Helping You, To Help Them

Helping You, To Help Them

Applying for IB, AP, SAT and ACT

Inclusive Assessment Arrangements

If a student has been receiving and utilizing accommodations throughout high school, they may apply for IB testing accommodations. Testing accommodations must be officially requested from IB following IB regulations. The final decision granting accommodations is solely up to the IB organization. In order to request testing accommodations for IB exams (referred to as inclusive assessment arrangements), students and families must submit the following items to the IB Coordinator.

A psychological/ psycho-educational/ medical report. This report must meet the following criteria and include:

  • Written by a licensed professional who is qualified to evaluate and diagnose
  • Written on the licensed professional’s official letterhead
  • A diagnosis
  • The test or techniques used to arrive at this diagnosis
  • Testing accommodation request(s). This must match the accommodations given to the student in their I.E.P. Plan.
  • Based on nationally standardized psychological tests with report results as standard scores (mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15) if it is a psychological/psycho-educational report
  • If the student qualifies for Spec Ed, this report is provided by our School Psychologist. If the student qualifies, this report must be provided by the family from the licensed professional who provided the diagnosis.

Educational evidence (an I.E.P in place prior to the testing year and showing the requested accommodations have been in use as the student’s usual way of participating in classroom activities and tests.)

The IB Application for Special Needs Assessment form completed by the licensed professional in a signed and sealed envelope. If the student qualifies for Spec Ed, this application is provided by our Special education Department. If the student qualifies, this application must be provided by the family from the licensed professional who provided the diagnosis.

Parent/guardian written permission (in email or hard copy) allowing the school to share this information with IB.

These items must be submitted to the IB Coordinator in the IB Office no later than October 25th for the May exam session. This is a firm deadline and no extensions are granted as schools must adhere to IB deadlines.

How do I apply for accommodations for SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) exams?
How do I apply for accommodations for ACT exams?
How do I apply for accommodations for IB exams?

While everyone’s high school experience is different, one common thing often ties them all together: The need and pressure to take standardized tests. If you have a chronic illness, disability or mental illness, there’s a chance you may need accommodations on standardized tests like stop-time so you would be able to take care of an illness as necessary or extra time for anxiety or dexterity challenges. Studying for standardized tests are difficult enough, so the added stress of searching for how to receive accommodations for these likely don’t make things easier.

There are different types of standardized tests you may find yourself taking during high school. There tends to be two different categories of tests. The first is often required for university admissions. They test your overall skills. These include the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT). The second type of test usually follows one or more years of studying a specific subject and may possibly be used toward future college credit. These include Advanced Placement (AP) exams and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. Here are general instructions for how to apply for accommodations for these exams.

SAT and AP Exams
If you are or your child is taking the SAT and AP exams, I have some good news for you. Both these exams are under the College Board’s umbrella, so you only need to apply for accommodations once. To apply for accommodations from the College Board, a student has to be approved by Services for Students with Disabilities.

The College Board recommends students apply for accommodations with the aid of their school. For a school to submit an application for accommodations, a parent or guardian has to first sign off giving their permission on this form. A student can also apply for accommodations separately from their school. For both methods of applying for accommodations, students need supporting documents which can provide evidence that a disability, chronic illness, short-term injury, or mental health issue would require a student to need accommodations. These supporting documents, for example, could be a copy of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a letter from a psychiatrist.

The College Board recommends students apply early, as this process can take around seven weeks. If a request for accommodations is denied, a student can reapply. The College Board says accommodations are not fully approved for three reasons: more information is required, the documentation does not support requested accommodations, or the request was only partially approved.

If your application is approved, your accommodations will continue to be valid until one year after you finish high school.

ACT Exams
The ACT is another exam a student can take for university admission purposes. The ACT does not give a time frame for how soon you will hear back if your accommodations were approved or denied. Like with the College Board, a student should apply for accommodations a few months before their exam. A student needs to register for an exam date before applying for accommodations.

For the ACT exam, a student, or someone on their behalf, can apply for accommodations using this form, and they need to submit relevant documentation. Students and assisting parties should review the ACT for Accommodations Policy before their application is submitted. In a nutshell, documentation needs to be less than three years old and has to provide evidence of why a student may need a certain accommodation. Like with the College Board, students can apply with the help of their school or independently. If a student’s application for accommodations is rejected, they can reapply with new additional documentation or a different request.

IB Exams
IB exams are subject-based exams which students take at the end of a one-year course (standard level) or two-year course (higher level). IB’s guidelines for applying for accommodations can be found here. The IB recommends students apply for and start discussing accommodations at the start of their program, whether it is for a one-year or two-year course.

The IB says that IB coordinators at a given high school should apply for accommodations for a student. The IB coordinator has to justify why a student needs accommodations, which requires documentation of a disability, illness, mental health issue, or short-term injury. There are some accommodations the IB coordinator can give themselves without consulting the organization itself, like allowing a student to take an exam in a room with fewer students.

If a student takes any of these exams and doesn’t perform as well as they wish, it’s OK. For the ACT and SAT, there are many chances throughout the year to retake these exams. If you don’t perform that well on an AP or IB exam, you could retake these the following year.

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