High school students with Tourette syndrome have historically had a difficult time getting the needed accommodations for the SATs even though they have received the same accommodations during high school. Too often students were forced to take this test in a room with hundreds of other students and would need to put energy and focus on suppressing their tics. Students whose tics interfere with their ability to read and/or write have not been allowed to use keyboarding or have test read to them. Being allowed to use calculators, to circle answers instead of filling in bubbles and being provided breaks as needed have generally been denied. The vast lack of accommodations too often resulted in insufficient time, lack of focus and lower grades.
Parents, counselors and representatives of the Tourette Association have, for many years, emailed and spoken with representatives of the College Board attempting to explain why a student’s symptoms interfere with their test taking abilities. Finally, the College Board has responded in a manner that will allow students to automatically be provided accommodations they have received in high school, both public and private. Read the Washington Post article on new accommodations by clicking here.
Since we don’t yet know the impact of this decision on students with TS, we continue to encourage students and parent to review the SAT resource on our website that includes suggestions to make the application for accommodations more likely to be provided.