Fake ADHD Diagnoses Boost SAT Scores

(HorizonPost.com) – Now that more Ivy League schools are once again requiring test scores from college entrance exams, the parents of private school students are paying to get bogus diagnoses of ADHD to give their children more time to take the exams, the New York Post reported.

Administrators of the SAT and ACT college entrance exams make accommodations for students with certain health issues, including depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These students are given as much as 50 percent more time to take the exams than other students.

However, to qualify for the extra time, a student must provide medical documentation of a diagnosis.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Camilo Ortiz told the New York Post that he received requests for ADHD documentation for testing “all the time.” He added that some parents get upset when he does not diagnose their child with ADHD.

The parent of one Manhattan prep school junior told the Post that six of her daughter’s eight closest friends have all gotten ADHD diagnoses to qualify for added testing time.

High school math teacher Paul Rossi, who taught for nine years at the elite Grace Church School in Manhattan, told the New York Post that at least a third of his students were granted extra time in testing and suggested that some of their alleged disabilities appeared to be “bogus.”

Christopher Rim, the founder of Command Education, a college counseling firm in New York, said before the pandemic, seeking extra time in testing through medical diagnoses was a “popular tactic.” However, it slowed down after most schools made college entrance exams optional.

Now that more Ivy League schools are requiring exams, Rim said that in the last six months, he has seen more and more students who have said their classmates were getting extra testing time.

The Learning Disabilities Association of America condemned fraudulent testing accommodations in 2019, saying that such actions harm individuals with learning disabilities “by perpetuating the misconceptions that many students who obtain accommodations” for college entrance exams do not have disabilities.

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