How to navigate the test accommodations process

January 17, 2020

Maybe your student has a long and documented history of their learning difference or maybe you’ve just recently learned it might be something you want to pursue.  Either way, the accommodations process can be long, stressful, and confusing. So we’re here to help.  

If you’re one of the countless Streamline parents who learned of their student’s potential learning differences through the MindPrint assessment, we encourage you to discuss these findings with the learning specialist at your school.  MindPrint does not serve as a definitive diagnosis; rather, it acts as an impetus for getting the conversation and process going. Learning specialists can help you and your family make an informed decision on whether to pursue psych ed testing, which is generally needed for the accommodations process. For students with learning differences, receiving extra time, multi-day testing, or unlimited breaks can make all the difference. These accommodations go beyond just the SAT or ACT, though. Having a learning plan in place means that your student will get access to the same resources in college. 

If your student has a long history of receiving accommodations or a learning plan in place at school, make sure you have that documentation on hand.  You’ll need it when applying for accommodations. Most schools have a learning specialist on hand who can assist you while you apply for accommodations.

Please be aware that the CollegeBoard’s process for accommodations is completely different than the ACT’s process. Just because someone has been approved by the CollegeBoard does not mean they’ll be approved by the ACT.  The ACT generally has stricter guidelines, including a longer history of documentation and a need for more recent psych ed test results. The other thing about ACT accommodations that confuses a lot of parents is that you have to actually register for an upcoming ACT in order to apply for accommodations.  A lot of parents get nervous, thinking their student has to take the ACT way sooner than expected in order to get those accommodations. We always tell families to register for an upcoming ACT to get approved for accommodations, and once you’re approved, you can just push the test date back!

We know this can be a grueling and stressful process, so we encourage all parents to reach out to us to let us know how we can assist.  We also encourage all parents to reach out to the learning specialist at their child’s school who can truly spearhead the process as well as recommend psychologists for psych ed testing.

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