Ofiesh, N., Moniz, E., & Bisagno, J. (2015). Voices of university students with ADHD about test-taking: Behaviors, needs, and strategies . Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability , 28 (1), 109–114. https://www.ahead.org/professional-resources/publications/jped

Journal Article
Ofiesh, N., Moniz, E., & Bisagno, J. (2015). Voices of university students with ADHD about test-taking: Behaviors, needs, and strategies. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 28(1), 109–114. https://www.ahead.org/professional-resources/publications/jped


[no doi reported]; also located on ERIC online database: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1066328


Attention problem; Extended time; Learning disabilities; Postsecondary; U.S. context





This focus group study sought various information about the postsecondary testing experience of students with attention difficulties, including their perceptions about the extended time accommodation. [Note: This journal article was identified as a "practice brief" and referenced additional studies being currently investigated.]


A total of 17 postsecondary students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—two of whom also reported having reading disabilities—participated. The participants were from two private and one public postsecondary settings in California, and 12 were undergraduates (5 graduate students). Participants' genders were also reported.

Dependent Variable

Participating postsecondary students provided data in response to focus group interview protocols. Participants' words were transcribed, and themes were organized using NVIVO10 software. Questions pertained to use of extended time accommodations, as well as the challenges of ADHD during test-taking, study strategies, and medication use and test-taking.


Participants reported that their ADHD condition affects test-taking related to attention and focus difficulties, distractibility, management and perception of time, and movement. Students with ADHD only reported using extended time for one or more reasons, including addressing attention problems by taking a break then re-focusing, allowing time for their distractibility and executive functioning difficulties, permitting moving around, and self-monitoring. The researchers noted that taking formal breaks during testing could be more appropriate for many students with ADHD. Students with reading disabilities as well as ADHD indicated using extended time for permitting slower reading rates. Other insights about study strategies and medication use were minimized in this summary.