Extended Time as an Accommodation on a Standardized Mathematics Test: An Investigation of its Effects on Scores and Perceived Consequences for Students With Varying Mathematical Skills

WCER Working Paper No. 2003-1

Stephen N. Elliott and Ann M. Marquart

January 2003, 25 pp.

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effect of a commonly used testing accommodation—extended time—on the performance of students with disabilities, students educationally at risk in math, and students without disabilities. Eighth-grade students (N = 69) completed two equivalent forms of a widely used standardized mathematics test, each under different testing conditions. In the standard time condition, students were given 20 minutes to work on one of the tests. In the extended time condition, students were given up to twice the standard time limit (i.e., 40 minutes) to work on the other test; the amount of time they actually used was documented. It was predicted that both disability status and mathematical skill level would interact with the effectiveness of the extended time accommodation, such that students with disabilities and students with low math skills would benefit significantly from the extended time accommodation, but students without disabilities would not. Outcomes indicated that there were no significant differences by disability status (students with versus without disabilities); however, there was evidence to support differences between the three student groups (students with disabilities, at-risk students, and students without disabilities) in the amount of change in their performance in the two time conditions. Follow-up surveys completed by students regarding their reactions to the effects of the extended time accommodation indicated that the vast majority of students reacted more positively to the accommodated (i.e., extra time) condition than to the non-accommodated condition. These results are discussed within a validity framework, and future research is outlined on extended time as an accommodation.

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keywords: Extra Time; Testing Accommodations; Validity of Accommodations