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Understanding Tests and Accommodations

Adapted from the work of the National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota. For further information and research on test accommodations, see NCEO's Website: http://education.umn.edu/nceo/

Did you know that the law requires you (as a student with a disability) to be included in state–wide and school–district–wide assessments of how students are doing in school? Well, it's true. Your participation is really important because your school needs to demonstrate that they are helping you have a successful education experience.

Did you know that you can also have accommodations when you take these assessments? That's true too! You (as a member of your IEP team), along with your team, can choose accommodations that will “level the playing field.” The purpose of accommodations is to be sure that when you take a test you have the opportunity to show what you know, even if your disability makes it harder for you to take a test in the same way that other students might.

Learning about your disability and how it affects you, and learning self-advocacy skills and strategies, will help you succeed in high school and can positively affect the schooling you get after high school, like college or technical training, as well as your career and community life. By the time you are a junior or senior, you should know what helps you learn and what helps “level the playing field.” for you so you can keep using your knowledge and skills after high school.

What is most important to remember is that you need to take an active and informed role in making decisions about the accommodations you use for assessments, instruction, and your future adult life. To learn more about accommodations, read our section on Knowing About Assessment Accommodations.

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Last updated on June 30, 2015

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition University of Minnesota IDEAs That Work - Office of Special Education Programs

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