To obtain extra time as an exam accommodation, I am writing a personal statement to explain my medical situation and how extra time will benefit my exam results. I am familiar with accommodation for additional time on tests and exams as I received them during my undergrad and medical school careers. While taking tests and exams with the extra time allowed, I found the accommodation to be incredibly helpful. It was especially useful when I was experiencing periods of inability to concentrate and distractions while attempting to answer the question to the best of my ability. To complete the Step 2 CK exam, I am looking for the same accommodation of additional time to complete all answers due to ADD and frequent urination.
My first diagnosis for accommodation is attention deficit disorder (ADD). One of the main symptoms of ADD is the inability to maintain long periods of concentration, and I frequently experience this. For example, to understand and answer a test question takes a typical student 3 minutes to complete; I find myself rereading, reorganizing, and rewording the answer to the same question as my ability to concentrate wavers. Therefore, a normally 3-minute question will take me 8 minutes. The additional time received to complete the exam will allow me to answer the questions more appropriately as I continuously edit them, and therefore increase my overall ability to relay my answer to the question.
Another symptom of ADD that requires extra time to answer questions during tests and exams is becoming distracted easily. While browsing through the set of questions on a test or exam, I can become caught between answering multiple questions at once as I get distracted, attempting to read the entire collection. This symptom (with the inability to concentrate for long periods) is demonstrated by taking longer to answer all the questions on assessments. Accommodation of additional time on the Step 2 CK exam will significantly benefit my competence to answer all of the questions to the absolute best of my knowledge.
Anxiety is also commonly associated with ADD, and through the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been experiencing periods of deeper concern than usual. Anxiety can extricate ADD symptoms according to the CDC, and extra time to focus my thoughts and bring my attention back to answering a question will significantly help during an, already, stressful exam period. Accommodation of additional time allowance will also reduce the anxiety I tend to develop as the testing period goes on, and the time allotted is diminished.
Finally, a final diagnosis of frequent urination also inhibits my ability to complete the 9 hours typically. Unfortunately, my bladder function is compromised, and as a result, uncontrollable frequent washroom breaks may impede the 60-minute intervals given. I also understand that finishing these blocks may allow extra break time, but that is not guaranteed. While there is a 45-minutes minimum of allotted break time, I am unable to control when I need to urinate and, therefore, will need additional time in accommodation for this purpose.
In addition to the medical documentation provided, I hope this personal statement on my reasons for requiring the accommodation of additional time to complete the Step 2 CK exam sufficient. I am very determined to finish and excel at the Step 2 CK examination despite my diagnosis, and I look forward to writing it.