Support For College Prep Courses And Entrance Exams

Your child may need extra support for the advanced courses and college entrance tests that they'll need to get into college.

Here's what you can do:

  • Aim high but get support. If your child can handle an advanced course but only if they have support, ask for that support! It could be a tutor, a study class, or some extra accommodations.

  • Make sure the IEP and transition plan include effective supports for taking advanced classes and test-taking.  Ask about study skills classes.

  • Talk to your IEP team about choosing the right entrance exam: SATACT, or WorkKeys.

  • Arrange for your child to get the accommodations they need for all testing. (You have to fill out the paperwork with SAT or ACT ahead of time.)

  • Make sure your child has support to take advanced classes if they can manage them.

More about advanced classes: 

  • If your child wants to go to college, they should push themselves to take honors or AP classes.

  • AP means Advanced Placement  At the end of the class, students take an AP exam that is the same for students at all high schools.  Taking AP classes will help them get into college.

  • If your child decides to take more advanced classes and need more support, ask for a meeting with their IEP team to adjust the goals and supports.

Click on the boxes below to learn more:

These are the ones listed on the College Board's website:


  • Large print (14 pt., 20 pt., other)

  • Reader (Note:Reader reads entire test)

  • Use of a highlighter

  • Sign/orally present instructions

  • Visual magnification (magnifier or magnifying machine)

  • Colored overlays

  • Braille

  • Braille graphs

  • Braille device for written responses

  • MP3 audio test format

  • Assistive technology–compatible test format


  • Verbal; dictated to scribe

  • Tape recorder

  • Computer without spell-check/grammar/cut-and-paste features

  • Record answers in test booklet

  • Large-block answer sheet

  • Four-function calculator (use of basic four-function calculator on test sections that do not permit use of a calculator)


  • Frequent breaks

  • Extended time

  • Multiple day (may or may not include extra time)

  • Specified time of day


  • Small group setting

  • Private room

  • Alternative test site (with proctor present)

  • Preferential seating

Source: College Board

Even if your child has accommodations at school from their IEP or 504 Plan, they have to apply separately to get them on these standardized tests.

Here's what you can do:

  • Talk to your child's IEP or ESS teacher about asking for accommodations on these tests

  • Find out the test dates at the beginning of the year. You must make your request a few months before the exam, if possible! It can take up to 7 weeks to process.

  • Look at the types of accommodations and decide with the IEP Team what your child should ask for

  • Gather the documentation to prove your child's disability: medical reports, diagnoses, school evaluation results, etc.

  • Make the request yourself or ask your child's IEP or ESS teacher to do it. The different testing organizations do it differently. See the process for each below.

  • Before the test day, make sure the accommodations will be in place - it won't happen automatically. Check with your IEP teacher the week before the test.

Making the request

SAT, PSAT and AP Exams:


  • This is a separate testing organization. Parents can make the request.

  • Go to this website to register online: ACT: Requesting Accommodations. It will open in a new tab and tell you what to do.

  • Click the link below to download the ACT checklist. (It will open in a new tab or appear in the bottom corner of your screen.)

Sources: College Board, ACT