Exam Accommodation Policy for Students and Faculty

OAS Testing Center
Located in Office of Accessibility Services- Willard Hall Rm 201
Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters
Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. during the summer

General Information:

Exam accommodations are intended to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to reflect the knowledge they have gained in a particular course of study. Eligibility for exam accommodations is determined in advance by Student Disability Services (SDS) Staff and is based upon confidential, substantiating documentation. Common exam accommodations may include, but are not limited to, distraction-reduced environment, extended time, and alternate formatting (i.e., braille, large print). Less common exam accommodations may include, but are not limited to, readers, scribes, assistive technology, and word processor use as an alternative to paper-based tests.

It is the student’s right to determine whether they will use their exam accommodations throughout the semester or not at all. However, students must first discuss their accommodations and their plans with their professors to determine whether a professor can provide the student’s exam accommodations.

SDS provides a proctored Testing Center, should a professor not be able to provide testing accommodations. Less common exam accommodations are usually provided through the SDS Testing Center.

SDS strives to maintain the highest academic integrity possible when proctoring exams. The SDS Testing Center is staffed by trained exam proctors and offers a distraction–reduced environment, and assistive technology.

Students Responsibilities

Students are required to discuss all approved accommodations with their professors after the Faculty Accommodation Letter has been delivered through the Central email. If professors can provide the needed and approved exam accommodations, students and professors should determine a notification procedure and make the arrangements for exams.

Students are also responsible for discussing and making accommodation arrangements with professors for the following types of assessments:

  • Online exams
  • Lab assessments are also subjected to accommodations and often require reasonable special arrangements that must be determined.
  • “Pop quizzes” also may require a special arrangement.

Students that have “timed exams” such as an hour, with extensive open periods of time for completion do qualify for time extensions. Students that have exams with extensive periods of time for completion, such as a week, normally would not qualify for time extensions. Should there be any questions or unique circumstances, students and/or professors should consult with SDS Director for necessary exceptions.

Procedures for Exam Accommodations in the SDS Testing Center

At least three days in advance of the exam date: If a professor is not able to provide approved exam accommodations, and the student intends to use exam accommodations, students should notify their professor of their intentions to be proctored in SDS. SDS proctored exams must be scheduled through the Accommodate site.


Exams must be scheduled on the hour or half-hour, as close as possible to the class exam time. Students should call or stop by the SDS office if assistance is needed with scheduling an exam. Accommodate uses BlueNet log-in information.

Students requesting an approved accommodation of a reader and/or scribe, need to note this when scheduling the exam and allow 5 days ahead of test to allow for a proctor arrangement.

General timeline guidelines for requesting tests:

Students need to send request no later than 5 p.m. on:To take the test on:

Testing Center Policies

  • On the day of the exam, students should arrive at least 5-10 minutes before the exam.
  • Phones must be turned off and placed in backpacks, or SDS provided envelopes and stored in the Testing Center cubbies along with smartwatches.
  • While taking exams, students are not allowed to have anything at their workspace except for the items that have been approved by the respective professor as indicated on the Exam Proctoring Checklist. Covered drinks are allowed, but food is not allowed unless there is an approved accommodation.
  • Students are expected to uphold the integrity of the examination process. Any misconduct will be reported to the professor and be subject to disciplinary action based on Central Code of Conduct.
  • Students are expected to obey all SDS Testing Center rules posted within the Center. This includes maintaining a quiet environment.
  • When exams are completed, students are responsible for handing the exam and attachments, if applicable, to the Testing Center Proctor. SDS Staff will ensure delivery to the respective professor and will include the proctor sheet with details of observed student behavior.
  • Students with questions or concerns before, during, or after taking exams, should notify the Proctor, SDS Secretary, or Staff for assistance and/or guidance.

SDS Staff Responsibilities

  • Once a student schedules an exam at the SDS Testing Center, the SDS Secretary will notify the professor via e-mail and ask him/her to complete the Exam Proctoring Checklist. This Checklist asks the professor to indicate the time allotted for students taking the exam in class, the items permitted in the testing area, and other information about exam delivery and exam return.
  • SDS Staff will ensure that exams are distributed to and collected from the student when he/she arrives and departs from the Testing Center, providing the student arrives on time. See "Lateness" and "Illness" procedures below.
  • SDS Staff will also ensure that the student is provided with the authorized amount of time allowed and that he/she has access to only those items noted by his/her professor on the Exam Proctoring Checklist.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Once notified that a student will be taking an exam in the SDS Testing Center, professors are responsible for delivering the exam and Exam Proctoring Checklist to the SDS Administrative Assistant at least 24 hours prior to the exam date and time. This can be done in person, via email or by fax. It is important that the Exam Proctoring Checklist accompany the exam; the student will have access to only those items noted by you on the Checklist.
  • Professors should deliver exams with appropriate accommodations such as font size. Word documents are preferred.
  • When the exam has been completed, the professor or designee (i.e., department Administrative Assistant) will pick up the exam from the SDS Secretary (Willard Hall, Rm 201). Alternately, professors may request a return via interdepartmental mail service or scanned email (Exam must be on single-sided 8.5" x 11" paper; cannot scan exams with Blue Books).


Students are expected to arrive on time to take their exams. Should a student arrive late for an exam, they will be offered only the scheduled time remaining (as indicated on the Exam Proctoring Checklist). Students that arrive late by 30 minutes or more, and want to reschedule the exam, must seek permission from their professor to take the exam later or reschedule for a new day and time. SDS must receive a professor’s written permission to reschedule. It is the student’s responsibility to make such a request.


Students unable to take an exam due to illness or emergency should contact their professor immediately. Students are responsible for coordinating the makeup for any missed exam with their professor and SDS.

Rescheduling an Exam

Several steps are needed in order to reschedule an exam missed because of a medical issue or personal emergency. These steps include:

  • Students must contact their professor to receive authorization to reschedule a missed exam.
  • SDS Staff requires written authorization from a professor to reschedule an exam.
  • Students must coordinate/ arrange a new testing date and time with their professor and SDS.


A "Reader" is a person who reads exams aloud to students who cannot access the written text the way it is normally presented. The policy governing the interaction between readers and test takers is:

  • Readers can be asked to repeat information.
  • Readers will only read what is on the printed page. They cannot be asked to interpret, define, explain or reword questions.
  • Readers need the student’s feedback to be effective. Let the person reading know what method of vocal communication works best for you in terms of tone of voice, rate/speed, pauses between sentences, etc.


A "Scribe" is a person who records in writing the oral answers of student’s exam questions. A scribe will write down all orally dictated answers to exam questions. The policy governing the interaction between scribes and test takers is:

  • Scribes will write down verbatim what you have dictated. The scribe is not responsible for organizing or paraphrasing your thoughts into a final most "readable" draft.
  • Scribes are responsible for general spelling and sentence-ending punctuation, unless there is an essential requirement otherwise specified by the professor. Students are otherwise responsible for detailing to the scribe any spelling specific, class-related terminology or punctuation.
  • At any time during your exam, students will have the opportunity to review what the scribe has written either by reading or having it read.
  • If there are corrections in exam responses to be made, the student is responsible for directing the scribe to make any changes.

Assistive Technology

Varied assistive technology may be approved as an accommodation and used during exams to ensure accessibility. Common assistive technologies include:

  • Use of Word Processor
  • Zoomtext -used with a computer for enlargement of text on the computer screen
  • Text to Speech software- computer reads exam to the student
  • Speech to Text software- student speaks to the computer-software writes answers in a WORD document
  • JAWS - screen reader software- used by blind or low vision students