Special Requests

There are three types of special requests, which include accommodations, Sunday testing, and physical access needs.


An accommodation is a change in how a test is presented, how a test is administered, or how an examinee responds. Accommodations allow the examinee to participate in the test but do not fundamentally alter what the test measures or affect the comparability of examinee scores. Accommodations are possible only if (a) you have a disability, are regularly provided accommodations in the classroom, or are a designated English learner (defined below), and (b) you provide specified documentation regarding your need for accommodations.

Because all accommodations may not be available in all test areas, if you are approved for testing with accommodations, you may be assigned to an alternate test area.

Deadlines for Requests for Accommodations

Accommodations requests must be received by the accommdation registration deadline for the administration you wish to attend. This deadline is approximately seven weeks prior to the test administration date.

Requests for Accommodations Deadlines
Test Date Registration Deadline (Receipt Date)
October 19, 2019 August 30, 2019
March 21, 2020 January 31, 2020
June 20, 2020 June 12, 2020

Available Accommodations

Several types of accommodations, listed below, are available. To be eligible for an accommodation, you must submit an Accommodations Request Form with supporting documentation by the accommodation registration deadline.


  • Testing in a small group
  • Testing in a hospital or other institutional setting
  • Use of noise buffers or headphones (brought by the examinee) to minimize distraction
  • Frequent supervised breaks (Testing time does not stop during breaks.)


  • Braille or large print (18-point font) test materials
  • Sign language interpreter to present directions (Does not apply to test questions.)
  • Use of audio amplification or visual magnification equipment (brought by the examinee)
  • Use of colored overlay, mask, or other means (brought by the examinee) to maintain visual attention
  • Test questions and answer choices read aloud to the examinee (available for the Mathematics section and the Language subtest only)


  • Mark responses in the test booklet (Responses are transferred to an answer document that can be scored by computer.)
  • Use of a scribe for multiple-choice questions (Examinee indicates answers to the scribe, who marks them on the answer document.)
  • Use of a scribe for the writing task (Examinee dictates response to the writing task, providing all spelling and language conventions.)
  • Use of a computer (provided at the test site) to type essay (All spelling and grammar tools will be disabled.)


  • Extended time or double time (The standard testing session is three and one-half hours. You may request extended time – up to 5 hours and 15 minutes – or double time – up to 7 hours. The documentation you submit must support the amount of time, extended or doubled, you are requesting.)
  • Note: Testing at non-standard start times presents an unreasonable strain on a test administration provided on a single day in a rented facility.

For Designated English Learners Only

  • Use of an English-to-primary-language and/or primary-language-to-English translation glossary or word list (brought by the examinee) that does not include definitions or formulas.

Other accommodations may be available. If you need an accommodation other than the ones listed above and have documentation to support your need (other than a school accommodation letter), submit your request and documentation with your registration materials.

Examinees who are provided certain accommodations are not allowed to change their test date after the emergency registration deadline.

Requesting Accommodations

To request accommodations, you must submit all of the following by the accommodation registration deadline:

  1. Completed registration form
  2. Payment: by credit or debit card if using electronic registration, or money order or bank-issued cashier’s check
  3. Proof of eligibility
  4. Accommodations Request Form (PDF)
  5. Supporting documentation (described below.)

Candidates initially granted accommodations for a CHSPE testing session may use the same accommodations during subsequent CHSPE administrations without supplying supporting documentation each time as long as the documentation originally provided is within 36 months of the upcoming test date. You will still need to complete and submit the accommodations request form along with your registration form and payment, prior to the regular registration deadline. On your accommodations request form, indicate the accommodations you are requesting and note on the form that these have been previously approved.

All requests and documentation must be received by the accommodation registration deadline. The CHSPE Office will review your request and documentation. Though the review process rarely takes more than five weeks, you are strongly encouraged to submit your registration and request for accommodations as early as possible. You will be notified by mail of the accommodations that have been approved. If you have not been notified two weeks prior to the test administration date, contact the CHSPE Office.

You must provide proper documentation for accommodations as described below. Requests for accommodations that are not supported by the required documentation will be denied.

Required Supporting Documentation

To support your request for accommodations, you must complete the Accommodations Request Form and attach the required documentation. If registering electronically, you may e-mail or fax supporting documentation to the CHSPE Office. Five acceptable types of supporting documentation are described below. Any of the five types are acceptable for any accommodation except the school accommodation letter, which is only acceptable for certain accommodations as indicated on the Accommodations Request Form. Only one type of document is needed to support a requested accommodation, and one document could be used to support more than one accommodation. Any documentation you submit must be dated within 36 months prior to the testing date for which you wish to register.

School Accommodation Letter

A letter from your school that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is on school letterhead or an official school computer-generated printout that shows the school’s name, address, and phone number
  • Includes your name
  • Lists the requested accommodations and states that each of these accommodations is regularly provided to you in the classroom during instruction and/or testing
  • Is signed by one of the following officials at your school: principal, director, vice principal, counselor, school psychologist, or site administrator identified on your school’s Private School Affidavit (R-4) or statement in lieu of the Affidavit filed with the California Department of Education. The school official may not be a relative unless your school has a current R-4 or statement in lieu of the Affidavit
  • Has the school's official seal affixed
  • States that you are a designated English learner (This bullet only applies if you are requesting frequent breaks due to your status as a designated English learner [defined below]. Only designated English learners can use this documentation to support the need for frequent supervised breaks.)

A school accommodation letter is acceptable documentation for only some accommodations as shown on the accommodations request form. The accommodations request form contains a table where you can place a check to reflect the type of documentation you provided for each requested accommodation. If the box to the right of a listed accommodation is blacked out under the heading “School Accommodation Letter,” then that accommodation requires supporting documentation other than a school accommodation letter.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan

A copy of your current IEP or Section 504 plan that documents your need for the accommodation(s) being requested. The IEP or Section 504 plan must include the required signatures. Submit the complete document. NOTE: CHSPE does not utilize IEP embedded and non-embedded supports. Embedded and non-embedded supports are not universally available and are features only of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests. Supporting IEP documentation must specify, separately, any accommodations requested for the CHSPE.

Community College Educational Plan

A current and properly completed copy of an educational plan developed for you by a community college that documents your need for the accommodation(s) being requested.

College Board Eligibility Letter

A copy of a letter from the College Board granting you the accommodation(s) on a College Board test (e.g., SAT, PSAT) that you are requesting on the CHSPE.

Professional Letter

A letter from a qualified professional whose license or credentials are appropriate to diagnose your disability or to make appropriate recommendations for accommodations based on a qualified professional’s previous diagnosis. The letter may not be written by a family member. The letter must be on official letterhead and must clearly specify:

  • the disability(ies) for which an accommodation is being requested
  • the accommodation(s) requested and
  • the professional's current profession and type of license or certification, including the state of issuance, license or certification number, and expiration date

Attach any supporting documentation that will substantiate your request. The chart below shows types of licensed or certified professionals who can write your letter. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a list of the most commonly encountered professionals. If you have questions about who can write your letter, please contact the CHSPE Office.

Who can write my letter?

Professional Letter for Accommodation Types
Disability Type Licensed or Certified Professional
Learning Disability Psychologist, educational specialist with advanced training
Attention Deficit or Hyperactivity Disorder Psychiatrist, psychologist, physician
Physical or Chronic Health Disability Physician, specialist in a particular appropriate area such as audiologist, ophthalmologist
Emotional or Mental Disability Psychiatrist, psychologist, school psychologist, licensed professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, licensed clinical social worker

Designated English Learner

As indicated above, only designated English learners can (a) use a School Accommodation Letter to support a request for frequent supervised breaks; and (b) request the use of an English-to-primary-language and/or primary-language-to-English translation glossary or word list. According to the California Department of Education, an English learner (sometimes referred to as a limited English proficient or LEP, student) is a K-12 student who, based on objective assessment, has not developed listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiencies in English sufficient to participate in the regular school program. Students are initially identified as English learners based on their performance on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) or prior to July 1, 2018, based on their performance on the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). For more information about the ELPAC or CELDT, please call the California Department of Education at 916-319-0784.

Sunday Testing

If you are unable to take the test on a Saturday due to religious convictions, you can take the test on the Sunday immediately following the Saturday test date. To request Sunday testing for religious reasons, you must submit all of the following by the late registration deadline:

  1. Completed registration form
  2. Payment: by credit or debit card if using electronic registration, or money order or bank-issued cashier's check in the appropriate amount
  3. Proof of eligibility
  4. A letter from a clergy member that:
    • Is on the clergy member's professional letterhead
    • States that your religious convictions prohibit Saturday testing
    • Is dated and signed by that clergy member

If you have previously taken the CHSPE on an alternate date since January 2003, you do not need to include another letter from a clergy member. Your letter will be on file at the CHSPE Office. Please note this on your registration form.

Your registration materials and clergy letter must be received by the late registration deadline. You will be notified of your Sunday testing date on your Admission Ticket.

Deadlines for Requests for Sunday Testing
Test Date Reg. Deadline (receipt date)
October 20, 2019 October 4, 2019
March 22, 2020 March 6, 2020
June 21, 2020 June 5, 2020
Test Areas Offering Sunday Testing
Test Site # Test Area Name County
1080 Fresno – Sunday Fresno
1980 Glendale – Sunday Los Angeles
1981 Woodland Hills – Sunday Los Angeles
1988 Santa Clarita – Sunday Los Angeles
3081 Anaheim – Sunday Orange
3380 Riverside – Sunday Riverside
3480 Rancho Cordova – Sunday Sacramento
4080 Atascadero – Sunday (at 1p.m.) San Luis Obispo

Sunday testing is available to students who cannot test on Saturdays for religious reasons only.

Physical Needs (e.g., Access, Monitoring Blood Sugar)

Most test sites and testing rooms are physically accessible to all examinees. To help ensure that your needs are met, if you are impacted by one or more of the situations listed below or have other needs related to test site access, be sure to submit a letter that states your need along with your other registration materials.

  • Use a wheelchair or crutches
  • Temporary cast
  • Special seating or access needs
  • Need to maintain your blood sugar