Special Education

Testing Accommodations


The IEP must indicate the needed individual testing accommodations, if any, to be used consistently by the student in: 

  • his or her recommended education program;
  • the administration of district-wide assessments of student achievement; and
  • consistent with Department policy, in State assessments of student achievement that are necessary to measure the academic achievement and functional performance of the student.

What information on testing accommodations should be documented on a student’s IEP?

For guidance on Testing Accommodations, see the guidance document Test Access & Accommodations for Students with Disabilities – Policy and Tools to Guide Decision-Making and Implementation found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/testaccess/policyguide.htm

Testing accommodations must be clearly stated to ensure a consistent understanding by the Committee, school principal, teacher(s), paraprofessionals, student and the student’s parents. Specific testing accommodations (e.g., use of word processor) should be indicated, not generic test accommodation categories (e.g., answers recorded in any manner).

It is appropriate to indicate the conditions or types of tests that will require testing accommodations. Such conditions may include the length of the test, the purpose of the test, presentation of test items and the method of response required by the student.  As examples: a student with a motor impairment may need a scribe for tests requiring extensive writing such as essay writing, but not for multiple-choice tests; a student may need breaks at certain intervals for tests longer than an hour in length but not for 40 minute classroom tests.

A particular test accommodation may also be needed due to and in conjunction with the provision of another accommodation. For example, separate setting may be needed when the student has the use of a scribe. In such instances, both accommodations must be indicated in the IEP and qualifying conditions would be indicated as appropriate.

If it is determined that the student needs a particular testing accommodation for all tests, then qualifying conditions are not indicated or would indicate "all tests."

When documenting the following accommodations, the following specifications should be included:

  • extended time - specify the amount of extended time (e.g., time and a half, double time).
  • breaks - specify the duration of break and at what intervals (e.g., ten-minute break every 40 minutes).
  • directions read or signed or listening passages read or signed more than the standard number of times - specify the number of times (e.g., directions read two more times than the standard number of times provided for all students as per Department directions).
  • separate setting - specify individual or small group.
  • adaptive furniture - special lighting or acoustics, specify type (e.g., study carrel).

Qualifying terms such as "as appropriate" or "when necessary" should not be used on the IEP.

Testing accommodations should not be indicated in a test-specific manner (e.g., "calculator with fraction capability," not "calculator with fraction capability on Regents examination in mathematics").

This section of the IEP would be completed for preschool children only if there is an assessment program for nondisabled preschool children.


Testing Accommodation



Use of scribe

For tests requiring essay writing


Separate setting

When using a scribe


Directions read

All tests

2 additional times


For tests longer than 30 minutes in length

5 min. break every 30 min.

Last Updated: December 10, 2010