Rodeiro, C. V., & Macinska, S. (2022). Equal opportunity or unfair advantage? The impact of test accommodations on performance in high-stakes assessments . Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice , 29 (4), 462–481. https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2022.2121680
Clarification was provided on the controversy that accommodations may give some students an unfair advantage during testing, therefore impacting the validity of the assessment. Extra time, word processor, writing assistance, reading assistance, and supervised rest breaks were researched.
Data on the testing accommodations most frequently used in the United Kingdom came from an international awarding body in the U.K. that provided information on 16-year-old students who had requested accommodations during high-stakes exams in the 2015-16 academic year.
Propensity score matching (PSM) was used to determine the impact that accommodations had on performance, taking into consideration students’ backgrounds. Each student who used test accommodations was matched with a student who shared similar background characteristics but did not use accommodations.
Students who used accommodations during high-stakes examinations performed similarly to or slightly worse than students who did not use accommodations. Researchers concluded that accommodations worked as intended and helped to level the playing field during examinations.