Beyond the Blue Book: Extra Time for Exams

Extra Time

Additional time to be able to read and respond to test items is one of the most frequently requested accommodations. While it doesn't guarantee that you will finish or ace the exam, it gives you a chance to access the test equal to your peers.

Make good use of your extra time!

  • Review the whole exam before you start responding to get a sense of what you need to do.
  • Which questions, for example, essay questions, will take you the most time? Consider those and monitor your overall time to get to test items.
  • Mark items that you're not sure of as you go, and then go back to them to double-check before the time ends.

Incorporate stress-reduction techniques

  • Before you start responding, write down any information, charts, or formulas that you think you might forget on a separate paper.
  • Take a short break to breathe and re-focus if you feel stressed during the exam.

Read test items carefully

If you have questions, ask the instructor. Disability Services will often have the professor's office or cell number available. Sometimes faculty will come into Disability Services to check on students to see how they're doing. Write in the margins of the exam if you are confused about an item.

Be sure NOT to rush, or leave any items unchecked. If you have some of your allotted time left, go back and read through the exam again to catch any that you might have missed or answered partially.

More Test-Taking Tips