Alternative arrangements to examinations can include:
- hearing loops and/or materials provided in written format
- question papers and materials provided in enlarged and/or coloured formats
- access to medicines, food and drink in exams
- access to bathrooms outside of the usual non-permitted periods
- typing rather than handwriting exams
- use of assistive software or support worker to aid reading and/or writing
- changes to the scheduling of exams
- extra rest or writing time to accommodate other adjustments or slower pace of work
Use of ergonomic equipment, such as ergonomic keyboards and mice or adjustable desks and chairs
What is appropriate as an adjustment is likely to be unique to each student. It may not be possible to accommodate some of these arrangements in the main exam room, where arrangements may cause disturbance to other candidates.
Colleges are responsible for making applications to the Examinations Schools for adjustments to University examinations, for both undergraduate and postgraduate taught students.
Departments are responsible for making adjustments to assessment for research students and for non-matriculated students. An application should usually be made for on-going adjustments, which apply for the duration of the course. Students whose condition fluctuates significantly may apply for temporary exam adjustments that apply for a year or the specific exam period.
Detailed guidance on the application process for undergraduates (which is made via SharePoint) is available in the Examinations and Assessments section of the Academic Support website, including details of the deadlines for the process.
For research students, applications for adjustments to their transfer and confirmation assessments, and final viva, can be made using the Application for Adjustments to Assessment Arrangements form (GSO.19). Further guidance on this process can be found in Applying for adjustments for disability: process for research students and staff (GSO.19c). There is also guidance available for Directors of Graduate Studies on promoting inclusive practice in oral examinations, and guidelines for considering alternative arrangement requests. This can be found in GSO.19b.
Students’ responsibilities in the application process can be found on the Oxford student webpages.
Implementing alternative arrangements
Once alternative arrangements have been granted, departments should ensure any alternative formats required for exam scripts and related materials are created in a timely manner.
Departments and colleges also need to ensure any agreed alternative arrangements for University exams are replicated in any departmental and college exams.
There are three types of exam room at the Examinations Schools:
- main examination hall (may be a large room like North School at Exam Schools or Ewert House in Summertown, seating 200-350 candidates, or may be one of the smaller rooms seating 30-50 candidates)
- WP suite (at Exam Schools, small to medium sized room containing PCs and laptops for those with permission to type examinations, some of whom may also have extra time)
- extra time room (at Exam Schools, small to medium sized room for those with extra time who are handwriting their examinations)
There is guidance about making arrangements for individual (college) sittings in the alternative arrangements section of the examinations and assessments website, including the appropriate set up of the room and IT equipment.