Exam Based Accommodations

Extended Time

Extended time is recommended for a student whose performance is compromised by a physical, psychological, cognitive, or learning disability that causes significantly slower reading, writing, recalling, or organization of information.


Reduced Distraction Environment

Testing alone or in a small group is recommended for students who have significant difficulty with concentration, are highly distractible, or employ test strategies that might be distracting to others around them (e.g., read questions aloud). Some students with physical disabilities may need a separate room in order to stand up or stretch as a way to manage pain or muscular conditions.


Computer and Technology Access

Computers are available to assist students with fine motor problems, organizational deficits, or spelling weaknesses. Text enlargers enable students to independently read and answer test questions and review their responses.


Assistive Technology

Assistive technology permits a student to read and/or respond to a standard test. Screen reader software reads the exam aloud. Voice recognition software allows a student to dictate his or her responses as an alternative to typing them on a keyboard.



Reader services are provided to students who are print-impaired, whether the impairment is the result of a visual disability, other physical disability, or reading disability. The reader is employed by the DRC to read the exam to the student. The reader can NOT do any of the following: explain, reword, or assist with choosing answers on the test.



A scribe is an appropriate accommodation for individuals who have difficulty writing as the result of some type of visual or physical disability. The job of the scribe is to transcribe the student's answers verbatim. The scribe and student are not permitted to discuss the exam under any circumstance, nor is the scribe there to assist a student with ideas or content of the exam. Rather, the scribe is there only to transcribe dictated information. A scribe is responsible for writing down punctuation as dictated; he or she is not responsible for grammar or correct spelling of course-related terms. The student is ultimately responsible for the final product. The student is encouraged to review the transcription and dictate any changes.

Students who may require a scribe include those whose impairment may result in:

  • A total inability to write or type (e.g., some students with quadriplegia or cerebral palsy).
  • A reduced speed and/or loss of endurance for writing (e.g., some students with muscular dystrophy or an injury to the dominant hand or arm).
  • Pain upon writing (e.g., in the case of overuse injury or some forms of arthritis).

Students who present information better in an oral form than in a written form may require a scribe (e.g., some students with learning disabilities).


Cue Card

Some students may be eligible to use a cue card as a memory aid. The cue card is intended to help the student recall critical information that he or she has learned for an exam. It should not contain information that could be directly copied into the answers of test questions. For example, the cue card should not reflect mathematical equations/algorithms, vocabulary words or other key units of information that could be copied into a test answer or used to solve a test question. Rather, the cue card should be used as a means to help a student remember critical information already learned or memorized for an examination. It may include acronyms, colors, textures and/or diagrams. To ensure that test integrity is maintained, the dimensions and contents of the card will be dependent upon the instructor’s approval. Cue cards used during an exam will be returned to the test administrator with the completed exam.


Alternative Test Format

Some students may be eligible for an alternative test format. Examples include an essay exam as a substitute for a multiple-choice exam, a written paper as a substitute for an oral presentation, or an oral exam as a substitute for a written exam. Disability documentation that clearly identifies the need for this accommodation is necessary. Faculty may also be consulted regarding the intent of the test format. In some cases, altering the test format fundamentally alters the nature of the course and, thus, an accommodation is not appropriate.

Note: Disability Resource Center  provides recommendations regarding test accommodations; faculty may review the recommendations and offer alternatives. In cases in which the faculty elect to deny recommended accommodations, students may request assistance from the DRC staff and/or file an appeal or grievance.