HSE Exam Testing Accommodations - Q and A

NYSED High School Equivalency (HSE) Office and GED Testing Services
Questions from Chat Box - with Answers - Submitted during the March 1, 2022, Accommodations Training.

The recorded training can be found in Announcement below.


The New York State Education Department (NYSED) contracts with GED Testing Service (GEDTS) for the state’s HSE exam. GEDTS is responsible for oversight, approval, and delivery of testing accommodations. 

GEDTS makes the test accessible to all applicants by providing accommodations for test takers who have physical, mental, sensory, or cognitive disabilities and who provide appropriate documentation from a qualified professional of their impairment and its effect on their ability to take the GED® test under standard conditions.

GEDTS endeavors to comply fully with federal and applicable state law providing protection to the disabled, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requirement that any private or public entity that offers examinations relating to certification or credentialing for secondary or postsecondary education shall offer such examination in a place and manner accessible to persons with disabilities or offer alternative arrangements for such individuals as special accommodations.

GEDTS employs a centralized process for the review, ensures that all test-takers are treated equitably and receive the accommodations for which they are approved. The process is managed by a team of highly qualified accommodations specialists who follow national guidelines to determine whether to grant each test-taker the requested accommodation.

GEDTS typically assumes responsibility for accommodations decisions and for making certain that those decisions are executed in a fair and efficient manner during a scheduled testing session regardless of the testing location. Our staff includes individuals with specialized knowledge of the full range of complex issues that must be considered in granting accommodations to test-takers with disabilities.

Q. Who is responsible for approving an accommodation request?
A. GEDTS is responsible for decisions on accommodations and for making certain that those decisions are executed in a fair and efficient manner. GEDTS FAQ on Accommodations

Q. Who is responsible for filling out the accommodations request – test takers or test center staff?
A. Test takers apply for accommodations during the GED account registration process. The required documents must be uploaded into their account. Test center staff, instructors, or other adult education staff may assist candidates with the accommodations process.

Q. Can we assist in registering candidates for the GED test and/or use staff email addresses to register?
A. Outside of correctional settings, test takers will need to create their own GED test account to register for the test. You can assist the test taker in creating their account and applying for accommodations, but every test taker must have a GED account which requires using their own email.

Q. Are candidates required to apply for accommodations on each subtest during registration or will approved accommodations apply to the entire exam battery?
A. When accommodations are approved, they are applied to all four subject areas, as applicable. For example, a talking calculator would be applied to the Science and Mathematics subtests only, while an accommodation for extra time would be applied to all subtests.

Q. Once approved, how long does the approval last?
A. Approvals are valid for 1 year from the date of approval. A request for an extension is required to extend the accommodations for an additional year.

Q. How are the test taker and the test center notified when accommodations are approved for a test taker scheduled at their site?
A. The test taker will see the approved accommodation in their account. They need to routinely check their account for updates. The test center administrators will be able to see when a test taker has scheduled an accommodated test at your test center. For CBT this is in the Pearson VUE system, which is covered in the Pearson VUE training to become a test administrator for the GED.

Q. Do test takers need to wait until the test center is approved before they create their GED account to schedule their test?
A. Test takers can create their GED account at GED.com and schedule an exam at any site which is approved. Test dates are listed on ged.com.

Q. Many test takers have accommodations previously approved by TASC/DRC. Will TASC/DRC accommodations transfer to GEDTS?
A. No, GEDTS does not have access to TASC/DRC documentation. Test takers must fulfill the approval requirements established by GEDTS Accommodations.

Types of Accommodations:

Q. What are the categories of disabilities that qualify for an accommodation on the GED test?
A. Learning and other cognitive disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), psychological and psychiatric disorders, or physical and chronic health conditions qualify for accommodations. Ninety-eight percent of accommodations requests are approved. Additional documentation may be required for some cases.

Q. What are some commonly requested accommodations?
A. The most requested accommodations include reader/recorders, extra time, separate rooms, and extra breaks.

Q. Is there an audio version of the GED? If so, how is it administered?
A. Professional readers (provided by GEDTS) are trained to read everything on the screen, including how it is laid out, graphics, and resources.

Q. Are readers/recorders provided by GEDTS or will site staff be trained to become readers/recorders?
A. When a test taker is approved for a reader/recorder, a professional reader/recorder is scheduled along with the exam and assigned by GEDTS.

Q. Are there assistive technologies which would not require official accommodations?
A. Only universal access features are available to any test taker without an accommodation.

Q. Does use of a talking calculator require an accommodation approval, and if approved can a test taker bring and use their own talking calculator?
A. An accommodation approval is required to use a talking calculator. If approved, the candidate may bring their own SciPlus 2300 or one will be shipped to the test center. No other talking calculator model is allowed.

Q. Are there any study tools available?
A. Study materials, tutorials, and additional resources can be found at ged.com

Q. I understand that documentation of learning disabilities and/or other cognitive disabilities, ADHD, or other official diagnosis must have been documented as evident within a 5-year period.  And, that documentation of a diagnosis for psychological and psychiatric disorders, or acute physical disorders and/or chronic health conditions, must be diagnosed within one year. Is this accurate, and where can a candidate receive their required documentation?
A. The candidate must acquire new documentation from a professional. Some conditions, such as ADHD, can be diagnosed by a primary care physician. Other professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed Master of Social Work, etc., may provide the required documentation. Documentation must be submitted to GEDTS for approval. Review should be expected within 30 days. 

Q. Are IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) or 504 Plans acceptable documentation for accommodations approvals?
A. IEP or 504 Plans may be used as documentation if they fall within the acceptable timeframe - based on categories of disabilities. However, not all accommodations listed on the documentation from high school are automatically granted. GEDTS will review each case individually and take documents such as an IEP or 504 Plan into consideration.

Q. What is the process for approval if the documentation, such as an IEP from high school, is older than the required timeframe?
A. If the required documentation is older than the required time frame or has expired, it will not be accepted. Candidates are encouraged to explore other avenues to acquire necessary documentation for accommodations. For example, if the candidate’s IEP is expired, they may be able to provide current medical or mental health documentation that support their request for an accommodation.

Q.  What is not considered a qualifying disability?
A. Test anxiety, “slow learners,” substance abuse issues, English Language Learners (ELLs), or undocumented diagnoses are not acceptable reasons to grant accommodations. 

Q. For what reason might an accommodation request be denied?
A. Requests are rarely denied, but if they are the candidate may appeal the outcome. An example of a denied request would be requesting more time that the documentation supports.

Q. Are there any unique requirements for Spanish test takers?
A. No. Requirements for accommodated testing for Spanish language exams are the same as English language exams.

Incarcerated or Institutional Setting:

Q. IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) over 1-5 years old are regularly received. Will there be considerations and/or exceptions for incarcerated test takers?
A. A professional must sign off on diagnostic confirmation within the appropriate timeframe for all test takers.

Q. If multiple test takers are in a psychiatric facility, is an accommodation request required for each test taker or could the test centers have blanket accommodations for all test takers?
A. Each test taker may require their own unique accommodations. All accommodations must be selected on the individual’s GED account when registering to test.

Q. In the incarcerated setting, will a reader/recorder be provided by GEDTS, or may in-house staff provide the service to test takers?
A. GEDTS cannot provide personnel to correctional facilities. As needed, staff within the facility will need to be approved to be reader/recorders.