Taking the GRE can be a mountain to climb for anyone, but for those with disabilities or health-related needs, it might feel like facing an even steeper hill. You’re not alone if you find yourself in this group, wondering about accommodations that could help level the playing field.

An important fact to note is that ETS (Educational Testing Service) provides various testing accommodations at no extra cost.

This article aims to guide you through everything from what kinds of support are available – like extra time or a different format of the test – to how you can apply for them. Whether it’s extended time, a reader for test instructions only, or breaks as needed, we’ve got your back.

This piece is your map and compass; get ready to navigate through the landscape of GRE accommodations seamlessly.

Stay tuned; help is on the way!

Key Takeaways

  • ETS offers help for test takers with disabilities or health needs at no extra cost, such as more time, breaks, and different test formats.
  • To get GRE accommodations, start by logging into your ETS account and follow the steps to submit a Testing Accommodations Request Form early since reviewing can take 4–6 weeks.
  • Accommodations are available for various needs, including dyslexia, ADHD, vision, and hearing challenges. Examples include extended time, extra breaks, assistance with spoken directions only, and alternate test formats like braille or larger print.
  • Experts can help make the process of obtaining GRE accommodations easier by navigating the system and ensuring requests meet ETS guidelines.
  • Despite being helpful to many students facing barriers in standardized testing due to disabilities or health issues, gathering the required documentation for accommodation might be difficult. That makes getting needed support challenging for some.

Accommodations Available for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs

gre accommodations - photo of a college student taking the gre exam at her desk

If you need help during the GRE because of a disability or health issue, there are many options. You can get more time, breaks, help with hearing directions, and tests in different forms.

Extended testing time

Test takers with disabilities or health-related needs can ask for more time on the GRE tests. This helps them take the exam without rushing through it. The bulletin supplement for test takers needing special accommodations details how to get this extra time.

You need to show what help you’ve received before, like more time during school exams.

Getting more time means you could have up to 50% longer than others taking the same test. This makes a big difference for those who process information slower due to their condition.

You just fill out a form that asks about your past accommodations and send it off for approval. Once approved, this accommodation levels the playing field, giving everyone a fair chance at doing well on the GRE.

Extra breaks

Extra breaks during the GRE can make a big difference for test takers. These breaks allow time for restroom visits, access to medication or snacks, and even glucose testing for those who need it.

Imagine not having to worry about your blood sugar levels or skipping necessary medicine while focusing on your exam. That’s what these small but critical accommodations offer.

For some people, these pauses are vital. They enable students with various needs to manage their health without sacrificing test performance. Whether you need a quick snack, medication, or just a moment to breathe, extra breaks ensure everyone has a fair shot at doing their best on the GRE General Test.

Assistance for spoken directions only

Test takers with specific needs can get help with spoken directions during the GRE General Test. This support is for those who find it tough to follow written instructions due to disabilities or health-related conditions.

The Accessibility and Accommodations Manual guides how this help is provided, ensuring everyone gets a fair chance at the test.

This feature helps people who have trouble reading quickly or understanding text as easily as others might. With someone explaining the directions out loud, these test takers can focus better on answering the questions instead of worrying about misunderstanding the instructions.

It’s one way to level the playing field so that all candidates can show their true abilities on this standardized exam.

Alternate test formats

The GRE offers tests in different formats for those who need them. One option is a paper version instead of a computer-delivered one. This helps people who can’t use computers well because of their disabilities or health needs.

Some students might use special tools like refreshable braille displays to read the test questions. Others might listen to an oral interpreter if they have trouble seeing or reading on their own.

These changes make sure everyone has a fair chance to do well on the test, following rules set by the ADA and other guidelines that support people with disabilities during exams like the GRE.

How to Apply for Accommodations

gre accommodations - drawing of a hallway of an office building. The sign on the wall says "accommodations"

Applying for GRE accommodations is a must if you need extra support during the test. You start by checking how early you should ask for these aids, then follow specific steps, and finally send your request the right way.

Keep reading to learn more about each step!

Time frame for accommodation requests

You need to plan ahead if you’re thinking about asking for special arrangements on your GRE due to disabilities. The review process for documents related to such requests can take up to 4–6 weeks.

This means getting your request in early is key. As soon as you decide to take the test, start gathering all the necessary paperwork.

ETS Disability Services handles these requests. They advise students to submit their applications well before their preferred testing date to ensure there is enough time for review and processing.

Remember, if your application is late, you might not get the accommodations you need in time for your test date. So, mark your calendar and start early to avoid any last-minute stress.

Steps for requesting accommodations

Getting the right accommodations for the GRE test makes a big difference. It helps test takers with disabilities or health-related needs perform at their best. Here’s how you can request accommodations:

  1. Start by logging into your ETS account. Look for an option that says “GRE Accommodation Status/New Request.” This is where your journey begins.
  2. Fill out the Testing Accommodations Request Form carefully. This form is a must to tell ETS exactly what you need.
  3. Gather all the necessary documents to support your request. These include medical records, educational reports, and anything else that explains your situation.
  4. Submit your request through your ETS account. Make sure everything is complete and accurate before you send it off.
  5. Wait for a response from ETS. They might take some time to review your application, so patience is key.
  6. If ETS asks for more information, provide it as soon as possible to keep things moving smoothly.
  7. Check your email and ETS account regularly for updates on your request status.

These steps are here to guide you through each stage of requesting accommodations for the GRE exam—from figuring out what you need to finally hitting submit on your application.

Submission process

You need to fill out a Testing Accommodations Request Form to start. Make sure you also complete the Certification of Eligibility: Accommodations History form. Include all your documents that prove why you need extra help during the GRE.

This could be doctor’s notes or reports from teachers.

It takes them at least six weeks to review your request and decide. So, send everything well before your test date. This will ensure you get what you need in time. Also, check that every paper is correct and clear so there are no delays with your application.

GRE Accommodations: What You Need to Know

Understanding GRE accommodations can change your test experience. These support to level the playing field for testers with disabilities or health needs.

Qualifying for accommodations

You must complete a Testing Accommodations Request Form to see if you can get help on the GRE General Test. This step is critical for those with disabilities or health needs. You send this form to ETS Disability Services.

They need to check your situation and decide on your request.

First, find out if you qualify for these special arrangements. Do you have learning disabilities, ADHD, or vision troubles? Maybe you deal with conditions like autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, or physical challenges such as cerebral palsy.

Your condition should match the list ETS accepts. Then, gather documents that explain your condition and how it affects taking tests. These papers prove why you need extra time or different test formats for the GRE exam.

Types of accommodations available

Test takers with disabilities or health-related needs can get special help for the GRE. This includes more time to take the test, short breaks during it, and help hearing the directions.

Some people might need different ways to take the test. For example, there are tests in larger print for those with low vision and audio versions for those who are blind. Tools like a refreshable braille display, screen magnification software, and alternative mice like a trackball device make taking computer-delivered exams easier.

Applying for these helps make sure everyone has a fair chance at doing their best on standardized tests such as the GRE. Whether someone needs extra time due to dyslexia or a sign language interpreter because they’re deaf, accommodations aim to level the playing field.

It’s about making sure every student’s needs are met so they can show their true potential on this important exam.

How to submit a GRE accommodation request

To submit a GRE accommodation request, first log into your ETS account. Look for “GRE Accommodation Status/New Request” in the “Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-Related Needs” section.

Click on it. Next, you need to fill out a Testing Accommodations Request Form. Send this form to ETS Disability Services for review.

Start your accommodation request process as soon as possible. It’s important to follow all instructions given by ETS Disability Services carefully. This will help ensure your request moves smoothly through the process.

Hilltop Monitor as Your Guide

Hilltop Monitor knows the twists and turns of getting GRE accommodations. They have experts who make this process much easier for you.

Why do you want an expert on your side?

Having an expert by your side ensures you get the right help for your GRE test accommodations. Experts know how to navigate the tricky process with Educational Testing Service (ETS).

They have the knowledge and skills to request things like more time, rest breaks, or different ways to take the exam. An expert can talk in a way that gets results, making sure you have what you need.

Experts also bring confidence and reduce stress. If you’re dealing with health issues or disabilities, figuring out GRE accommodations can feel overwhelming. A knowledgeable advocate can handle those tough parts for you.

They fight so you don’t face barriers alone and help make sure your abilities shine through on test day without unnecessary hurdles. Your right to accommodations is based on several federal laws, so it is vital to have an expert in these laws on your side.

Difficulty in obtaining accommodations

Getting accommodations for the GRE can feel like a big task. ETS, the group that makes the test, asks for lots of papers to prove you need special help. This might include stuff from doctors or teachers showing your disability or health issue.

For some students, especially those with psychiatric disabilities, chronic health conditions, or neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD, getting these documents is hard and takes time.

Many times, schools offer help like extra time on tests or gadgets that read out loud for students who find reading tough due to visual impairments. But when it comes to big exams like the GRE, proving you need these aids again can be frustrating.

Each student’s needs are different—someone with severe anxiety might need more breaks, while another who’s legally blind may rely on refreshable braille devices. Making sure everyone gets fair access means jumping through hoops and dealing with red-tape, which isn’t always quick or easy.


1. What are GRE accommodations, and who can get them?

GRE accommodations are special adjustments or services provided during the test to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to perform their best. People with disabilities, health-related needs, or conditions like ADHD, visual impairments, or physical disabilities can request these accommodations.

2. How do I ask for GRE accommodations?

Start by filling out the Accommodations Request Process form found in the Bulletin Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-Related Needs. Then, submit it along with your registration form and any necessary documents that explain why you need these accommodations.

3. Can I use a screen reader or other assistive devices during my GRE?

Yes! If you’re visually impaired or have another condition that makes using a standard computer difficult, you can use assistive devices like a screen reader, keyboard with touchpad, trackball mouse, or even hearing aids if you’re deaf or hard of hearing.

4. Are there specific GRE accommodations for those who struggle with mental focus due to anxiety or other conditions?

Absolutely! The GRE offers various types of support for test-takers dealing with generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hyperactivity, post-traumatic stress disorders, and more. ensuring they have what they need to concentrate and do well on the exam.

5. Does getting an accommodation mean my test will be easier than without one?

Not at all—accommodations don’t change the difficulty level of the test questions. They simply provide tools or modifications so everyone faces the same challenges regardless of their physical abilities. It’s about fairness, not making things easier.

6. If I live outside the U.S., can I still receive GRE accommodations?

Yes! Whether you’re taking your test in U.S. territories or anywhere else around the globe, as long as you follow through with the proper request process, accommodations are available worldwide to ensure every candidate gets a fair shot at admission into their desired master’s program.