What I Wish People Knew About Having Extended Time on the SAT

I want to have extended time on the SAT.

Why do the have extended time on the SAT?

What can I do to get extended time on the SAT?

I want extended time on the SAT just like you do.

These are comments I hear often at school. It’s junior year and the SAT is approaching. They are probably wondering why I have extended time and they don’t.

Here is the thing:

How do I tell you that I have a mental illness? A mental illness that makes my brain work much differently than yours.

How do I tell you that I have to take medicine every day in order to function like a “normal” student, making it seem like my brain is “just like yours?”

How do I tell you that sometimes I am physically present in class but my mind is usually somewhere else and it’s really hard for me to actually listen to what the teacher is saying?

How do I tell you that when I try to understand something, my brain doesn’t seem to register it, so I have to keep trying until my mind decides to turn on it’s learning settings?

How do I tell you that while I’m reading something, my mind wanders off so I forget everything I just read and I have to read it 20 more times in order to understand what I am actually reading?

How do I tell you that when I take a test my mind decides to turn itself off and go blank? And I know that I know all the material on the test, yet my mind is still blank, so I begin staring at the people around me who seem to know exactly what they are doing when I don’t.

How do I tell you that every time I take a test I have this pressure to prove that I know something and to do it perfectly because nothing ever seems to be good enough?

How do I tell you that all of these things happen when I am taking the SAT, making it impossible for me to finish on time?

How do I tell you that while you are wishing you had extended time I am wishing that my brain worked just like yours and I wouldn’t need the extended time?

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Thinkstock photo via leekhoailang

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