How to Request Accommodations for AP Exams

Just like the ACT and SAT, Advanced Placement exams allow eligible individuals to receive special testing accommodations. Because these accommodations can make a world of difference to a student’s testing experience and final score, there are some key facts to be aware of if you are considering requesting accommodations.

Types of Accommodations

The College Board, which administers the AP program, offers more than two dozen types of accommodations to test-takers with special needs, which may include visual impairments, learning differences and more.

The following are just a few examples of the accommodations for eligible test-takers:

— Access to a magnifying machine

— Access to a computer for essay writing

— Braille and large-print answer sheets

— Extended time

— Assistance from a scribe or sign language interpreter

— Preferential seating

— Frequent breaks

— Permission for food/medication in the testing room

— One-to-one testing

Who Is Eligible for Accommodations

Students with documented disabilities that could limit their ability to take AP tests may be eligible. If you have received accommodations from your school on other standardized tests, there is a high likelihood that you will qualify.

Also, if you have already been granted accommodations for the PSAT or SAT, which are administered by the College Board, you are likely eligible for those same accommodations for your AP exams. There’s no guarantee, however, given differences in test format and administration.

[ Read: What to Know About Self-Studying for AP Exams. ]

How and When to Request Accommodations

The deadline to request accommodations for spring 2022 AP exams is Jan. 18, 2022. Families must submit a printed and signed one-page parent consent form online and may also be prompted to furnish an individualized education program, 504 or other formal plan, and possibly the student’s history of previous testing accommodations and other evidence of special needs.

All required documents will be uploaded to the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities online portal, which is managed by SSD coordinators. However, families should work closely with coordinators to ensure that all the application requirements have been satisfied.

The SSD portal can also be used to check the status of students’ accommodation requests, view decision letters and reopen denied requests.

[ Read: Late AP Testing: What to Do if You Change Your Mind. ]

The College Board recommends that students requesting accommodations talk to the SSD coordinators at their own schools for assistance in the process. It is important to note that disabilities must be documented, so families requesting accommodations should begin the process well before deadlines to ensure that they can secure proper documentation.

Generally speaking, any documentation you have provided to obtain accommodations at school will suffice for the College Board, but your school’s SSD coordinators can help you ensure that your request is thorough and well-documented. All requests are subject to the College Board’s approval.

Other Important Information

Before submitting an exam order, students must indicate which accommodations they have been approved for or expect to be approved for.

There is no charge for making accommodation requests. However, if accommodations are requested for an exam that is ordered after the Nov. 15 deadline, the usual $40 late fee will be assessed.

[ READ: 5 Things to Know About AP Scores. ]

If the student’s accommodation status changes for a test he or she registered for before the Nov. 15 deadline, the late fee does not apply. In these cases, students are expected to log into the online portal and update their existing exam order.

Again, students who have received accommodations for tests in school or on other standardized tests will likely receive the same or similar accommodations on AP exams. It’s best to work with the SSD coordinator at your school for assistance in making the request to ensure that it is properly submitted with documentation and that you are fully aware of which accommodations you can request for your situation.

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