Testing accommodations are an important, and highly discussed, topic in the learning disability world. With the recent “Varsity Blues” admissions scandal, in which several high-profile parents were exposed for their role in gaming university admissions processes–in some instances using disability accommodations to game entrance exams–we have seen an uptick in the number of students who report more barriers to receiving accommodations.

One of NCLD’s Young Adult Leadership Council members, Kayla Queen, went deeper into exploring the pervasiveness of the issues surrounding accommodations in order to provide insight into and first-person experiences of the accommodations process. What follows are several pieces that delve into the current issues surrounding disability accommodations for entrance and standardized assessments like SAT, ACT, and others.

Learning Disabilities and High-Stakes Testing

ACT Announces New Process for Accommodations: How Will Students with Disabilities Benefit?

On July 21, 2021, ACT. announced that it is adopting an easier process for implementing accommodations for those with disabilities by transferring accommodations granted in IEPs and 504 plans directly to its eponymous test starting in the 2021-2022 school year. This is important news and a long-needed change. How big of a win is this […]

Current Testing Trends

High-stakes tests in the form of entrance exams have been commonplace for the majority of prospective college students for more than 60 years. The initial purpose of these exams, such as the ACT (first introduced in 1959), was to standardize the application process and increase access to higher education. But these tests now are often […]

Seeking Accommodations: Rachelle’s Experience

Rachelle is an exceptionally bright student seeking admission to a Ph.D. program. She is a high achiever and overwhelmed by the prospect of having to compromise her goals if she underperforms on a standardized test. She is driven to do everything in her power to prepare well for standardized entrance exams, the most recent one […]

Seeking Accommodations: Taylor’s Experience

Taylor is an aspiring teacher who is completing her student teaching. Before starting her student teaching, she had to consider how she was going to pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) with her learning disability. For Taylor, becoming an educator hinges on receiving a passing score on the MTEL. In her everyday life, […]

Obstacles in High-Stakes Tests for Those With Learning Disabilities

A lot of people have misconceptions about what it means to have learning disabilities and attention issues, thinking that people with these challenges cannot thrive academically or professionally. But by definition, people with LDs have average or above-average intelligence. The barriers they face when taking entrance and professional exams are nothing to do with academic […]

Colleges & Careers: Deciding to Opt In or Out of High-Stakes Tests

Opting In to High-Stakes Tests For prospective students and professionals who want to pursue certain degrees and careers, high-stakes tests will often be necessary. These may include admission exams such as the SAT and ACT for undergrads, and tests like the MCAT or GRE for those applying to graduate school. Licensure exams, such as the […]

If you have questions about any of the pieces in this series, please email Joey Hunziker, our Director of Young Adult Initiatives, at jhunziker@ncld.org.

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Carrying out the NCLD mission to improve outcomes for the 1 in 5 individuals with learning and attention issues.


Young Adult Initiatives

Help empower and advocate for young adults ages 18–26 with learning disabilities and attention issues.

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