Extended Time

The Strategy

Extended time provides a student extra time to complete a test, project or assignment. Extended time is designed to reduce the impact of the student’s challenges (e.g., reading disability, anxiety) on their performance, and give students with challenges equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge.  

  1. Extended time can be provided for assignment completion or for testing.  Identify where the student is showing impairment (e.g., test completion; timed in class assignments; homework completion) and confirm that the impaired performance is a function of slower processing speed.
  2. Discuss these impairments with the student’s educational and mental health support team to identify a reasonable expectation. Common extended time accommodations may include time and a half for completing tests or in class assignments. For homework, students may get an extra day or two to complete materials. This should be reasonable and agreed upon by the team.
  3. Describe the accommodation and its purpose to the student (if appropriate based on development) and the student’s parents (see letter to parent). Be clear about what types of assignments or assessments this will be applied to.
  4. Use Beacon progress monitoring tools to evaluate the extent to which this strategy is improving the target behaviors as intended.
  5. Create a timeline for this reduced expectation. During this period, apply other interventions to develop the skills necessary for completion during the typically assigned time (e.g., multi-sensory intervention for reading/literacy; remedial math instruction, self-monitoring, token programs, cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety). Overtime, gradually increase the expectation commensurate with skill improvement until the student can meet age-based expectations for time.

  • If a student is utilizing extended time to complete an assignment or assessment, try to schedule this at a time that will not interfere with other academic content. It is critical that students are not missing new material due to another accommodation or support.
  • Extended time should not be “as long as needed.” For all students, deadlines should still be identified and enforced.
  • Remind students privately about their expectations for work completion and the timeline for doing so after providing the whole class instruction.
  • It may be useful to communicate with parents about deadlines, particularly when they are different from the whole class to ensure that parents are aware and able to provide support.

Because extended time does not effectively build the skills students need to independently meet age-appropriate expectations, it cannot be evaluated for effectiveness. The goal of extended time is to ensure a student can complete their quizzes, tests, or assignments in order to pass a course. If this strategy is selected for use in the short term, it is recommended that it be replaced at some point with an intervention to help the student develop the skills needed to independently meet age-appropriate expectations for completing tests and quizzes within the allotted time.

Intervention Scorecard

This intervention is recommended for the following presenting problems.

Select an age group:


Other suitable presenting problems