If your student plans to attend an independent or private school, particularly for middle or high school, he or she will need to score well on the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam). This exam is offered nearly every month at participating schools in the city, and students can retake it as many times as they want at six-month intervals. The increased flexibility of the ISEE exams (as compared to the five test dates for the SAT, for example) means that students who want to take the ISEE exam early in the year as practice, and then improve their problem areas later in the year have the freedom to do so.
In contrast to the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test), which boarding schools occasionally prefer, the ISEE tends to be easier for students who do well in reading and on reading comprehension questions. In addition to critical reading, the ISEE covers mathematics, verbal reasoning, and a short essay. For students with learning disabilities, the thought of a three-hour exam on all these topics may be daunting, but the ISEE does offer testing accommodations to students who quality for them.
What ISEE Testing Accommodations Are Offered?
The ISEE offers the same types of accommodations as most standardized tests, including accommodations for students with learning disabilities and those with physical challenges. These accommodations can include extended time (usually time and a half) or double time on the exam, which means students could get anywhere from four and a half to six hours to finish the test. Sometimes additional breaks or longer breaks between sections will be offered. Aside from extended time, accommodations like a test administered in braille or enlarged text are possible. Accessible testing centers, snack and drink breaks, sign language proctoring, written proctoring, and the use of a scribe may all be given to students who have documented disabilities and require those services. The ISEE accommodations form provides room to request a specific type of testing accommodation, although the ISEE office will make the final decision on what accommodations are appropriate for a child’s situation.
How Do You Get ISEE Testing Accommodations?
The process of applying for testing accommodations can be found on the the ISEE website. The most important part of this application process is to have proper documentation of a student’s learning disability. In order for the ISEE office to give testing accommodations to a student, they must have evidence that a student has a medically recognized disability, full documentation of why the accommodations are requested, and an explanation of similar or identical accommodations at the student’s current school.
While this may seem like a complicated process, it’s necessary in order to make sure that the testing accommodations go to students who actually need them. That’s why parents should collect documentation of a child’s learning or physical disability in order to apply, which could include medical records, IEP or 504s, or school accommodation plans. By gathering this information and submitting the accommodations request early, students will have the best chance at receiving accommodations. Because the ISEE can be taken at nearly any time of the year, parents have many different opportunities to request this testing service, but it’s still necessary to apply for the accommodations at least a month before the preferred testing date.