Accommodations for Test Takers with Disabilities

To view and download a PDF version of these questions and answers, please use this link: Accommodations FAQ.

Q: What must I submit in order to request GMAT accommodations?

A completed GMAT Exam Accommodation Request Form (found on mba.com under the tab “Register as a Test Taker with Disabilities”).

Documentation appropriate to your disability, as described in the following links:

mba.com/GMATSupplementADHD
mba.com/GMATSupplementLD
mba.com/GMATSupplementPhysical
mba.com/GMATSupplementSensory
mba.com/GMATSupplementPsy

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Q: Is my disability information kept confidential?

Your disability status and medical documents are treated as confidential as described more fully in the Privacy Policy that is included on mba.com. Various service providers help review GMAT exam accommodation requests. These service providers are subject to strict confidentiality requirements.

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Q: Is there a deadline for submitting documentation for an accommodations request?

GMAC encourages candidates to submit accommodation requests well in advance of the date when they wish to sit for the GMAT exam. Every effort will be made to respond to your request within 16-20 business days of its receipt. However, the process may take longer, especially if all documents are not submitted together in a single package, if additional documentation is needed, or if you are requesting reconsideration of a prior accommodations decision.

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Q: Should I register for the test before I request an accommodation?

No. A standard testing appointment cannot be changed to an accommodated testing appointment, and you cannot register for an accommodated testing appointment until and unless we approve your accommodation request. If we approve your request, we will give you directions at that time as to how to schedule accommodated testing appointments.

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Q: Do I have to pay the test fee to request an accommodation?

No, do not submit payment with your accommodation request. If your request for accommodations is approved, you will be asked to pay for each accommodated testing appointment when you are ready to schedule it.

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Q: Will I receive confirmation that my application has been received?

Our data processing center requires one to four business days to upload documents into our secure database. Once documents are uploaded, our data processing center will send you confirmation that your materials have been received. We recommend that you fax your materials to us using a fax that provides confirmation of the number of pages sent and confirms the legibility of the fax.

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Q: If there is a problem with my documentation, will you contact my evaluator?

No. You will be notified in writing if additional documentation is required. It is your responsibility to provide all necessary documentation to GMAT Disability Services.

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Q: My medical/clinical documentation is not in English. Is it necessary for me to provide a written translation of the documentation?

Yes. In order for your application to be reviewed, a word-by-word English translation must be submitted, along with the original documentation for our validation.

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Q: Will my GMAT Score Report reflect that I received accommodations?

No. Score reports do not indicate whether a test was taken with accommodations.

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Q: I have taken the GMAT exam with accommodations in the past and want to take it again. What disability documentation do I need to submit?

If your prior request for GMAT test accommodation(s) was approved within the last two years and your documentation is still current, you may request the same accommodation(s) without resubmitting your documentation. Simply complete the GMAT Exam Accommodation Request Form and submit via postal mail or fax to Pearson VUE, Attn.: GMAT Disability Services. Requests to retake the GMAT exam with the same accommodations are usually processed within 5 business days.

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Q: I was approved for accommodations previously, but my approval letter has expired. Can I request an extension?

You may request an extension of your accommodations by contacting testingaccommodations@gmac.com. Please be aware that some clinical conditions can change over time. In such instances, updated documentation may be requested before an extension of the previously approved accommodations is granted.

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Q: How is eligibility for test accommodations determined?

GMAC uses the guidelines provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, to provide reasonable test accommodations to individuals with documented disabilities. Under the ADA, a "disability" is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits your ability to perform one or more major life activities, as compared with most people in the general population. Under ADA guidelines, you could have a diagnosed condition that does not rise to the level of a disability. In addition to reviewing your supporting documentation, GMAC will evaluate the reasonableness of the requested accommodations and their effect on the psychometric integrity of the GMAT exam.

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Q: How can I demonstrate that I meet the ADA’s definition of disability?

You should provide both objective evidence (e.g., a professional assessment) and subjective evidence (your own self-report, clinical observations, etc.). The documentation should show substantial limitation when compared with most people from the general population.

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Q: I was diagnosed with a disability by a medical/psychological professional. Will I automatically be granted accommodations?

No. A diagnosis alone does not qualify you for accommodations. You must adequately document:

The existence of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity

The current impact of your impairment and how it affects your ability to take the computer adaptive GMAT exam under standard conditions

A rationale for why the requested accommodations are appropriate in light of your impairment(s)

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Q: Is a veteran with a service-connected disability protected by the ADA?

Yes, as long as he or she meets the ADA’s definition of disability. The ADA definition of disability may differ from the definition used in other laws. For example, the term “disabled veteran” means an individual who has served on active duty in the armed forces, was honorably discharged, and has a service-connected disability, or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension because of a public statute administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a military department. Many veterans meet both the definition of “disabled veteran” and the ADA’s definition of “individual with a disability.” Returning veterans who believe they have an ADA-defined disability are encouraged to apply for accommodations to take the GMAT exam.

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Q: If I am testing outside the United States, can I still request accommodations based on a disability?

Yes. GMAC is committed to fair testing practices for all test takers. Applying the general framework of the ADA to all applicants enables GMAC to fairly and independently verify the need for accommodations.

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Q: I received accommodations in college. Is this sufficient to demonstrate my need for accommodations?

No. Policies and procedures for establishing eligibility for accommodations differ from college to college, and college accommodations may involve different considerations than accommodations on a standardized examination. College disability services (DS) staff and advisers may view their role as helping students maximize their academic success and may apply eligibility criteria less stringently. Our objective is to achieve fairness of the exam process for all test takers, which we do by applying the ADA consistently and by providing accommodations only when the test taker has objectively demonstrated the existence of a substantial limitation as defined by the ADA. Thus, a history of receiving accommodations in high school or college does not guarantee that accommodations will be granted on the GMAT exam.

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Q: My disability is considered to be lifelong. Why does the documentation have to be recent?

While you may have been diagnosed with a permanent disability, the manifestations of your condition may vary over time and across settings. We need to verify the current impact of the condition on your daily functioning. For some conditions, such as most learning disabilities, documentation prepared within the past three years is generally sufficient to verify current impact, while more recent documentation may be needed for other conditions, such as psychological disorders. For physical disabilities and long-term vision and hearing disabilities that typically do not change over time, older documentation may be accepted as long as it provides a clear indication of your current functional limitations.

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Q: Should I ask for every possible accommodation (in hopes of getting something), or is it better to ask only for what is really necessary?

You should only ask for the accommodations you need to take the test on equal footing with test takers without disabilities. Requests for accommodations must include objective evidence of a clear connection between the functional limitation and the accommodation requested. The evidence presented must demonstrate that the accommodation is needed. Requests for accommodations not supported by objective documentation will not be granted.

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Q: Am I entitled to my preferred accommodations?

If you are disabled within the meaning of the ADA, you are entitled to reasonable and appropriate accommodations that enable you to access the exam. Your requested accommodations will be considered, but you might not receive your preferred accommodations.

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Q: Although my impairment does not result in substantial limitations, I’m sure that I would do better if I had accommodations. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to show my true potential?

The ADA is intended to enable equal access, not to maximize outcomes. Accommodations must not provide anyone with an unfair advantage relative to other test takers. Instead, they should provide test takers with disabilities equal access to the GMAT exam.

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Q: I don’t really view myself as having a substantial functional impairment; I simply find that when taking timed tests, I always run out of time. Why shouldn’t I be allowed additional time?

An inability to complete the GMAT exam under standard time conditions is not automatically a reason for getting additional test time; many GMAT test takers who take the exam under standard conditions do not complete the test in the allotted time.

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