Advice on asking for extended time on the GRE

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fossil_n
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03 Oct 2015, 2:20 am

When I was diagnosed three years ago the psychiatrist suggested that if I ever retook the GRE that I should ask for extended time. It is kind of late in the year to take the GRE, especially since I want to ask for accomodation, but I'm still not 100% sure I am going to apply for a PhD because I am still looking for an advisor for a very specific topic that NOBODY studies. And so I put off the GRE not wanting to pay for something I might not use.

So, any advice anyone has about requesting accomodations, especially late in the year, would be much appreciated.



kraftiekortie
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03 Oct 2015, 8:46 am

You should go to the GRE website. I'm sure they have procedures pertaining to accommodations.

I wouldn't be surprised if they required an official diagnosis.

I get the feeling that this is most of what you have to do--except maybe faxing the diagnosis or something of that nature.



Butterfly88
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04 Oct 2015, 4:12 pm

I haven't taken the GRE but I'll share my experience in taking the SAT with extra time. I had to apply to the college board early with disability documentation. It took a while but they approved me for extra time. The day of the test the room I was in was very quiet with not many people and due to me getting extra time I was exempt for the portion of the SAT that they do solely to test the SAT itself. I had to go to a special testing center that was set up for offering extra time. I assume the GRE is a similar process. I think the earlier you try to apply for the extra time the better, even if you do not plan on retaking it yet. Good luck!



Fern
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08 Oct 2015, 9:51 pm

Deciding whether or not to take the GRE with extended time was a major decision for me. I seldom finish standardized tests unless I have extra time (even then, I often am the last "special" person with a test in my hand), but someone who worked at my undergraduate institution dissuaded me from taking extra time for the GRE, as my scores would have then come with a "non-standard test conditions" notification when sent out to institutions. She suggested that this would be a strike against me when applying to PhD programs. She said that bachelors programs are more accommodating than graduate programs with "those kinds of things." The person who told me that, I think, was trying to protect me from people who would discriminate against me. I think she meant well, but it still sat oddly with me.

In the end, I decided to go with her advice, and hid any trace I could of my learning disability. It was very hard learning to do things differently. I had to take that stupid GRE 3 times before I could do it fast enough to finish in time, but then when I did I got almost a perfect score (hence, I'm in a PhD program now). In the end it worked out for me, but it took me 2 years of to figure out how to do it that way. Part of me really hopes that now is a different time, and that people would be more understanding, but all I know is the path I have walked.


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fossil_n
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09 Oct 2015, 1:31 am

I'm sorry you got such bad advice. If that were true, I'd worry about it, but from ETS hand out:
"In rare instances, if an accommodation significantly alters what is tested (for example, if an entire test
section must be omitted), a statement may be included with the score report indicating that the test was
taken under nonstandard conditions."

I haven't told my adviser about my Aspergers, and I haven't told her I hope to request an accommodation, which is actually a little bit of a problem because she thinks I can totally take it at the last minute when and if I do find someone open to advising my PhD dissertation idea.



DVCal
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13 Oct 2015, 10:36 am

Fern wrote:
Deciding whether or not to take the GRE with extended time was a major decision for me. I seldom finish standardized tests unless I have extra time (even then, I often am the last "special" person with a test in my hand), but someone who worked at my undergraduate institution dissuaded me from taking extra time for the GRE, as my scores would have then come with a "non-standard test conditions" notification when sent out to institutions. She suggested that this would be a strike against me when applying to PhD programs. She said that bachelors programs are more accommodating than graduate programs with "those kinds of things." The person who told me that, I think, was trying to protect me from people who would discriminate against me. I think she meant well, but it still sat oddly with me.

In the end, I decided to go with her advice, and hid any trace I could of my learning disability. It was very hard learning to do things differently. I had to take that stupid GRE 3 times before I could do it fast enough to finish in time, but then when I did I got almost a perfect score (hence, I'm in a PhD program now). In the end it worked out for me, but it took me 2 years of to figure out how to do it that way. Part of me really hopes that now is a different time, and that people would be more understanding, but all I know is the path I have walked.


First let me say I support the flagging of test scores and transcripts, as I believe these things need to be viewed in the proper light. That being said ETS does not flag the scores of students for disability accommodations unless you are skipping entire sections. ETS used to flag test scores, but around 10 years ago were sued with the claim that it violated the ADA. They agreed to stop after the lawsuit.

ETS, LSAC, College Board, and GMAC have all been sued for flagging test scores, and have all stopped as a result. Personally I disagree with the results of these lawsuits.



SocOfAutism
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16 Oct 2015, 11:45 am

Are you sure you need to bother retaking it? I got something like 25% correct on the math part and 50% correct on the other parts. Stunningly bad. I was fairly sure I would be rejected by my grad school, which is Virginia Tech, a math-heavy school. I wrote in my letter to them that I test badly and that I have gotten an A in every math class I've ever had, and they had my records so they knew that was true. And I said I'd be glad to take remedial math if that would help. They let me in, no problem. I was shocked. I took regular statistics with everyone else and got an A in both classes.

Studying a rare topic is more likely to help a school overlook bad scores. I study the sociology of autism, and before that I studied Asian American diaspordic populations. Both rare topics.