Are you taking the ACT on April 8 or the SAT on May 6? If you have a disability and need extra time, a reader, or space in a separate room to take either test, you should not have any trouble getting accommodations.
Both the College Board (which administers the SAT) and ACT Inc. have increasingly faced criticism and questions from the U.S. Department of Justice for testing practices that allegedly put students with disabilities at a disadvantage compared with students without disabilities.
But at the end of 2016, high school counselors and families with 504 and IEP plans got some welcome news: Both the ACT and the College Board loosened restrictions that critics believed made it too difficult to receive special accommodations. As a result, students with documented learning disabilities who have special education plans at school will automatically receive testing accommodations.
This move follows years of complaints by counselors and families who said the testing companies unfairly rejected requests for accommodations from students with learning challenges – even for those with school accommodations already in place.
At Wow, we guide with students of all abilities through the college essay writing process, and we are delighted by this positive news. Here are some articles and links to accurate sources that explain the news in greater depth:
- Applerouth Tutoring founder Jed Applerouth wrote this article: Sweeping changes to the SAT and ACT accommodations.
- Guided Path, a college planning tool for students, schools, and independent educational consultants, conducted this webinar with Jed Applerouth on ACT and SAT Changes.
- The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss wrote: Finally, the College Board Makes It Easier for Students with Disabilities to Get SAT Accommodations.
- NorthJersey.com’s Deena Yellin penned this piece about the growing number of students seeking test accommodations.
- Paul Yellin, director of the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain, and Education in New York City, blogged about the SAT and ACT Changes, cautioning families that this is not foolproof and they need to pay attention to the requirements.
Learn How to Ace the ACT & SAT Writing Tests
At Wow, we know what it takes to succeed on any writing test. Sign up for a private workshop with a Wow coach to learn how to ace the SAT or ACT writing test. We teach students how to read and evaluate the prompts; how to organize their thoughts; and provide valuable tips for writing quickly, clearly, and effectively on either test.
Kim Lifton is President of Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic communications and writing services company that is a leading expert on the college application essay. Kim, a former journalist, has made it her mission to know EVERYTHING about college admissions, and the essay’s role within it. She speaks with senior admissions officers from the nation’s most selective colleges almost every day. Wow works directly with students, and trains school counselors, English teachers and independent educational consultants who want to improve their essay-coaching skills. Wow also offers professional communication and writing services to businesses and nonprofits.