Accommodations for the SAT & ACT

Academic accommodations for the ISEE, PSAT, SAT, and ACT

Depending on a young students path, they will typically face the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the American College Test (ACT) or the Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) at some point in their academic career. All these tests purport to evaluate a student’s degree of “readiness” for matriculation to higher grade levels, public to private school, and, in the case of the ACT and SAT, matriculation from high school to college. In addition to being innately challenging tests, the ACT and SAT have the added pressure of determining what tier of school to which a student might be admitted. As difficult as these tests are for “typical students,” they are that much harder for students with cognitive, emotional, or learning disorders. Fortunately, for these students, the Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that academic accommodations must be provided on high stakes tests as long as a proper diagnosis is made and it is demonstrated, through proper assessment and documentation, that a given condition has a negative effect on academic performance.

Reasons a student may struggle with standardized tests

Frequently, when students are preparing to take standardized tests, or after they have taken their first SAT (for example), they realize that something is “off.” The student may not finish test sections on time; they may consistently fail to perform on a certain section (e.g. quantitative); they may have performance anxiety that impairs the ability to think; or they may be unable to focus. There is a plethora of reasons that a student may struggle when preparing for or taking these “high stakes” tests. When problems arise, often the best course of action is a psychoeducational assessment by a psychologist, which is a process by which a student is evaluated for various conditions that may hinder academic and test performance.

Typical diagnoses from psychoeducational testing:

Once you have received a psychoeducational test battery and been properly diagnosed by a psychologist, then a report will be provided that outlines the academic accommodations for which you will likely qualify on a given standardized tests. Importantly, the “write-up” will be in an optimized format to garner you deserved accommodations as quickly as possible.


20 years of experience with academic accommodations

At Bryce Gibbs PhD & Associates our clinicians have assessed students of all ages for over 20 years, gaining vast experience at dealing directly with oft cantankerous standardized test companies. In addition to our unique assessment system that accurately and efficiently outlines a student’s psychoeducational functioning, we produce appropriately formatted reports that are designed for approval. We utilize specific criteria for determining if an accommodations request is even advised, as it is not the optimal solution for everyone. If our screening process determines that your child meets the ADA standards for accommodations or modifications, then our psychoeducational assessment report will typically result in an affirmative request. If academic accommodations are not warranted in your student’s situation, we will produce a comprehensive strategy to achieve peak performance tailored to your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

If you feel like your child may need academic accommodations on the ISEE/PSAT/SAT/or ACT (or you have a friend or family member who may need accommodations), then please contact us to start the process of attaining a psychoeducational assessment. Our test batteries are specifically designed for students of all ages preparing to take all the major standardized tests and we can quickly evaluate a student and help initiate the accommodations process. Further, we will continue consulting with students until they have received deserved accommodations.