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Exam Access

Sheet of a test with multiple choice questions on it. Hand holding pencil hovering over the page.

Timed exams present significant barriers to students with cognitive, chronic health,  and physical disabilities (just to name a few). Since testing often accounts for the majority of a student's grade, it is one of the most commonly requested accommodations. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the testing accommodation SSD can support. 

Instructors are encouraged to work with their department to determine if space is available to provide test accommodations. When space is lacking, the SSD Werth Testing Center is a service provided by SSD that may help. 

Extended Time

Extended time is intended to address limitations directly connected to information processing and/or physically recording responses. It will be provided to students and instructors as a multiplier of the orignial test time (1.25x, 1.5x, 2x, etc). Students should plan to let their instructor know at the beginning of the term or before each exam if they plan to use their extended time. 

Reduced Distraction Testing Environment

Reduced distraction accommodations are typically intended to support cognitive disabilities. The expectation is that the room should have limited visual and auditory stimulus (such as a conference room, small classroom, instructor office, etc.). It can also take one of two forms -- small group testing or private room testing. Small group testing is the most common. The general expectation is for the small group to be 15 or few students in a room. Private room testing is uncommon but is sometimes connected to the tools (such as, speech recognition) a student needs to complete their test. 


The use of an off-the-clock break may support cognitive disabilities and chronic health conditions. The break is intended to be 15-minutes for every 60 minutes of test time. Depending on the student's needs, the break include the ability for the student to leave the testing room for the break to address their access needs. 

Test Environment

The intension behind these type of accommodations is to address limitations directly connected to medical or cognitive needs. Students and instructors will receive instructions and support for any additional tools that may be needed for implementation.

  • Access to food, drink or medication during exam
  • Access to mobile device during exam
  • Listen to music during test
  • No more than one test per day
  • No tests after 5 p.m.
  • No tests before 10 a.m.


The intention behind this accommodation is to address limitations directly connected to reading, writing or recall. Its origin is in removing barriers for students with learning disabilities, vision impairment or mobility issues. Students and instructors will receive instructions and support for any additional tools that may be needed for implementation. Some common tools are:

  • Reader for test: (Text-to-speech) Read aloud software
  • Basic function calculator
  • Formula Sheet
  • Word Bank 
  • Write on test rather than opscan
  • Word processor for tests
  • Magnification software or large print for tests
  • Scribe for test: electronic or human
  • Scratch paper