmagoo2mrmagoo Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    Thanks @Emsmom1. Yes, That is on our to do list. I think he may be more of an ACT kid anyways. The immediate issue is his junior PSAT in Oct, but we will definitely look into ACT accommodations.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,496 Senior Member
    Yes: apparently ACT is much easier re accommodations
  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen Registered User Posts: 804 Member
    The ACT still requires the neuro testing by a clinical psychologist, plus a letter detailing the diagnosis and its impact on the student, plus a letter from the school counselor describing how many years the student has had time and a half or whatever the accommodation is. That's two professionals who wouldn't ruin their careers by taking bribes.

    I don't see how the system could be manipulated for either the SAT or the ACT in terms of time and a half and other accommodations. My D19 has ADHD and we had to spend a lot of time and money on the multi-hour neuro exam despite her already having had the diagnosis and extra time at her school.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 775 Member
    @Center I'm not sure about that; we were actually told by my daughter's college counselor NOT to expect the ACT to approve the request for accommodations and she said they approve less often than the College Board.
    @Center do you think most or all accommodations are a result of "gaming the system?"
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,496 Senior Member
    @Emsmom1 Heavens no. Not all or most.... But based on what I was told I think it has become extremely common for kids to get accommodations well beyond what has been the classic needs: ADD/dyslexia etc. Ever since the laws loosened on definitions -- the floodgates for accommodations went crazy. Visual Processing is apparently the one that is the most flexible : eye strain, headaches and so forth.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 962 Member
    I suggest you go to your source and bring back real data to support what you said...
    If you have a problem with kids getting accommodations, then tell the college that you have not received accommodation. This topic has been discussed many times already.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,496 Senior Member
    @annamom I don't need to bring back data nor will I disclose exactly what school admins told to me. All you have to do is research online and find dozens of articles on this topic. The numbers of diagnosed disorders has exploded in recent years and the breadth of definition has exploded as well far beyond concrete narrow diagnoses. What you think no one games the system yet there is widespread cheating on the SAT and grade inflation so the only place no one is gaming the system is with disabilities???
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 962 Member
    edited August 15
    this topic has been beaten to death, I see no point to open a thread.


    I suggest you bring the data to college board.
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