Disabilities and Health-related Needs
Select an option below for more information.
Taking a test is an opportunity to demonstrate what you know and, in some cases, your readiness for the next step in your education or career. However, as a test taker with a disability, you may have found that tests also can pose disability-related barriers, potentially preventing you from demonstrating your true knowledge and skills.
It’s helpful to have a good understanding of the nature of your test and which accommodations might be appropriate for you. The five steps below will help you learn about test format, break times and test site accessibility conditions, and will explain how to prepare your request for accommodations and your supporting documentation.
To download the PDF version of this page, view Tips for Test Takers with Disabilities (PDF).
Many test takers with disabilities are permitted to take classroom tests with extra time, typically 50% or 100% more time than the time allotted to the class overall. However, many standardized tests are 4 or more hours long. Understanding how a high-stakes test is timed is critical, especially if you’re considering asking for 50% or 100% extra time.
If you have difficulty sustaining your attention and focus over time or tend to get fatigued and distracted if sitting for a prolonged period, it’s important to think through the implications of dramatically lengthening the duration of an exam that is already several hours long.
Extra breaks can frequently be a more effective accommodation than extended testing time. Some ETS tests have scheduled breaks for all test takers. Be sure to review this information on the testing program website for the test you plan to take. Carefully consider if you’ll need additional and/or longer breaks than what is permitted for all test takers.
If you’re approved for extra breaks on an ETS test, you’ll be able to stop the testing clock while you take your break. Although it’s best to take a break at the end of a section, we recognize that for some medical conditions, immediate breaks may be necessary; you’ll be permitted to take a break at your discretion in those instances.
We wish you the best on test day, and if you have any additional questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.