Examination adjustments

Information relating to the Coronavirus pandemic

For the most up-to-date advice and guidance about policies and processes relating to Examinations and Assessments, please refer to the following webpages:

Advice for student-facing staff: https://academic.admin.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus
Advice for students: https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/coronavirus-advice

The Examinations and Assessments Framework (EAF) has been updated to reflect changes implemented due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Alternative exam arrangements

Applications can be made for adjustments to exam arrangements owing to disability and/or illness.

Adjustments may include extra writing time, use of a computer, rest time, or use of assistive software.


Guidance for in-person and open-book exams is available in the exam adjustment staff guide TT21.

Further information can also be found in the mode of completion of open-book exams guidance.

Applications are made by college officers via the Exams Administration and Services SharePoint site.

Dispensations  Dispensations are requests to Education Committee for the normal limits and rules set out in the Examination Regulations to be set aside for individual students, generally due to extenuating circumstances.
  Applications are made to Education Policy Support.
Extension request  Applications may be made for an extension to a submission deadline or for take home papers.


Examination adjustments

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Applications are made using the secure SharePoint site

If access to the SharePoint site is required please email eas@admin.ox.ac.uk 


  1. Student declares disability, SpLD or illness to the university. 
  2. Student provides supporting evidence and discusses potential appropriate exam adjustments with their college. 

If the student is registered with the Disability Advisory Service (DAS) a Disability Advisor may assess the students requirements and prepare a Student Support Plan (SSP) providing recommendations for living accommodation, teaching and assessments. 

  1. Medical recommendations and/or a Student Support Plan (SSP) to be provided to the students' college. 
  2. Where adjustments are recommended for teaching, DAS or the college to share details with the relevant department. 
  3. Where adjustments are also required for exams the college submit an application via SharePoint, uploading medical evidence and/or a SSP provided to support the application. 
  4. E&A and/or Proctors consider the application and approve reasonable adjustments. 
  5. Approved adjustments are confirmed to the college and department (via the relevant exam board administrator). 
  6. E&A record the approved adjustments in eVision. 
  7. The college notifies the student of approved adjustments. 

If a student with alternative arrangements is also taking exams organised by the department it is helpful if these details can be included in the application. 

Students can find details of their alternative arrangements that have been approved in Student Self Service and on their individual exam timetable. 

Students are advised to apply for alternative arrangements for their exams as early as possible and no later than Week 4 of the term before their exams are due to take place. 

  • Extra time and/or the use of a word processor.
  • Enlarged font papers for those with a visual impairment.
  • Written instructions for those with a hearing impairment.
  • Ergonomic or other seating arrangements.
  • The scheduling of exams* at a specific time of day or only one exam scheduled per day.
  • The scheduling of exams* to accommodate religious observances.
  • Permission to bring food, drink and medication into an exam requires a signed letter from the college nurse or senior tutor.
  • Arrangements that include rest time, over 25% extra writing time, assistive software or a scribe will need to be accommodated as an individual college sitting - do check with the EAS team if you are unsure.

*Scheduling requests must be submitted by Week 4 of Michaelmas Term in order to be factored into exam timetables.

Ongoing exam adjustments apply for the duration of a student's course. 

Temporary exam adjustments apply either for the year or the exam period.

If the student changes course or college, a new application will need to be made in order for the adjustments to be applied to that course and communicated to the correct course contacts.

Ongoing adjustments include:

  • SpLDs
  • Long term conditions and disabilities
  • Religious observance

Temporary adjustments include:

  • Infection
  • Injuries and surgery
  • Changeable conditions such as anxiety, RSI, tendonitis

Trial arrangements:

  • We strongly encourage students to trial their approved arrangements during collections or by attending a mock exam at the Examination Schools.

Sitting at the Examination Schools:

  • Candidates will be informed of their room on the day of their exam.
  • Students using a computer are provided with a PC, keyboard, mouse and script booklets and may type or write answers as they wish.
  • Students with a SpLD will have spelling and grammar checking enabled on their computer.
  • Students with a SpLD will be provided with a 2D form to attach to their work, it is their responsibility to attach the form.

Sitting in college:

Departmental exams and assessments:

  • If a student with alternative arrangements is taking exams or assessments administered by the department, their approved alternative arrangements will need to be organised by the department.
  • If there are specific details that need to be clarified for departmental assessments, please contact the EAS team.  We do not have specific details for the wide range of departmental assessments across the multitude of courses to include in each individual case.

In accordance to the deadlines published in the Examinations and Assessment Framework, it will not be possible to fulfil any exam adjustment(s) requested within the 5 working days prior to a student’s exams starting during Trinity term 2021. This includes adjustments to mode of completion, for which the deadline was 31 March 2021, and for late diagnosis of conditions, such as an SpLD.​ Owing to the complex measures in place for online open-book, in-person and remotely invigilated exams, it will not be possible to facilitate any last minute adjustments.

Students experiencing difficulties sitting their exams are advised to:​

  • continue with exams as planned (without adjustment)​ and submit a mitigating circumstances notice to examiners if they feel their exams were impacted,
  • attend some exams, if that is appropriate, and seek excusal for from those that will be missed/unable to sit (via Proctors),​
  • suspend or withdraw from exams to take them at another opportunity when adjustments can be put in place (noting any implications for course progression or completion). 

Alternative arrangements specifically for written exams can only be made once permission has been sought via the Exam Administration and Services team.

Guidance for in-person and open-book exams is available in the alternative arrangement guide.

  • Applications for reasonable adjustments which require significant changes to university examinations are approved by or on behalf of Education Committee.
  • The committee has delegated authority from Council to approve the necessary dispensations from the regulations required to put such changes into effect.
  • Education Committee seeks supporting material from a number of sources in reaching decisions on applications of this type.
  • Applications should be made by email to edcapplications@admin.ox.ac.uk, or through internal post to Education Policy Support

Further information on applying for dispensations is available here

  • Requests for extensions to deadlines for submitted work should be made to the Proctors’ Office at examinations@proctors.ox.ac.uk.
  • Extensions that are likely to take the submission date beyond the term of office of the current board of examiners are dealt with as a dispensation by Education Policy Support.