FAQ: Exam Accommodations

What kind of testing accommodations are available?

Exam accommodations are approved on an individual basis and may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Extended Time
  • Text in Alternate Format (e.g. large print, electronic version)
  • Use of a Computer
  • Assistive Technology (e.g. Read & Write, Dragon Naturally Speaking)

Do exam related accommodations apply to exams given remotely?

Yes.  All academic accommodations remain in effect, regardless of mode of instruction.  If a timed assessment is given via Lyceum and a faculty member needs to adjust the allotted time for a specific student, please review this information about Providing Extra Time for Students. 

Note: Due to limited resources and the need for our staff to be available for in person proctoring, the Office of Accessible Education is unable to assist in proctoring remote exams.

Will providing exam accommodations give an unfair advantage?

No. Accommodations, including those related to assessments, remove a barrier and ensure equal access for students with disabilities.

How do students initiate use of approved testing accommodations?

All students with approved accommodations receive communication from the Office of Accessible Education at the beginning of each semester reminding them to register their accommodations. Students must do this each semester- this is how we know which courses a student is requesting accommodations for and which faculty to notify. A student will not be permitted to take an exam with our office unless they have completed the registration process for that semester. It generally takes three business days or less to process registration forms and generate notification to faculty.

Can I accommodate a student myself or do exams need to be administered in Accessible Education?

Instructors may accommodate students directly if they wish. This may be more common for straightforward accommodations like extended time and separate location. Students approved for assistive technology or computer use will generally take their exams with Accessible Education. Students may benefit from taking an exam directly with the instructor, as it allows them to ask questions during an exam more easily. An advantage for faculty is that they are able to maintain control over the exam. Our office is available to consult with instructors regarding implementation of testing accommodations.

How do students schedule an exam to take with Accessible Education?

Students schedule exams through the Accessible Information Management (AIM) portal. We require students to schedule exams a minimum of five business days in advance. This is the minimum notice required to ensure that we have a space available for the student, time to work out any logistical issues, and give instructors adequate time to get the exam to our office.

Our student resources page offers more information about Student Responsibilities and exam scheduling.

The exam center offers proctoring Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:30. Exams will be proctored at following designated start times:

  • 8:30
  • 10:30
  • 12:30
  • 2:30

Due to limited resources and the need for our staff to be available for in person proctoring, the Office of Accessible Education is unable to assist in proctoring remote exams.  Questions about remote exams should be directed the the Dean of Faculty’s office.

How will I know when a student has scheduled to take an exam?

Once we approve a student’s exam request, a confirmation email is sent to both the instructor and student.

Faculty also have the option to login to Accessible Information Management  (AIM) with their Bates network credentials and view all students who have registered accommodations in their course(s) as well as view all exams that students have scheduled.  Instructions can be found on the Faculty AIM Portal page.

What if information in the exam confirmation email is incorrect?

We rely on students to enter the correct information when they schedule. Please review these confirmation emails when you receive them and email both the student and accessibility@bates.edu if anything about the date, time, and or exam length looks incorrect.

Where do students take their exams?

The office of Accessible Education and Student Support has a testing center located in the ground floor of Ladd Library near room G35 where nearly all exams will be administered.  Other buildings/classrooms may be utilized in overflow situations or during final exam period.

Will students have access to the internet or electronic devices while taking an exam?

No. All students are required to leave personal belongings, including cell phones, in our office before going to their exam location. This is outlined for students in the Exam Accommodation Guidelines. Students who have computer accommodations use one of our laptops, all of which are internet disabled.

Will students take the exam at the same time as the class?

As a policy, exams should be scheduled to overlap with the time of the regularly scheduled class exams. Students are made aware of this and it is outlined in the Student Responsibilities resource.

Occasionally, due to schedule conflicts or back-to-back classes, students may take an exam before or after the regularly scheduled class time. When this occurs, students are directed to speak with their instructors and get permission to take the exam at a different time. Please do not hesitate to contact us to confirm a student’s exam time or with any questions or concerns. When scheduling, we base a student’s extended time on the length of the class period. Please let us know if students should not have the full class time.

How can I get my exam to Accessible Education?

Due to limited resources and in order to protect the integrity of your exam, we ask that faculty drop off exams in-person in the locked drop box located just outside of Ladd Library G35 anytime during Ladd Library hours.  Please always ensure that an exam cover form is included with your exam.  These can be printed ahead of time or completed onsite.  All exams must be dropped off one day in advance of a scheduled exam.

If necessary, we can print exams that are emailed to accessibility@bates.edu but we strongly encourage dropping off exams in person to ensure that you maintain control of your exam and that there are no inadvertent errors in formatting, color printing, encryption, and/or formulas that can sometimes occur during receiving emails and printing.

How do I get the exam back?

Faculty may pick up exams from Ladd Library G35 Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00 and 4:30pm.

If I design an exam to take a certain amount of time and then allow all students in the class extra time to complete it, does that meet the accommodation need for students with extended time accommodations?

From an inclusive design standpoint, allowing all students to have additional time is a great strategy. However, from a compliance standpoint, extended time for students with exam accommodations (usually 1.5x or 2.0x additional time) is based on what the class receives. As an example, if you design an exam so that it should take students 40 minutes to complete it but offer the entire class up to 80 minutes to complete it, you would need to ensure that a student with 1.5x extended time has 120 minutes to complete it. Some faculty have addressed this by offering all students however long they need to complete the exam (essentially unlimited time for everyone in the class).

What happens if an unforeseen circumstance prevents the Office of Accessible Education from being able to proctor the exam as scheduled?

While we make every effort to proctor as scheduled there may be unforeseen circumstances that require tests to be rescheduled unexpectedly (inclement weather, emergencies). Should this occur and a substitute proctor is unavailable, Accessible Education will contact by email all students scheduled to test that day and their faculty as soon as possible to let them know of the change and how to reschedule for the next available date.