Presentation: Clarification

Related References
Types of Assessment


Guiding Principles
Case Studies

When students require a clarification accommodation, the teacher is expected to provide some additional explanation, either of the directions or the actual test items. Common examples of clarification include:

  • Explain the directions. Students are allowed to ask for clarification of the test directions or instructions. In some cases this may mean simplifying the language in the directions.
  • Answer questions without giving answers. During the test, students are permitted to ask questions. Teachers are allowed to respond as long as they do not answer the question for the student or provide information the test is measuring (e.g., showing the student the formula for completing a math problem).
  • Provide extra examples. Some tests will provide an example as part of the directions. This accommodation allows teachers to provide additional examples for students who require them.


  1. Review the directions and test items.
  2. Note particular places where the student may have difficulty and prepare clarifications.
  3. Some teachers suggest that it is helpful to have a contingency plan in place should the student not understand after repeated attempts at clarification.


There is some controversy about simplifying oral or written directions because such changes may reduce the comparability of the test. Furthermore, the changes may interfere with the student's ability to complete the test items successfully (e.g., critical information is left out of the new directions).

Excerpted from Assessment Accommodations Toolkit.

Council for Exceptional Children

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.

Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!

Start Trial


Thanksgiving is just around the corner! It's (Thursday) November 26, this year. Use videos, lessons, and worksheets to teach the history and cultural significance of the holiday. Then, enjoy our crafts to celebrate and decorate!

December Calendar of Events
December is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: World AIDS Day (12/1), International Volunteer Day (12/6), Hanukkah (begins at sundown 12/6), Handwashing Awareness Week (12/6-12), Computer Science Education Week (12/7-13), Human Rights Day (12/10), Winter Solstice (12/22), Christmas (12/25), Kwanzaa (begins 12/26), Visit the Zoo Day (12/27), and New Year's Eve (12/31). Plus, celebrate Bingo's Birthday Month, Universal Human Rights Month, and Write to a Friend Month all December long!

Hour of Code
Introduce your students to basic coding and computer science! Celebrate Computer Science Education Week from December 7-13, 2015 with our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids, Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens, or the Hour of Code resources provided by Code.org®

Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, the American Revolution, and the environment. Enjoy!

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.