he first time she took the SAT, in December 2013, Savannah Treviño Casias got what she calls “a really low score”—1040 out of 1600. It put her squarely in the 50th percentile—not so good for someone aspiring to be a psychologist.
At the time a junior at the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona, a small public charter school in Phoenix, Treviño Casias had been diagnosed in 6th grade with the math learning disability known as dyscalculia. The diagnosis qualified her for extra time on classroom tests and quizzes, along with other accommodations. But she'd sat for that first SAT without requesting extra time, taking it in four hours along with hundreds of other students at a nearby high school.
Treviño Casias vowed to do better. She arranged for a family friend to tutor her over the following six months—and she asked for extra time on the next test.