Beyond the Blue Book: Exam Accommodations & Strategies

Most students dread taking a test. Everything seems to ride on how much information you can keep in your head and put on paper in an hour. While your entire college career doesn't rely on your test performance, you can reduce the stress with good preparation and strategies. For students with disabilities, this includes ensuring and maximizing your exam accommodations as well.

Some of the ideas in this training are taken from Beyond Accommodations: Strategies for College Students with LD and ADHD. It has tips and worksheets that are useful for a wide range of students. It's available from AHEAD if you'd like to purchase it.

College classes involve several tasks, such as:

  • showing up for class
  • taking notes
  • reading assignments
  • participating in discussions
  • taking quizzes and tests
  • writing papers

Don't stress too much about exams, since they're simply one piece of the overall structure that makes up a class.

There are a lot of distractions in school and life that can take your focus off of what you need to do to be successful in class. To do well, you need to take charge of each of these tasks. They all fit together to help you take in information and acquire knowledge of the subject. Putting all of these together will help you better prepare for exams.

Whether it's the beginning of the semester or right in the middle, it's a good idea to stop and assess the areas of class that are challenging, the distractions you might be facing, and possible solutions.

This worksheet from Beyond Accommodations can help you think about this on your own. Staff from the Disability Services or Academic Assistance Center on campus can also walk you through it.

Keep these things in mind as you go through the steps of preparing for your exams on the next page.

Find study tips and more at our Academics page.

Visit the NCCSD Accommodations and AT page for examples of aids and services that address barriers in the academic environment.