Beyond the Blue Book: Examples of Exam Accommodations & Strategies

Remember: not everyone is guaranteed any or all of these accommodations. They're tied to your disability, so you need to discuss what would be appropriate for you with your Disability Services Coordinator.

Test materials

If standard print is not accessible, you might want to have test materials available in e-text, digital audio, large print or Braille. A "Reader/Scribe" is someone who can read test items to you and help write out your answers or mark bubble sheets if you need that assistance due to a disability.


If you're taking an exam in the DS office, you'll usually be in a room with a few other test-takers, especially during mid-terms or final exams when space is tight. This is fine for a lot of students, but some have issues with concentration or distractibility.

In those situations, a "distraction-reduced" room might be available for taking tests. Note that it's nearly impossible for schools to offer a completely silent room due to unexpected factors. You might want to look into ear plugs or headsets to help block out distractions.

Private rooms are also useful for students who need to take tests with a Reader/Scribe or other Assistant.

college student taking an exam

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Aids and Tools

Scratch paper might be helpful for those with memory or information processing issues.

Though not common, a one-page sheet with basic formulas, Bell Curve, X-Y Axes or other diagrams might be helpful for those with memory issues.


Sign Language Interpreters can be arranged for test instructions, or audio portions of exams.

Having the proctor fill in the bubbles on the test form might be helpful for those with disabilities affecting fine motor skills, visual tracking, attention, or other skills.

Access Technologies

The use of a computer and peripherals might be approved for writing essays, or using text-to-speech software for test items.

A CCTV or other print magnifier helps to enlarge standard print or diagrams.

Because Extra Time for Exams is used by many students, we gave that topic its own page, next!

Extra Time for Exams