Good advice from Dr. Paul Nolting (See section on Teaching Math to Students with Disabilities)

A note about time extensions:
Students seem to ask for extended time as if it is a security blanket for every test and quiz. To see if a student really needs to have more time to complete an exam or quiz, permit them to have the time extension but after the rest of the students have finished and left the room, see how many of the questions have been done and how many are complete. Often the student with the learning disability has done a much smaller number of the questions posed, but what has been done is usually accurate or may have only minor errors. Maybe the student needs just a few more minutes to do the whole exam. There is NO SUCH THING AS UNLIMITED TIME. “Reasonable accommodation” in this instance refers to a manageable amount of extra time that a student would need to finish the test. Some standardized tests such as the GRE permit up to twice as much time as the average student with no disability takes. That could be used as a marker. With some students, the time varies from test to test, course to course.

  • Some students may need a private, quiet test area. Others may be fine in the classroom using foam earplugs and turning their desk away from the others to block out those leaving early.
  • For security reasons, those who talk their way through a test cannot be in the same room as other students!
  • Use of a talking calculator – with headphones – may be an accommodation that is useful. Please examine the calculator before the exam to be sure there are no formulas stored in the memory.
  • Some students may need to have enlarged print on their math exams – use the font-size increase features available on all Word products.
  • For those who are unable to memorize but who can follow and apply formulas, use of a formula sheet enclosed with the exam is helpful. What is being evaluated – problem-solving or memorization? Problem-solving is a higher-order thought process.