Toolkit: Exam Skills

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Access arrangements for exams to be considered in advance and monitored due to progressive nature of the condition.

Modifications of exams are essential in meeting the needs and making sure the work is accessible.

It is likely that medical information and / or a QTVI assessment will be required to fully identify and support the school or college’s application for access arrangements.

Schools need to show that the access arrangements in place are the CYP’s normal way of working so they should have the same arrangements for in-class assessments or consideration should be given into account if these cannot be accommodated (e.g. school timetable does not allow for extra time to be provided in all assessments).

Exam arrangements have to be agreed in writing with school AND the exam boards.

Some of the access arrangements that could be agreed by the school and exam board

Modified large print papers in required font size. These are generally printed in font size 18, 24 or 36.

Extra time to complete exams. This could be 25% to 100%. Evidence needs to be collated by the school.

Option of having the exam in a separate room that is quiet with adequate lighting.

Supervised rest breaks, in addition to the allocated extra time, to help manage visual fatigue.

Option of laptop, chromebook or specialist equipment to record answers. It can also be used as a screen reader (GCSE / A Level only)

Having a Reader to read questions and read back answers, on request.

Having a Scribe upon request, with recording answers and possibility writing text larger (e.g. maths equation).

Having a Practical Assistant to help manage the papers and equipment. The reader, practical assistant and scribe can be the same person.

An exam script (for an example, see here) as an aid to remind the CYP / staff supporting them of the access arrangements and what they are entitled to. Advocacy skills are important and being aware what you can ask for.

Exam arrangements need to adopted considerably in advance of exams so that it can be tested and become normal way of working, and skills developed which are needed (e.g. recording their answers in a different way from peers).

Access arrangements must be kept under review as vision could change further and needs change.

In their own words

I struggle to finish my exams on time as there is so much reading and scanning to do. The extra time with rest breaks helps me a lot.