College students: How to Receive Extended Testing Time
Would you like to learn how to receive extended testing time for your college exams? Exams you are taking may determine your ability graduate, be accepted to graduate school or receive a professional licensed. Extended testing time was put in place to help students who struggle with standardized exams. If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, or suspect you have ADHD, you may qualify for extended testing time and should take a moment to learn how the process works.
Communicate with your professor
Identifying that ADHD has become a roadblock for yourself is the first step. Schedule a time to have a conversation with your professor. This should be done during office hours, and not as a side conversation after class. Provide your professor with clinical documentation stating you have ADHD. We will discuss how you can receive a proof of diagnosis later in the article if you have not yet undergone an assessment. Some processors will be happy to offer you the help you need, while others will direct you to the academic committee to begin a more formal process. Either way, your professor will appreciate being part of the conversation.
If applying for extended testing time for ADHD, you will need to provide a proof of diagnosis signed by a physician or psychologist. Some colleges will accept a simple letter, while others will require a copy of the actual assessment results. While most family doctors and pediatricians treat ADHD, most will require you to see a psychologist to be diagnosed. To make matters slightly more complicated, some colleges will require the diagnoses to be current within the last 3 years.
Approaching your academic board
Start by checking your college website as there may be a form to apply for extended testing time. If you are unable to find the policy or application, you will need to contact the board directly. This step can naturally provoke some anxiety. When people think of the academic board, they often think of disciplinary action. In truth, the academic board has the authority to help you before you find yourself on academic probation. Your academic advisor can help you begin the discussion and be your advocate throughout the process.
Stating your individual case
Your college board may require you write a short synopsis on how ADHD has affected your testing abilities on previous exams. Be sure to include your experiences and struggles in early childhood and high school. Take the time to explain how you are affected by distractions and what it is like for you when taking an exam. In addition to extended testing time, you may be given the opportunity to test in a quiet environment. Receiving extra help is never embarrassing and is more common than you would believe. This is your career, so use all of the help you can get!
Once you have been approved to receive testing accommodations, you will need to find out if you need to apply every year or if the approval will be honored until you graduate. The college academic board will be able to explain how to receive extended time for each of your classes. Your college will not be able to approve extended testing time for professional exams or entrance exams, such as the LSAT, GRE or MCAT, so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to apply for accommodations with each testing organization.
Need help getting an assessment?
ADHD assessments are completed by a licensed psychologist. Our online assessment platform allows patients to be evaluated by licensed psychologists from the comfort of home with instant access and no referrals. If you are wondering if you have ADHD and desire extended testing time, we can help.
Written by Emily Herriman, BSW