What is High Stakes Testing?
High stakes testing is an examination that has important consequences if the test is, or is not, successfully passed. Common high stakes tests include the SAT or ACT for high school students to access a desired higher education program; the GRE, MCAT, LSAT to gain access to post-secondary programs; and examinations required for certification organizations such as Bar Exams and other licensing/credentialing programs.
For the student or graduate with a documented learning disorder or psychological limitation, such examinations - administered without the person's usual accommodation - can be arduous and will likely not provide an accurate representation of their abilities. We have extensive experience assisting students and graduates with the proper documentation to allow them to successfully petition for accommodations for high stakes testing.
Whether or not you choose to work with us for your high stakes testing needs, please be aware some of the common reasons individuals are denied access to supports necessary for them to do their best on high stakes tests. These are the top three reasons students and graduates that come to us have previously been denied support.
#1 Reason for Denial
Incomplete packet or missed deadline
Thoroughly review the website of the examination organization to ensure you have a complete packet with the proper documentation provided by credentialed professionals.
deadlines are usually written in stone and late submissions will not be accepted. Allow for extra time to gather all necessary documents, such as diagnostic information from physicians, instructors, professors and anyone who may have provided you with informal accommodations (including extra time on tests or completing assignments later than the deadline) that were not recognized by the school.
#2 Reason for Denial
No history of having used supports.
If you have no history of receiving support, the testing organization will want to know why you need support now!
Having a history of successfully using supports related to your diagnosis is essential. You may also be able to provide documentation regarding the difference between your prior GPA and after being provided support. In addition, having accommodations during your academic program can improve your overall experience and performance.
#3 Reason for Denial
Prior evaluation was insufficient.
The prior report may not fully address the question of eligibility or may include tests that are unacceptable.
We have encountered this on numerous occasions. The student, and/or their parents, did everything correctly, gathered the necessary documentation and submitted the packet before the deadline only to be denied because the evaluation they depended upon was insufficient or included tests that were unacceptable.
Ask your perspective evaluator about their experience with providing evaluations and documentation and whether they are willing to complete additional forms or letters of support if necessary.