Test Preparation







      Graduate Student’s Guide to Test Accommodations: The LSAT, MCAT, GRE, NCLEX, CBEST, GMAT, Cosmetology Exam, Contractors Exam, & Bar Exam   If you’re facing a high stakes test at the graduate or post-graduate level, you’re no stranger to overcoming challenges. You’ve worked your tail off to get to where you are and know that no obstacle can stop you from reaching your goals. However, if you have a health condition or learning disability that impacts your testing performance, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to show your true knowledge on exam day. Luckily, there are several accommodations available to level the playing field for eligible students.    So what does a person need to do receive accommodations on graduate exams?    1. Know your rights   You may think that because you are taking exams for a high-level career, that you may not be eligible for the same accommodations afforded to high school students. The Americans with Disabilities Act, however, states that students with disabilities who graduate from professional programs are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the licensing process.    2. Stay ahead of deadlines   If you anticipate that you’ll need testing accommodations, don’t wait until the last minute to look into it. The approval process for accommodations takes a minimum of 6 weeks, and that does not include the time it will take for you to gather the documentation required to submit your request. Stay ahead of the game by preparing your request well in advance of registration deadlines. Check out these links to view upcoming deadlines of some common high stakes tests at the graduate or post graduate level:      LSAT     (Nationwide testing calendar)      MCAT     (Nationwide testing calendar)      GRE     (Nationwide testing calendar)      NCLEX   (Appointment – based)      GMAT   (Appointment – based)      California Cosmetology Exam   (Test date is assigned within 40 days of receiving admission letter after submitting this linked application)      CBEST     (California testing calendar)      California Bar Exam     (California testing calendar)      California Contractors State Licensing Exam    (Test date is assigned)     3. Learn how to register   If you are requesting accommodations, you will likely need to register for your exam prior to submitting your request. Check out these links for step-by-step registration instructions for applicants requesting accommodations on these high stakes tests:      LSAT        MCAT        GRE        NCLEX         GMAT         CBEST         California Cosmetology Exam        California Bar Exam        California Contractors State Licensing Exam       4. Learn what’s available   There are a variety of accommodations offered for eligible students. The types of accommodations available depend on the specific testing demands of each exam. Some common accommodations include, but are not limited to:    Additional time to complete exams    Extra breaks    Large print or Braille exam books    Use of computers for writing portions     Private or small group testing    Dictation to a typist or recording device    Wheelchair access    Scratch paper    Use of a scribe    Ability to pace or take walks     Use of magnification devices    Ability to bring medications and/or food and drinks    Voice recognition software     5. Learn what’s not   To approve accommodations, all exam administrators require that your impairment must clearly impact your test-taking ability in some way. Some disabilities that are not commonly accepted are impairments in walking or other physical movement unrelated to writing. Certain psychiatric conditions that do not clearly impair test-taking ability, such as a phobia of spiders, may not be eligible for accommodated testing.   6. Think back to other exams   Some exam providers, such as the LSAT, will often approve any accommodations that you were provided during other exams such as the SAT or ACT. If you received accommodations on any post-secondary exams, contact your previous test administrator and request a letter that details the specific accommodations that you were provided. Keep in mind, however, that you may need additional documentation beyond your past accommodations. Other test administrators, such as the MCAT, have much stricter documentation requirements than the SAT or ACT.   7. Find an expert   While each test administrator has varying policies on what they require, they all share common ground in this: your disability or health condition must be documented by a qualified specialist. From your academic experience, you may have a thorough grasp on your challenges and what accommodations you need to succeed, but you will still need them validated by an expert to receive approval from your test administrator.      

        Click here to schedule your complimentary 15-minute testing accommodations consultation

   Testing Accommodation Consultation 















               Name  *  
                  First Name 
                  Last Name 











                 Email Address  *  

































               Phone  *  





                 What is the best day and time to call you?  *  






















       Thank you! 
      8. Get documentation   It’s important to review the specific documentation requirements of your test administrator, as incomplete documentation packets will either be denied or returned as incomplete. A   Specialist in Educational Psychology   can help you prepare your documentation packet. Most test administrators will require certified documentation explaining the following:    Your diagnosis and specific impairments    A description of the evaluative measures used to determine your diagnosis    An explanation of how your impairments limit your functioning during tests    Recommended accommodations with a rationale for each recommendation      Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Marta M. Shinn for evaluation and documentation support     9. Apply early   Once you’ve compiled all of your necessary documentation, apply well in advance of your exam’s deadlines. This will not only give ample time for the application to be reviewed, but will also allow you some time to appeal the decision if your request is denied or returned for having incomplete documentation.    10. Get support   Being faced with a high stakes exam is stressful enough, and worrying about securing your accommodations can prevent you from focusing on mastering your material. Our specialists at Variations Psychology can guide you through the accommodations process, provide you with necessary documentation required for your exam, and help you secure your accommodation needs.     Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in educational psychology. Dr. Shinn can evaluate for impairments or learning disabilities that impact your test taking ability and provide you with necessary documentation and support to secure exam accommodations.      
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
                   First Name 
                   Last Name 
               Email Address 
            Sign Up    
      We respect your privacy.  
     Thank you! 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               












              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
       References:   Association of American Medical Colleges (2018). Applying for Accommodations. Retrieved online: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/applying-accommodations/  Association of American Medical Colleges (2018). Understanding the Review Process. Retrieved online: https://aamc-orange.global.ssl.fastly.net/production/media/filer_public/18/90/189077ca-f0d0-4c26-ac41-1bf72c1e8248/understanding_the_review_process.pdf  Association of American Medical Colleges (2018). U.S. MCAT Calendar, Scheduling Deadlines, and Score Release Dates. Retrieved online:  https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/mcat-testing-calendar-score-release-dates/  California Educator Credentialing Assessments (2018) CBEST PBT Registration Deadlines. Retrieved online: https://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/Content/HTML_FRAG/CAPBTRB_RegistrationDates_CBEST.html  Contractors State License Board (2018). Step 2: Applying for the Examination. http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Contractors/Applicants/Contractors_License/Exam_Application/Applying_For_License.aspx  Cosmetology-License.com (2018). How to Become a Cosmetologist in California. https://www.cosmetology-license.com/california/#complete-examination-application  Department of Consumer Affairs: Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (2018). Cosmetologist Application for Examination and Initial License Fee. Retrieved online:   https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/forms_pubs/forms/cosmetologist_app.pdf  Educational Testing Service (2018). Accommodations for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs. Retrieved online: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/register/disabilities/  Educational Testing Service (2018). How to Request Accommodations. Retrieved online: https://www.ets.org/disabilities/test_takers/request_accommodations/  Educational Testing Service (2018). Test Centers and Dates. Retrieved online: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/register/centers_dates/  Graduate Management Admission Council (2018). Four Steps to Schedule Your GMAT Exam. Retrieved online:https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat/before-the-exam/register-for-the-gmat-exam/schedule-your-exam  Graduate Management Admission Council (2018). Register as a Test Taker with Disabilities. Retrieved online: https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat/before-the-exam/register-for-the-gmat-exam/register-as-a-test-taker-with-disabilities  Law School Administration Council (2018). LSAC Policy on Accommodations for Test Takers with Disabilities. Retrieved online: https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsac-policy-accommodations-test-takers-disabilities  Law School Administration Council (2018). LSAC Deadlines and Score Release Dates. Retrieved online: https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsat-dates-deadlines-score-release-dates  National Council of State Boards of Nursing (2018). Application and Registration. Retrieved online: https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex-application-and-registration.htm  National Council of State Boards of Nursing (2018). Scheduling. Retrieved online: https://www.ncsbn.org/1217.htm  Study.com (2018) NCLEX Test Accommodations. Retrieved online: https://study.com/academy/popular/nclex-test-accommodations.html  Study.com (2018) CBEST Test Accommodations. Retrieved online: https://study.com/academy/popular/cbest-test-accommodations.html  The State Bar of California (2018). General Instructions for Requesting Test Accommodations. Retrieved online: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/forms/admissions/TAInstructions.0416_R.pdf  U.S. Department of Justice (2018). ADA Requirements – Testing Accommodations. Retrieved online: https://www.ada.gov/regs2014/testing_accommodations.html   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). Graduate Student’s Guide to Test Accommodations: The LSAT, MCAT, GRE, NCLEX,   CBEST, GMAT, Cosmetology Exam, Contractors Exam, & Bar Exam.   Psychologically Speaking .   [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/graduate-students-guide-to-test-accommodations

Graduate Student’s Guide to Test Accommodations: The LSAT, MCAT, GRE, NCLEX, CBEST, GMAT, Cosmetology Exam, Contractors Exam, & Bar Exam

The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that adults with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations on professional licensing exams. However, the application and approval process can be confusing and time consuming. If you are facing a high stakes exam, check out this week’s blog to learn tips on successfully securing accommodations.