Frequently Asked Questions
What is an SSD Number and why is it important?
The Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Number is initially assigned to any student who applies for an accommodation. If approved, this number follows the student throughout their high school career and identifies them as eligible for specific accommodations as approved by the College Board.
If approved for an accommodation, how will a test center know on the day I arrive to take an SAT?
At the time the student applies for an exam, he or she should include the assigned SSD number they received when initially approved for an accommodation. The test center will be notified by the College Board that special testing will be occurring via a Nonstandard Administrative Report (NAR).
It is always a good idea for the student to bring a copy of their approval letter and be proactive on the day they arrive for their exam.
If approved for use of a computer, what is included?
A basic keyboard program will be utilized with no spell check or grammar corrections available to the student during the exam.
Can I take the ACT’s with accommodations approved by the College Board?
The ACT Exams are conducted by another agency. By going to www.actstudent.org and reviewing the “Students with Disabilities” section, two options for test accommodations can be found. The Lake Braddock SSD Coordinator must also review and verify this application.
Can a change be made to an accommodation after it is approved?
Yes, a change request form can be submitted should a student feel it necessary to request an additional accommodation.
Are accommodations available for students who do not have an IEP or 504 Plan?
If a student is injured or temporarily unable to take a test in the traditional way (ie broken writing hand), the College Board does have a quick review program that can provide a response within 48 hours once medical documentation is received. This has been used most frequently during AP testing.
How do I know if my son or daughter is eligible for test accommodations?
Both the College Board and the ACT Review Committees have very stringent requirements. A student must demonstrate a valid need based on a documented learning disability or medical condition. The existence of an IEP or 504 Plan, in and of itself, does not guarantee test accommodation approval. The requested accommodation must presently be in use in the classroom and have been in use for at least the past 4 months. Specific documentation verifying the need may be requested. In nearly all cases, the College Board will ask for the most recent testing data (Cognitive and Achievement Testing) that was used to determine the student’s eligibility for special education services. It must be no older than 5 years. (The KTEA, Woodcock Johnson, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children 4th Edition, and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 4th edition are some examples of these types of tests.)
When should my son or daughter apply for accommodations?
It is suggested that a student take the PSAT once without accommodations to establish a baseline. If it is evident that a student can benefit (and does not need) accommodations, the application can be submitted at any time. Be cognizant of deadlines if you are looking at an upcoming exam. The process may take up to 2 months to complete and the SSD Coordinator is not under contract during the summer months.
How long are accommodations good for?
Once approved, a College Board accommodation will follow a student through their high school career, to include PSATs, SATs, AP Testing and National Merit Tests.
What accommodations can I request?
The College Board website details the available accommodations. They include: extended time, use of a computer for essay portion of the test, large block answer sheet, Large Print Exams, Frequent Breaks, and Preferential Seating and allowances for food or medications during exam. The requested accommodation must currently be in use in the classroom and full documentation must be included that clearly demonstrates the student’s needs.
Does an IEP or 504 Plan guarantee that I will receive an accommodation?
No, the College Board’s criteria are much more stringent. Clear documentation and a demonstrated need must be provided to the College Board’s (or ACT’s) Review Committee.
Can I contact the College Board directly?
Yes. As a parent, you may directly contact the College Board at 609-771-7137 to inquire about the status of your son or daughter’s request. They also have a website. For general information go to www.collegeboard.org or for specific information about services for students with disabilities see www.collegeboard.com/ssd/student.