How Does ADHD Impact Testing Ability?
Before we dive into testing accommodations, it’s essential that you understand how ADHD affects your child’s ability to take tests. For many children with ADHD, taking timed tests can be particularly difficult, as many struggle to maintain focus and stay on task. They may also struggle with other core symptoms of ADHD, such as organization or time management. These can make it difficult for your child to complete tasks within a specific time frame.
Additionally, many students experience anxiety or difficulty concentrating when facing a long test. This can make answering multiple-choice questions or essay prompts very challenging—they may rush their answers or even feel paralyzed and unable to move forward in their test. Fortunately, certain testing accommodations for ADHD are available to help your child if they’re affected by these challenges.
Harness Your Child’s Strengths With Testing Accommodations for ADHD
Testing accommodations are modifications that allow your child with ADHD to access the same educational opportunities as other students. Many schools provide accommodation plans under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or an Individualized Education Program (IEP). These plans allow for reasonable changes to be made so that students with special needs can participate fully in their educational activities, such as standardized tests or entrance exams.
There are many different types of testing accommodations that your child can use, including:
- Extended time, which gives your child additional time to complete tests or assignments
- Breaks or divided test sections, which allow your child to take short breaks during assessments and break up the test into smaller, more manageable sections
- Modified settings that change the environment of the test-taking area and eliminate distractions
- Distraction-reducing materials, such as paper without lines or textured paper
- Alternatives to multiple choice questions, which may allow your child to respond to questions in an open-ended fashion
- Assistive technology, which permits the use of computers or other electronic devices to assist with the test-taking process
- Oral administration, which allows your child to respond to questions out loud instead of writing out their answers
With the proper testing accommodations, you can give your child the resources they need to succeed during standardized tests and entrance exams. Whether they need additional time, oral administration, or something else, these accommodations allow them to overcome some of the symptoms of ADHD and achieve their educational goals.
Concerns Regarding Timing
As beneficial as testing accommodations are in helping your child navigate the effects of ADHD during exams, it may raise a red flag to educators if you try to get them approved right before a major test, like the ACT, SAT, or college entrance exam. They may respond to your request and ask why you’re submitting a request now if your child has never used them before—they strive to maintain fairness and equity between all students taking these tests.
If ADHD symptoms affect your child’s test-taking abilities, you need to request accommodations as early as possible. This ensures your child has access to the same education opportunities as their peers and the resources they need throughout their entire educational journey, not just important tests.
Getting an Educational Evaluation Early
Before your child is granted access to accommodations, there needs to be a documented history of the challenges they face in school. A comprehensive ADHD assessment and IEP evaluation test can determine the extent to which your child is affected by their symptoms, revealing their strengths and weaknesses in a school environment. By undergoing these education assessments early on and documenting your child’s progress, you ensure they receive the accommodations they need to thrive come test time.
Start Down the Path of Educational Success With Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic
At Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic, we understand how ADHD can affect your child’s ability to succeed on tests and entrance exams. That’s why we’re committed to providing them with the resources they need to succeed. From comprehensive neuropsychological ADHD assessments to customizable brain training programs, we help children with ADHD not only understand how their brain works but give them the tools they need to improve core cognitive skills relating to test taking.
Reach out today to schedule your discovery call and see how we can help your child get the testing accommodations they need for enduring educational success.