Extended test timing does not help students with ADHD, finds study

Many medical experts advocate the need to provide test accommodations, such as extending test timing and offering frequent breaks, for the children affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Recent studies done on them, however, suggest that the extra time offered to the ADHD students in tests may not be very effective in improving their performance or test taking skills.

According to a study, published in Learning Disabilities-A Multidisciplinary Journal, both extended testing time timing or frequent breaks did not help much the students with ADHD in performing better on a standardized test compared to others. One potential reason identified by the researchers could be that the ADHD-affected students lack the understanding of how to effectively utilize such accommodations.

Considering the above reasons, there is a need to teach such students how to make the best out of such accommodations and simultaneously determine the right accommodations that can prove beneficial in the long run.

Test accommodations may not help ADHD-affected students in getting better scores

In the study, the researchers studied the relationship between accommodations and test performance of 96 Maryland students with ADHD in grades 3 to 8. The impacts of test accommodations, such as extended test timing, frequent breaks, reduction of distraction in the test area, permission to read aloud and authorization to use a calculator, on the participants’ performance were analyzed. Unfortunately, the study found that none of these helped students in acquiring better scores in reading or math compared to their other classmates.

As per Alison Esposito Pritchard, the lead author of the report, “Conceptually, it made sense that (the accommodations) might be helpful to kids with ADHD, but once I started looking at the literature, I found a gap at looking at the effectiveness of those accommodations.”

As such, many tests have been conducted to determine the benefits of extending test timing and other test accommodations for the ADHD-affected students. According to another study that investigated the relationship between ADHD symptoms, executive functioning problems and extended test timing, it was revealed that students having ADHD are not likely to benefit much from extended test timing due to the lack of executive functions, which are popularly seen as the conductor of all cognitive skills.

Absence of similar benefits hinder ADHD-affected students

Besides the reasons mentioned above, each accommodation had different benefits for different students. While the extended time allowed some students to go through their tests once more, it turned out to be just an opportunity to rush through for other students.

Additionally, most of the time students did not get similar types of benefits. While some students get the benefit of extended test timing along with the opportunity to be read aloud by a computer, some students got the facility of being read aloud by a teacher.

The researchers, however, did not say that extended time accommodations were completely ineffective, but they stressed on the fact that the way the accommodations are generally used may not be very effective for the students with ADHD.

Seek treatment to improve results

Students with ADHD may greatly improve their performance by undergoing treatment for the disorder. Moreover, the earlier a person seeks treatment, the better are the results. It is also essential to have adequate knowledge about the right treatment for ADHD.

If you have a child suffering from ADHD, connect to the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to seek help from the ADHD and anxiety treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online to get more information about the best anxiety disorders treatment centers in California.

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