Key Takeaways

  • SAT testing accommodations can help students with documented disabilities by providing extra time, larger print materials, breaks as needed, and other supports during the test.
  • To request accommodations for College Board exams like the SAT, start early by creating an SSD Online account, gathering necessary documents to prove disability, and submitting a detailed request with your school’s help.
  • The process of getting approved for accommodations can take up to seven weeks. Ensure all documentation is accurate and submitted well before your test date to avoid delays.
  • On the day of the SAT with accommodations, expect a testing environment tailored to your needs—this may include specific aids or settings that make taking the test more manageable.
  • Resources are available for students needing support with SAT accommodations including guides from College Board and assistance from your school’s SSD coordinator.

Taking the SAT can feel like a big deal. You might worry about how you’ll do, especially if you need extra help because of a disability. Did you know that there are special options to make taking the test easier for students who need them? That’s right — things like more time or a quieter room can be arranged.

Our blog post is here to guide you through getting these special options, known as accommodations. We’ll show you who can get them, how to ask for them, and what types are available.

Ready? Keep reading and find out how to make your SAT experience smoother.

Understanding Accommodations on College Board Exams

Getting the right help on College Board tests is key. Everyone should have a fair shot, and that’s why there are special supports in place for students who need them.

Who can request accommodations?

Students with documented disabilities have the right to request accommodations on College Board exams. This includes kids with learning disorders who need extra help, like more time or a quieter room for tests.

The College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) handles these requests. They work to make sure all students can do their best on exam day.

To ask for these changes, your disability must be officially recognized. You might already have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan from your school that shows what you need.

These documents are key when asking for special arrangements like reading aids, time extensions, or breaks as needed during the SATs. Your SSD coordinator at school is there to help guide you through this process and submit your request.

How do I request accommodations?

SAT testing accommodations - photo of a building with the words College Board engraved above the door

Requesting accommodations for College Board exams, like the SAT, needs a bit of know-how. The process is different from what you might be used to for school tests. Here’s what you do:

  1. Create an SSD Online Account – First things up, head over to the SSD Online portal. This is where you’ll manage your request. Think of this account as your mission control for getting those accommodations set.
  2. Gather Your Proof – You’ll need some documents that show why you need these accommodations. This could be info from doctors or your special education plan at school (IEPs). Make sure these documents are handy.
  3. Select “College Board” as the Recipient – When filling out forms online, there’s a spot to choose who gets to see your request. Click on College Board since that’s who oversees the SAT.
  4. Detailed Request – Here’s where you spell out what you need. Be specific! If you read better with a screen reader or need extra breaks, say so.
  5. Get Help from Your School – Usually, someone at school can help submit your request through SSD Online. They can be a big help and know how to make your case strong.
  6. Wait for a Decision – After sending in your request, it takes about seven weeks to hear back. Use this time to keep prepping for the test without worrying too much about the decision.
  7. Check Your Status – You don’t have to sit by the mailbox waiting for news. Log into your SSD Online account and check if there’s an update on your request.
  8. Prepare for Test Day – Once approved, get familiar with how your accommodations will work during the exam. Will you bring equipment like a braille writer? Know before you go!

These steps aren’t tough but following them carefully makes a big difference in getting the assistance you need for test day success!

What are the different types of accommodations?

Students facing challenges during exams have options. The College Board provides a range of accommodations to help. Let’s explore these supports available for tests like the SAT.

  1. Extra Time: Many students get additional minutes to complete their tests. You might get 50% or even 100% more time, depending on your needs.
  2. More Breaks: If sitting for long stretches is tough, you can ask for more breaks. These pauses help you relax and refocus before diving back into the exam.
  3. Bigger Text: Books with large print are there for students who struggle with smaller fonts. This makes reading questions and instructions easier.
  4. Assistive Devices: Tools like computers or audio players support those who need them. For example, screen-reading software helps students with visual impairments navigate questions.
  5. Braille Materials: For those who read Braille, the College Board ensures your test is in this format. They also provide devices tailored to Braille users.
  6. Use of a Computer: Typing responses instead of writing by hand is an option for some students, especially useful for lengthy essays or if handwriting is difficult.
  7. Audio Assistance: Exams come in pre-recorded formats or with readers available, assisting students who benefit from hearing the content aloud.
  8. Custom Exam Settings: Rare but crucial adjustments include testing at a specific time or under special lighting conditions, catered to unique needs. You are entitled to an equal playing field.
  9. Multiple Day Testing: This is a difficult accommodation to get but there are situations in which you may qualify.

These accommodations ensure every student gets a fair shot at showcasing their abilities on test day, using tools and settings that work best for them.

Navigating the Accommodation Request Process

Starting early makes things easier. The sooner you ask for help, the better. Use SSD Online to send your request—it’s straightforward and quick. This way, you get what you need without delay or confusion.

When should I request accommodations?

You must ask for special help on the SAT before you sign up for the test. This process needs time — up to seven weeks. So, plan early and avoid a rush close to your testing date. Requesting early means you’re sure everything is set when the day comes.

The College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) handles these requests through SSD Online. Make this your first step after deciding to take the SAT. With enough lead time, you can work out any bumps along the way without extra stress.

How do I submit requests through SSD Online?

SAT Testing accommodations - photo of a computer screen that reads SSD Online

Submitting requests through SSD Online is a smooth process. The College Board has made sure of that, especially for students needing assistive technology, extended time, or reading accommodations. Here’s a simple guide to get you started:

  1. First, create an account on the College Board website if you don’t have one already. You need this account for everything related to your SATs.
  2. Next, log in to SSD Online. This is where you’ll manage all your accommodation requests.
  3. Look for the link that says “Request Accommodations.” Clicking on this will start your journey towards getting the help you need.
  4. Fill out the Student Eligibility Form thoroughly. This form asks about your disability and what kind of help you need, like extra time or pre-recorded audio.
  5. Your school needs to play a part too – they confirm your disability and request for aid. So, make sure to talk to your school’s SSD coordinator.
  6. Attach documentation that proves your disability. This could be medical records, psycho-educational evaluations, or letters from doctors.
  7. Submit your request well before the SSD deadline mentioned on the College Board’s site.
  8. Wait for a decision. The approval process can take some time, but SSD Online makes it easy to check your status anytime.
  9. If approved, review the details of your accommodations—like whether you got extended time or assistive tech—and make any necessary adjustments with help from your SSD coordinator.
  10. Finally, prepare for test day knowing you have supports in place such as braille writing tools or extra breaks if needed.

Each step is laid out clearly on SSD Online with instructions that are easy to follow—ensuring no student is left behind because they couldn’t navigate the system.

What should I know about the approval process?

Getting the green light for SAT testing accommodations from the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) can take up to seven weeks. This step is crucial for students with documented disabilities wanting to use accommodations during their SAT.

The process starts at your school, not when you sign up for the test. Make sure all your paperwork is ready and accurate before submitting it.

For homeschooling families, guidance is available because this process might seem a bit harder. It differs from getting accommodations for other tests like the ACT, which some find more challenging.

Always double-check that you have submitted everything needed – missing documents can delay approval. Keep in mind; patience is key as you wait for confirmation. If you are denied necessary accommodations, you should consider hiring an expert to assist you.

Taking the SAT with Accommodations

Taking the SAT with accommodations means you get the help you need to do your best. You can choose where to take the test and use different aids on test day. Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

What options are available for testing centers?

Students can choose from various places to take the SAT with accommodations. Many schools and independent test sites offer special settings for those who need them. These might include quieter rooms or spaces where you can spend more time on your exam.

The College Board works closely with these centers to ensure they have everything needed to support students with disabilities (SSD). This means you can find a spot that feels right for you, making test day a bit less stressful.

On top of picking a location, you get to use specific aids during the SAT if approved for accommodations. Need extra minutes? You got it. How about someone to read questions out loud or write down your answers? That’s possible too.

Every effort is made so that your experience mirrors that of other students as closely as possible, just with the tweaks necessary for success.

What accommodations can be used on test day?

Taking the SAT can be a big deal, and everyone deserves a fair shot. That’s where accommodations come in, thanks to Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). They make sure students with documented disabilities get the support they need. So, let’s talk about what options you have on test day.

  1. Extra Time: Need more time to work through questions? You can get time and a half or even double time. This helps if reading or solving problems takes a bit longer for you.
  2. Breaks as Needed: Sometimes, taking breaks is necessary to stay focused. Whether it’s short breaks between sections or extended breaks, this accommodation has got you covered.
  3. Reading Support: For those who struggle with reading on their own, there are tools like readers or audio recordings of the exam questions.
  4. Writing Tools: If writing by hand is tough, using a computer for essays is an option.
  5. Large Print and Braille Test Books: Vision troubles? You can request large print materials or Braille versions of the test.
  6. Four-Function Calculator: Math sections can be tricky without the right tools. A basic calculator might be allowed for all math parts for some students.

These supports aim to level the playing field so every student can show their true potential on the SAT. Remember, applying early through SSD Online gives you the best chance to have everything set for test day!

Common Accommodation Questions

Curious about extra time or what to bring on test day? Our guide answers all your big questions on SAT accommodations. Keep reading for the info you need!

What to know about extended time

Extended time on the SAT helps students who need more minutes to complete their work. This includes those who find it tough to wrap up activities, assignments, or the test in the standard period.

If you get extended time for reading, this bonus applies to every part of the SAT because all sections require good reading skills. The most common types of extra time are Time and a Half (50% more) and Double Time (twice as much).

Applying for extended time through Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) should happen early. Processing these requests can take weeks. On test day, students must use all the extra time given and cannot speed through sections at their own pace.

With five timed parts on the SAT, extra minutes are crucial for those who struggle under normal timing conditions.

What to expect on test day

Test day can be a mix of nerves and excitement. Knowing what to expect makes things easier. Here’s a handy guide for students with accommodations through SSD.

  1. Arrival Time – Get there early. This gives you time to find your room and settle in without rushing.
  2. Check-In Process – Bring your admission ticket and photo ID. The staff will check these and guide you to your testing room.
  3. Testing Materials – You’ll get the materials needed for the test including pencils, an answer sheet, and the test booklet.
  4. Breaks – There are short breaks between sections. Use this time to stretch, eat a snack, or use the restroom.
  5. Accommodated Testing Room – Some students will take their test in a separate room designed for accommodations.
  6. Extended Time – If you have extended time, know how much extra you get for each section.
  7. Reading Assistance – For those who need it, tools like reading rulers or magnifiers might be available upon request.
  8. Test Instructions – Listen carefully as proctors explain how to fill out forms and when to start or stop.
  9. Quiet Environment – Expect a quiet space that helps all students concentrate on their tests.
  10. Support Staff Availability – If issues arise or you need help, staff members are ready to assist.

Keep your focus on doing your best on the SAT!

Resources and support for accommodations

Getting the right support for SAT accommodations is key to success. You have a lot of tools and help at your fingertips.

  1. Accommodations and Supports Handbook – This guide is a treasure trove. It gives you a full overview of all the help you can get for your SAT tests.
  2. SAT Suite of Assessments Accommodations Guide – Need step-by-step instructions for digital exams? This guide has it all, from start to finish.
  3. Professional Assistance – Have you been denied needed accommodations? Specialists can assist in working things out with the College Board.
  4. Inform Your School – Talk to your school’s services for pupils with special needs coordinator. They play a big part in your accommodation request process.
  5. American Disabilities Act Assistance – Looking for more legal info on your rights? The ADA provides lots of help about testing accommodations.
  6. Common Testing Accommodations List – Wondering what’s available? This list shows all common supports and how they apply to digital tests.
  7. Eligibility Information – Unsure if you qualify? There’s clear guidance on who can receive supports on College Board tests, along with practical insights.

Each item offers unique support to make sure you get the accommodations needed for your SATs. Whether it’s getting familiar with the types of help available or understanding how to request them, these resources are here to guide you every step of the way.


Testing accommodations are not meant to give any student an advantage on the SAT. They are designed to allow all students to show their true knowledge and ability without being disadvantaged by a disability. Federal law provides for these accommodations so they cannot be taken away. It is a violation of the law for a testing provider to fail to accommodate your disability. If you unsuccessful at first, do not give up. Hire professional help and stand up for your rights!


1. What exactly are SAT testing accommodations?

SAT testing accommodations are special adjustments or services provided by the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) program. These help students who might need a bit of extra support to take the SAT on an even playing field.

2. Who can get these accommodations, and how?

Well, any student with a documented disability might qualify for these accommodations. The key is to apply through the SSD program — it involves submitting documentation of your disability and then waiting for approval. Yes, there’s paperwork, but it’s worth it!

3. What types of accommodations are available?

There’s quite a variety! From extended time to using a computer for essays… Even getting breaks when you need them! Each accommodation is tailored to meet specific needs so that every student has what they need to do their best.

4. How long does it take to find out if I’m approved?

Patience is key here — after submitting your application and documentation to SSD, it usually takes about seven weeks to hear back. It feels like forever, but hang in there; planning ahead makes all the difference.