The four parts of this series are:
- LSAT Accommodations, Part 1: An Overview of the Accommodations Granted
- LSAT Accommodations, Part 2: The Application Process (this post)
- LSAT Accommodations, Part 3: The Facts
- LSAT Accommodations, Part 4A: Controversy and Lawsuits, Part 4B: The DOJ Joins In
In Part 1 of this series on LSAC test taking accommodations and the LSAT, we discussed various test takers who might require special accommodations for their LSAT administrations, as well as some of the kinds of test-taking accommodations granted by the LSAC. In this installment we look at the application process for special accommodations.
LSAC strongly encourages you to submit all of your documentation as early as possible to ensure the maximum amount of time for consideration. In other words, while they do encourage test-takers with documented disabilities to apply for such accommodations, this should never be a last-minute consideration on the part of the applicant; the application for accommodated testing requires significant and varied documentation, collected from sources including health care providers, educational testing experts, family members, pre-law advisors and others. All of the required forms can be downloaded here.
Requests for accommodations cannot be reviewed until you are registered for the LSAT and all of the following are received by LSAC:
- an LSAT Candidate Form;
- an LSAT Evaluator Form completed by a qualified/licensed professional who is familiar with the impact of your disorder/condition on a major life activity that affects your ability to perform on the LSAT or other similar, timed, standardized admission tests;
- the relevant Cognitive, Psychological, Vision, or Physical Evaluation Report(s) and results of past standardized tests such as the SAT/ACT
The following checklists are provided by the LSAC to ensure that all required information is submitted:
For all disorders/conditions:
- A complete score report for past standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, etc., taken with and/or without accommodations.
- Verification from the testing agency of past accommodations.
To request accommodations based on a Cognitive/Psychological impairment:
- Psychoeducational/neuropsychological testing and full diagnostic report that complies with the information referenced in the LSAC Guidelines for Documentation of Cognitive Impairments; all standard scores based on age must be provided. Candidates requesting accommodations for a psychological disorder must provide a personality assessment such as the MMPI-2 or the MCMI-III.
- Comprehensive aptitude and achievement testing. The achievement testing must include a timed reading comprehension measure. The NDRT may not be substituted for a diagnostic battery; it should be administered as a timed measure as part of comprehensive achievement testing.
- Candidates seeking accommodations due to a diagnosis of ADHD must submit objective data such as the CPT-II or TOVA, including a computer printout of the test results.
- Candidates requesting accommodations other than additional test time based on a psychological disorder must provide a full psychological report to include personality testing such as the MMPI-2 or the MCMI-III. The report needs to support the diagnosis and should address areas such as the severity of the condition, current treatment, impact of the disorder, etc.
To request accommodations based on a Visual impairment:
- Detailed Vision Evaluation Report; all sections must be completed by your evaluator.
To request accommodations based on a Physical/Medical impairment:
- Detailed Physical Evaluation Report; all sections must be completed by your evaluator.
- Candidates requesting additional time based on a hearing impairment need to provide a comprehensive psychoeducational assessment.
Once the LSAC has received your application for accommodated testing, they establish your file (keep in mind that LSAC staff cannot review your documentation until you have registered to take the LSAT). If any information is missing, they will let you know; otherwise the LSAC will review your application and notify you of your status by email. Possible status of an application includes File Under Review, Approved for Testing Accomodations, Incomplete, Not Registered for the LSAT, Denied, or Accommodated Request Received Too Late.
Requests for accommodated testing are assessed on a case-by-case basis; this is an involved process that takes time—so the earlier you start, the better. Before they can even begin to assess your situation, you must assemble the necessary certifications and complete the accommodations application. And remember, you must begin by registering for the LSAT before your application for accommodated testing can be considered. The LSAC welcomes any questions regarding their accommodations request process—you can call them at 215-968-1001. You can also read the LSAC brochure on the subject and download the Accommodations Request Packet here.