How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

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Like_Spike

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How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby Like_Spike » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:59 am

To restate, this is with no prior history of being given accommodations. Also to clarify, I'm not particularly interested in seeking extended time on the LSAT (though I guess I wouldn't turn it down, hypothetically). However, I'm pretty adamant to be allowed (1) to take my medication during the exam; (2) to wear ear plugs while taking the test; and (3) to take the exam in a private room. (1) and (2) are vital. (3) is preferable, if only to avoid getting nasty looks from others in the room who don't have such accommodations. Some background:

I've been diagnosed with ADD since late high school and have taken daily medication (multiple doses) for it since I was 17 (25 now). It was always there with me as a kid but what actually motivated me to see a doctor was my struggle to comfortably finish my SAT. Thus, I never sought an accommodation for the SAT since I had already taken the test itself. Moreover, being a philosophy major in undergrad I never felt the need to ask for accommodations either since, of the exams we did have, most were never particularly intense.

I was originally gong to get formal documentation for accommodations during the GRE, except I discovered beforehand that you're given industrial-sized earphones to block noise and a walled-off computer cubby to block out all external stimuli. The medication part was a non-issue since I discovered upon scouting my test location that there were single-person bathrooms to use during the break where I just took my medication there.

I say all of this explain my case for why I've never sought accommodations until learning that not even mere earplugs are allowed during the exam. Would the LSAC find this explanation acceptable given my (relatively modest) accommodation request?

nova1017

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Re: How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby nova1017 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:13 am

I didn't have a problem, but I had a medical history and documentation from two separate doctors and I was diagnosed after high school, which was the last time I took a standardized test. If you had the diagnosis in high school/in time to get accommodations for another test it may be harder since you could have had it for another test and didn't get it.

I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that they only give extended time to people with ADD diagnoses if they aren't taking medication and you are, so that's out. From what I know, they are much more lenient about other accommodations.

You should be fine. Just complete all your paperwork (the forms on lsac), have your doctor(s) complete his/her/their part and you'll be fine. I submitted a lot of supporting documentation (medical test results etc) and I was approved about 2-3 weeks after submitting (and I submitted 12/16 and they were closed 12/23-1/2 and I heard on 1/6).

Like_Spike

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Re: How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby Like_Spike » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:30 pm

I remember that I took an EEG to monitor my brainwaves during sleep but I'm not sure if that was so that they could formally diagnose me as having ADD or if that was for some kind of routine check to make sure my brain could handle being medicated. While my psychiatrist prescribed me monthly from the start, I never bothered to report it to my high school since I didn't find much of a need since I was past the SAT phase. I'm not sure if the diagnosis by a professional is what they'd be looking for or that I actually requested accommodations after being diagnosed. The former I have, the latter I do not.

Regardless, that was 8 years ago and I would need to be 're-diagnosed' since it has been longer than 5 years (which is an absurd criterion if you think about it lol). Hopefully since I don't want extra time, they won't be exceedingly difficult. Thanks for the input!

BobBoblaw

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Re: How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby BobBoblaw » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:38 pm

Unless you need to take your medication more frequently than once every 2.5 hours, you should be OK to just have it in your baggie and take it in the bathroom during your break.

Not sure what they'll say about the Earplugs, though...

Like_Spike

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Re: How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby Like_Spike » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:23 pm

Agreed, that's what I did during the GRE and it worked fine. Do proctors 'monitor' test takers while in the bathroom during breaks?

And yeah, at risk of sounding naive I would think earplugs to be harmless enough if they were to be adequately inspected before the exam, or the LSAC gave the option to use a pair they could hypothetically provide - pretty much what the GRE does. But for some reason, they list it on their website as one of the items they explicitly ban.

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tofuspeedstar

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Re: How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby tofuspeedstar » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:20 pm

Didn't have a problem. But I had 100+ pages of documentation including medical records etc.

Like_Spike

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Re: How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby Like_Spike » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:14 am

tofuspeedstar wrote:Didn't have a problem. But I had 100+ pages of documentation including medical records etc.



Was this with no history of accommodation?

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tofuspeedstar

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Re: How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby tofuspeedstar » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:44 am

Like_Spike wrote:
tofuspeedstar wrote:Didn't have a problem. But I had 100+ pages of documentation including medical records etc.



Was this with no history of accommodation?



Yes.

Like_Spike

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Re: How difficult is it to obtain test accommodations without a prior history?

Postby Like_Spike » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:31 pm

Good to hear! I'll start prepping my documentation early as soon I sign up for the September exam.



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