Accommodations For GRE For Aspirants With Dyscalculia And Other Learning Disabilities

Despite appropriate preparation, examinations like GRE often stipulate anxiety in the aspirants. Such worries in special students like Dyscalculics can be dwindled through a set of accommodations that are specially offered. 

Multiple accommodations come in handy for these individuals. If an individual is eligible, not only for ergonomic keyboard and screen magnification, GRE ensures a set of edges for special students. Here we comprehend the same in detail to edify you.

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Exam, or GRE, is a test to assess the academic and intellectual skills a must-have to get admission into Masters’ and Doctoral programs. A doctorate in psychology or English or master’s degree in nursing or assistant to a physician are a few examples of the program where getting a good GRE score is essential. In the GRE test, there is a 60 minutes analytical writing test, 70 minutes quantitative section, and a verbal test of 60 minutes. To ensure the equality of GRE, ETS assists those who qualify for accommodations under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The applications of these individuals can be evaluated based on their cases.

Accommodations of GRE for dyscalculics 

Stressing out for examinations in GRE is often not rare for aspirants. The same can be the case with special students as well. Nonetheless, these individuals can be further assisted with a few accommodations. While there are accommodations for every needed student, here are those picks that can assist Dyscalculics: 

1. Extended Time

An Individual may get an extra extended time for all test sections (almost 25% time spare for each test section, for example, a test of 60 minutes, the individual will get 75 minutes). This extended time helps them to solve math problems without any rush. In some cases the time extended can be increased upto  100% as well[1]

2. More Breaks

An Individual with dyscalculia may have an increased number of breaks during the test, which is generally for a few minutes for everyone else. Since math can be taxing for some individuals, they may need more breaks along with extended time to refresh. While the number of breaks are often same, the span is increased. Since these breaks are not included in the test time, individuals can use these for medications, snacks, and restrooms. 

3. Screen Choice

Screen, foreground, and background color can be selected to perform better. The color of the screen may often ameliorate the performance in learning compromised[2], accordingly Dyscalculics can choose a yellow or red background. 

4. Permission To Use Calculator

They may get permission to use a calculator (standard or graphing) to make these dyscalculic students focus on the test. Ensuring reckoners in the process can not only save on time but also make calculations easier ensuring motive till the end of the test. 

5. Readers and Scribes

While the readers can assist students by reading out the questions, scribbers write answers for the applicant.  In exams like math, Dyscalculics can opt for readers to easily infer numbers from the questions. 

To avail these benefits, the student requires to be ready with a diagnosis report to submit an application accordingly. ETS[3] made a detailed report on the guidelines for documentation of Learning Disabilities in Adolescents and Adults, which can assist the documentation and submission process. 

Accommodations for the GRE test may vary and depend mainly on the student’s requirements and, therefore, are designed to address the learning challenges of specific disorders. 

Applying for accommodations

Individuals who will give GRE, if requesting any accommodations, must submit their applications as soon as possible to get them approved by ETS Disability Service. 

The documentation review process takes approximately six weeks once you submit all the required papers. Once your application is approved, ETS will send a mail with instructions to register for the GRE test. You must wait for the approval mail before applying for the GRE test.


Accommodations assist special needs people with favors, ensuring them to move forward to compete. Have detailed information about tests and accommodations you may get. If you are planning to take the GRE test, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the patterns and tools you will deal with on test day. You may use online practice tests to get familiar with the test pattern.


  1. Common Testing Accommodations
  2. Geschwind, N., & Behan, P. (1982). Left-handedness: Association with immune disease, migraine, and developmental learning disorder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 79(16), 5097-5100. 
  3. Guidelines for Documentation of Learning Disabilities in Adolescents and Adults.

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