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Setting: Preferential Seating

How to use preferential seating to accommodate assessment.
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Setting: Preferential Seating

Related References
Types of Assessment


Guiding Principles
Case Studies
DescriptionPreferential seating may include placement in the classroom (e.g., up front by theteacher, away from a distracting doorway or fan, facing the wall) or in a separatedefined area such as a study carrel. Preferential seating may be implemented in thesame room as other classmates, or it may be located in a separate setting.


  1. Review the room and identify all areas that may create distractions or provide bestplacements for individual students.
  2. Before asking a student to test in a location,make sure that both you and the student have tried to work in the space for anextended period of time.
  3. While a student may work well in a studycarrel during regular instructional activities, he or she may not do as well during anassessment.
  4. While a student may work well in the front row during instruction,your presence at the desk may prove distracting for the student during a test situa-tion.


Students should be comfortable in special placements during assessments. Take careto ensure that the preferential seating is not perceived as punishment.

Excerpted from Assessment Accommodations Toolkit.

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.

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