Spenceley, L. M., Wood, W. L. M., Valentino, M., & Lewandowski, L. J. (2020). Predicting the extended time use of college students with disabilities . Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment , 38 (3), 279–290. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282919848588

Journal Article

Spenceley, L. M., Wood, W. L. M., Valentino, M., & Lewandowski, L. J. (2020). Predicting the extended time use of college students with disabilities. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 38(3), 279–290. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282919848588


Attention problem; Extended time; Learning disabilities; No disability; Postsecondary; U.S. context





Extended time was examined, addressing whether students' perceptions of reading and test-taking skills, and test anxiety, predicted the amount of extended time needed to "equalize" access to test items for students with disabilities.


Postsecondary students (n=74) attending a public university in the Northeast (U.S.) participated. Thirty-seven (37) participants did not have disabilities, and 37 participants with disabilities who received extended time accommodations formed the comparison group. Disabilities included learning disabilities, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or both. Demographic data, such as sex (male/female) and race/ethnicity, and other information such as year at the university and grade point average (GPA), were gathered.

Dependent Variable

All participants completed norm-referenced reading tests on decoding and fluency (individually), as well as a timed reading comprehension task (group setting). Measures used were: reading cluster of the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement (WJ IV ACH; Schrank et al., 2014), comprehension subtest of the Nelson-Denny Reading Test (NDRT; Brown et al., 1993), Test Anxiety Indicator (TAI; Spielberger, 1980), and Self-Evaluation of Performance on Timed Academic Reading (SEPTAR, Kleinmann & Lewandowski, 2005).


Postsecondary students with disabilities who used accommodations took approximately 14% more time to complete the reading task than participants without disabilities; participants with disabilities, on average, required about 30% more than standard time. Participants with and without disabilities did not differ significantly on reading comprehension scores. Regression analyses found that all participants with lower reading fluency and decoding scores took longer to complete the task. Lower self-perceptions of the strength of their reading and test-taking skills for students with disabilities also were associated with taking longer to complete the reading task. Test anxiety was not associated with reading task time.