Packer, J. (1989). How much extra time do visually impaired people need to take examinations: The case of the SAT . Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness , 83 (7), 358–360.

Journal Article

Packer, J. (1989). How much extra time do visually impaired people need to take examinations: The case of the SAT. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 83(7), 358–360.


Braille; College entrance test; Enlarged print (on paper); Extended time; High school; Multiple accommodations; Oral delivery; Recorded delivery (audio or video); Visual impairment (including blindness)




The SAT nonstandard modifications examined included braille, read-aloud (recorded on audiocassette), and large type. Since the SAT is considered a non-speeded test, all of the test-takers were provided open-ended extra time to permit test completion.


The extant data for four years of testing—from 1979–1980 through 1982–1983—were sorted for the total of 2,651 youth who reported visual impairment as their only disability. Students using braille numbered 337, while 200 used read-aloud via audio recording, 1,542 used large-type, and 572 used the standard format (regular-sized type).

Dependent Variable

Test-takers' length of time for completing the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) was measured and compared by the type of support students used for access. [Note: Actual test performance scores were not compared in this study.]


First of all, braille users' average completion time was 6.0 hours, read-aloud via audiocassette was 5.4 hours, large type was 4.4 hours, and regular type was 4.3 hours. The standard time provided for test-takers, without extra time, was 2.5 hours. Also, the data for the distributions of time under the various modification conditions were also reported. The range was from 2.5 hours or less to more than 10 hours. For instance, fewer than 2% of test-takers completed within the standard 2.5 hours in each condition. For purposes of a larger comparison, data were provided for the average time to complete the SAT by students with other disabilities, who also used some of the relevant modifications (except braille).