How College Students With Disabilities Can Find Documentation Requirements For LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, ETS Tests, and College Accommodations
Also available as a PDF download.
Students who have received accommodations for their disability at their college should know that the testing agencies that run graduate school exams such as the LSAT or GMAT do provide accommodations. However, the requirements these agencies may have for documentation (i.e. paperwork that proves that students have a disability) may be different from those of students’ college.
Students who want to apply for accommodations on these exams should check the documentation requirements before they send in their paperwork:
ETS learning disabilities documentation guidelines
Important! Check this link to see whether you actually need to update your testing for ETS exams
MCAT documentation guidelines
LSAT documentation guidelines (pay attention to forms to be completed by the student and the evaluator!)
GMAT documentation guidelines
Clarification about Requirements for Learning Disabilities Testing
Many documentation guidelines say that they require tests of cognitive ability, academic ability, and information processing. This last item often causes confusion. The tests typically given to evaluate cognitive ability as part of standard testing for a learning disability are the Stanford-Binet, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability. All of these testing batteries contain subtests that will cover what colleges and agencies are looking for to assess information processing, so additional testing is unlikely to be necessary if students’ evaluation includes one of these tests as the measure of cognitive ability. But students who feel unsure about this should call the number provided for students with disabilities to ask questions. On the page for test-takers with disabilities on the agency’s site, they should be able to find the phone number they can use to call with questions.
Students Who Are Confused About Whether Their Documentation Meets the Requirements Should Ask Questions
Students who do not understand whether their documentation contains what is required to apply for accommodations on the exam they want to take should start by asking their coordinator at their college’s disability services office for help with looking at the requirements for that testing agency. If this person cannot help them, students should call the administering test agency and ask questions.
What Students Should Do in Case the Testing Agency Rejects Their Requests
Students who apply for accommodations and are initially rejected by the testing agency should file an appeal. Before they send anything in, they should make an appointment to see their coordinator at their college’s disability services office and bring a copy of their rejection letter to see whether their coordinator can help them with the paperwork for this. Students should see whether any more information can be gathered by themselves and their coordinator to help support their requests, and they should file an appeal of their initial rejection. Though there is no guarantee that their appeal will result in the testing agency rendering a different decision, it is certainly worthwhile for students to try again so that they have a better chance of getting the accommodations they need on important testing.
What Students Should Know About Getting Re-Tested (Or Initially Tested) For A Learning Disability or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Sometimes, testing agencies will turn down students’ requests for accommodation, telling students that their testing is too old to meet their requirements or that it lacks required elements. In other cases, students may opt to get retested before they even apply for accommodations because they want to have a better understanding of their learning profile or because they (mistakenly) believe that getting a longer report will give them a better chance of being approved for accommodations. And students with ADD may find that the documentation their college accepted to grant them accommodations is considered insufficient by the testing agency, and that they have to get certain kinds of testing in order apply for accommodations.
In any of these scenarios, students will have to pay for this new testing themselves, as colleges don’t provide testing. Students should see Elizabeth’s advice on how to examine documentation requirements for their testing agency carefully to make sure that their new report has all of the necessary elements, how to be an educated consumer of private evaluations, including how to make sure the evaluator they choose is fully qualified to do the needed testing, and what they should expect to see in a good private report.