Extra Time on Tests: Does It Work? – Shrinking It Down

Students taking a test in school

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Posted in: Grade School, Multimedia, Podcast, Teenagers

Topics: ADHD, Culture + Society, Learning + Attention Issues

The answer is, it depends.

When “extra time” on tests first began decades ago, the goal was to level the playing field for students with learning disabilities by allotting them the same amount of time that everyone else had. Today, it seems every parent thinks their kid could benefit from extra time on tests, and in some cases will go to great lengths to get it. But does extra time really help a student to score higher on exams?

On today’s episode of Shrinking It Down, Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Ellen Braaten discuss the three types of specific learning disabilities for which a child might benefit from extra time on tests, and the types of struggles and disorders for which extra time won’t help a child (even if they can get it). Plus, tips to support kids in test taking, no matter what their challenges, including how to manage anxiety and organizational skills.

Thank you for joining in this conversation. Have questions or comments about extra time on tests or learning and attention issues? Write to us!

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Episode produced by Sara Rattigan

Music by Gene Beresin

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Ellen Braaten, PhD

Ellen Braaten, PhD

Ellen Braaten, PhD, is executive director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at  Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, and former co-director for the MGH Clay Cente...

To read full bio click here.

Gene Beresin

Gene Beresin, Executive Director

Gene Beresin, MD, MA is executive director of The MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, and a staff child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also...

To learn more about Gene, or to contact him directly, please see Our Team.