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Handicapped Students and the SAT SAT

Ragosta, Marjorie
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Bound Students, Disabilities, High School Students, SAT, Test Administration, Testing Problems, Assessing People with Disabilities


A pilot study of handicapped students and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT®) was designed to assess the concerns of handicapped students about the SAT, to identify problems specific to certain disabilities or common across disabilities, to alert the College Board and Educational Testing Service (ETS) about the findings, and to make recommendations for future work. The "handicapped" studied were not a homogeneous group; type of disability, severity and duration of the handicap, age at onset, progression of the disability, and the individual's adaptation all varied. One handicap, however, was common across many disabilities—the attitude of the public toward the handicapped. Almost half of the students had been tested in standard administration of the SAT, many because they were unaware of the availability of special administrations. Several problems with the SAT itself were identified, such as the answer sheet for those with visual impairment or the vocabulary level for deaf students. The recommendations made are designed to close the communication gap between ETS, handicapped students, counselors, and test administrators; develop a database for validity and reliability research for handicapped students; and solve some of the time and space problems through modularization of standardized tests.

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