College is one of the most exciting times of a young adult’s life, during which beliefs are challenged, independence is gained, and lifelong friendships are formed. However, as every American family knows all too well, preparing for higher education starts early. Typically, by junior year of high school, parents and educators beginning to work with students on formulating a plan for college acceptance.

It’s an intimidating process for every high school student, but for students with learning disabilities such as attention deficit disorder, autism, dyslexia, or dyscalculia, standardized tests can be challenging due to the time constraints and general format of the test, which is not always well suited to the learning styles of students in special education.

Preparations and Accommodations

As long as the higher education system relies heavily upon SAT and ACT scores for college acceptance, students with learning differences will be expected to take these tests alongside their peers. While a special education plan such as an IEP can be beneficial regarding overall academic success, accommodations for standardized tests can be made as well.

The ACT covers junior-level academic material. It is administered six times a year in West Michigan, and students generally take it in eleventh grade.

The SAT can be taken at any time, but the vast majority of students take it for the first time during the spring of their junior year along with the ACT. Then, the following fall of their senior year, they take it for the final time. The SAT is administered seven times a year and accommodations are available for the PSAT10, and PSAT8/9 as well.

Accommodations for the ACT, SAT, PSAT10 are available but must be requested by schools and approved by the testing institutions. There is a process that schools follow, including filling out the necessary forms and often submitting documentation.

While most schools would try to avoid 1:1 testing because of the hardships it can create for testing staff. We are very familiar with the testing accommodations process and work diligently to assure our students secure the accommodations they need to be successful.

There is no denying the fact that a good SAT and/or ACT score are crucial to getting accepted into college. Colleges are no less likely to accept a student who used an individualized education plan or 504 Plan in high school, nor will they be informed that a student used accommodations to take a standardized test. Lake Michigan Academy is uniquely equipped to prepare students for success after high school.