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Steps to Apply for Accommodations on the SAT

Student in Classroom
Steps to Apply for Accommodations for the SAT

College Board offers several potential accommodations for students with disabilities. The more common accommodations include extended time (either time and a half or double time), extra or extended breaks, large print test booklets, and computer assistance for drafting the essay. For the SAT, students can also receive accommodations for specific sections of the test instead of the entire test. For example, a student with a math-based learning disability may be approved for extended time on the math sections of the test but not on other sections.

Deadlines to Apply for SAT Accommodations

Before walking through the steps to apply for SAT accommodations, you should know what the deadlines are for this application process. The table below specifies the deadlines for applying for SAT accommodations for the remainder of the 2019-2020 test dates.

Test Date Deadline
December 7, 2019 October 18, 2019
March 14, 2020 January 24, 2020
May 2, 2020 March 13, 2020
June 6, 2020 April 17, 2020


Step 1 – Determine Student Eligibility for SAT Accommodations

A student is eligible for SAT accommodations if the following 3 criteria are met:

  • The student has completed formal testing for the disability that was documented by a certified professional.
  • The disability would impact the student’s performance on the SAT
  • The accommodations are necessary for the student to perform to their potential on the SAT

Step 2 – Gather Documentation for SAT Accommodations Request

Two kinds of documentation are necessary for accommodations requests: 1) educational or neuropsychological testing completed by a credentialed school official or private evaluator AND 2) records of the accommodation being implemented by the school.

If the testing has been completed in the local public school system, results are typically filed in an Individualized Education Program (IEP), Response to Intervention (RTI) plan, or 504 plan. These documents all contain the student’s formal diagnosis and accommodation plan that must be implemented by the student’s school.

For private school students, testing can be sought through the school or a private evaluator. Results are typically distilled into a service plan that functions similarly to an IEP, RTI, or 504 plan by providing the school with instructions for accommodations.

For students with learning disabilities or ADHD, College Board requires that all testing was conducted within the last five years. For students with visual impairments, testing must have been conducted within the past two years. For students with other medical or psychiatric disorders, testing must have been conducted within the past year.

Step 3 – Submit Your SAT Accommodations Request

College Board accepts requests for SAT accommodations in two ways:

School-assisted applications (preferred by College Board) – A designated school disabilities coordinator (SSD) assists the student in submitting the accommodations request online. If the student already has an IEP or 504 plan with similar accommodations in place, it speeds up the approval process to approximately three weeks. Without a current IEP or 504 plan, the approval process typically takes closer to seven weeks.

Independent applications – Students can also submit the request without school assistance. However, College Board does not prefer this process, so it is only recommended for students who are homeschooled or have other extenuating circumstances. The student will need to complete the Student Eligibility Form (link: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/ssd/pdf/2019-sat-ssd-eligibility-form.pdf) and all required documentation. It also takes up to seven weeks for independent SAT accommodations requests to be reviewed.

Step 4 – Respond to College Board Decision Letter

College Board will mail the student an eligibility letter specifying what accommodations they have approved. The letter will include a code that the student must input when registering for the SAT. The school SSD coordinator may also find the student’s code in their online request system. Once SAT accommodations have been approved, the student may use the specific accommodations on any College Board exam without reapplying for future test dates.

If the SAT accommodations request is denied, the student may begin the appeal process. College Board often requires additional testing or more specific evidence from the student’s school or a credentialed professional to reopen an accommodations request. It can take an additional seven weeks for the College Board to process the appeal.

How to Use Your SAT Accommodations on Test Day

Once a student has registered for the SAT using the code from their eligibility letter, the approved accommodations should be ready for them on test day. Students should still bring their eligibility letter on test day.


If you have any questions about the accommodations request process, a Mindfish representative can walk you through the process. The earlier you submit your accommodations request, the earlier the accommodations can be worked into your student’s tutoring package.