Testing for Accommodation Eligibility on College & Professional Exams

Newport Beach, California


Do You Need Accommodations on Your College or Professional Exam?

If you have a learning disability or a mental health diagnosis you may be eligible to apply for accommodations on your college-entrance achievement test (SAT, ACT), college admission test (MCAT, LSAT, DAT) or professional board exams (MPRE & CA BAR Exam).

“Preparing for a college or a professional exam can be a frustrating experience rife with anxiety about competence, performance and the future. In addition to these common concerns, individuals struggling with cognitive, academic or behavioral health issues may experience particular difficulty during the exam process. Finding the right accommodations can make a world of difference and allow individuals to pursue results that are commensurate with their abilities.”

— Dr. Aaron Montgomery

Do I Need An Assessment?

Is a critical exam on your horizon? Do you struggle with studying or learning class material? Do you feel that you must work harder than most students or colleagues in order to keep up? Has the testing environment impacted your performance, whether that be not enough time or too much distraction?

You are not alone. Difficulties with learning and performance are incredibly common in the United States, with around 15% of students meeting criteria for one or more learning disorder, and most of these are identified during grade school (Moll et al, 2014). Here in California, nearly 5% of total student enrollment has been identified as having a learning disability (Cortiella & Horowitz, 2014). Yet, students who perform well enough to pass (despite their struggles) go unnoticed. Many adults are able to advance into college and career, only to then recognize weaknesses regarding test taking.

Here Are Some Of The Most Common Factors That Negatively Impact Exam Performance:

  • Anxiety & Depression

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Difficulty with reading or writing

  • Letter confusion

  • Spelling problems

  • Poor comprehension

  • English as a second language

  • Difficulty with mathematics

  • Difficulty tracking and recalling verbal content (i.e. lectures, instructions)

  • Easily distracted by auditory and visual stimuli

  • Running out of time on exams

Psychological assessment and testing provides answers about potential learning disabilities, attention problems, and other factors that may prevent you from performing your best on academic and professional examinations. Those answers can then be used to request accommodations to be made for future exams, such as:

  • Additional time for test completion

  • Testing in a separate room

  • Use of technology to assist an impairment

  • Provision of written testing material in audio format

  • Alternative testing materials

Additionally, our psychological assessment procedures provide insight regarding your unique cognitive abilities. Our team can then give you strong recommendations for studying more effectively, building up areas of weakness, and capitalizing on intellectual strengths.

If you are interested in our assessment services, contact us today! We strive to provide college students and professionals with in-depth and accurate results to help optimize their chance of success. If you would like to learn more about what causes poor testing performance, or how we conduct testing and what you can gain from the results, read on!

What Causes Poor Testing Performance?

Poor performance during testing can be caused by multiple different factors. Here at the OC Psychology Center for Assessment and Psychotherapy, we use the biopsychosocial model to understand the barriers to optimal test performance:

Psychological assessment for testing accommodation tends to fall into three main categories: 1) Cognitive functioning, 2) Academic functioning, and 3) Emotional and Behavioral functioning. Cognitive assessment examines your intellectual functioning across multiple domains, including (but not limited to) verbal comprehension, visual spatial, working memory, fluid reasoning and processing speed. Academic assessment measures how much you have retained from school and other learning experiences to determine your estimated grade level in reading, writing, and math. Emotional and behavioral assessment identifies specific social, emotional and attentional issues that may contribute to difficulties in testing. Used together, these three categories provide psychologists with rich data that can be interpreted into diagnostic considerations, as well as recommendations for accommodations and treatment.

If you or a loved one struggle with exam performance or academic achievement, do not wait. Contact the OC Psychology Center for Assessment and Therapy today to schedule your first appointment. Our mission is to help you perform your best by utilizing our assessment (testing and diagnosis) and psychotherapy (treatment) services. To learn more about our therapy services, click on our Therapy services tab. To learn about what testing will look like in our clinic, read on!

What Does Assessment Look Like At OC Psychology Center?

Our psychological assessment services are entirely confidential and scheduled based on your availability. You will meet one-on-one with one of our licensed professionals to complete a testing battery that is designed based on your needs. Assessment may require scheduling multiple blocks of time (2-6 hours) depending on the testing, along with a final feedback session where we provide you with the results and our recommendations. Each session will require you to perform your best on a wide range of mentally challenging tasks, and so we encourage our clients to prepare themselves appropriately. A copy of the report will also be given to you to use in your pursuit of accommodations as applicable.


Cortiella, C., & Horowitz, S. H. (2014). The state of learning disabilities: Facts, trends and emerging issues. New York: National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2-45.

Moll, K., Kunze, S., Neuhoff, N., Bruder, J., & Schulte-Körne, G. (2014). Specific learning disorder: prevalence and gender differe


Do You Need An Assessment for Exam Accommodations?

Give us a call. We would love to talk to you about how our assessment and testing process may be able to help you accomplish your goals.


Our Assessment & Testing Psychologists

Want to learn more about our assessment and testing psychologists? Read about out credentials below.

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Dr. Aaron Montgomery, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist


Dr. L. Antonio Becerra, Psy.D.

Psychological Assistant


Want to learn more? Check out our blog!

Learn more about child therapy, teen therapy and young adult therapy for treatment of ADHD, depression, anxiety and learning problems, and how our counseling services and psychological testing can help.