Exam Accommodations

Providing exam accommodations

The Office of Disability Services for Students (DSS) arranges exam accommodations for students with disabilities at Indiana University Bloomington. If a student requires exam accommodations, it will be explained in the Academic Modifications Memo that they receive services from DSS. Students who receive memos are expected to meet with their instructors at the beginning of the term to discuss the accommodations and determine how they will be implemented.

Because DSS has limited space for testing, we rely on instructors to administer exams that require simple modifications when possible. DSS tends to administer exams that require more complex accommodations, but this does not limit faculty from administering these exams.

Instructor-administered exams

Instructors should administer exams for students whose memos indicate that they need one or more of the accommodations listed here:

  • 50 percent extended time (time-and-a-half)
  • A quiet, proctored setting that is free from interruption, with only a small group of students
  • Use of a simple calculator
  • Enlarged-print tests
  • Permission to record answers directly on a copy of the test instead of on a Scantron answer sheet
  • A written copy of orally administered instructions given prior to testing

If a student's schedule or your schedule does not allow for extended time, you may wish to send the student to DSS for testing.

How to arrange instructor-administered exams

Determine a time

When you meet with a student to discuss their Academic Modifications Memo, you should decide how their exam accommodations will be implemented. We recommend that you decide on arrangements for and schedule all exams during this initial meeting, if possible.

Please note that it is important that students do not miss class to receive their exam accommodations. For example, if you are giving a quiz followed by a lecture, find a way for the student to get extended time on the quiz without missing any of the lecture.

Determine a location

A quiet test setting has fewer distractions than the usual classroom and fewer than 10 students. Suggested locations include a conference room, seminar room, empty classroom, empty office, or other suitable space within your department. Several students with the same or similar accommodations may test together in these locations. A hallway or a department office where there is foot traffic, talking, ringing phones, or other noise is not an appropriate setting.

To reserve a room, contact the Office of the Registrar at 812-855-2489 or regsched@indiana.edu, or submit a reservation using the campus event registration form. If a suitable room is not available, contact the DSS test coordinator at 812-855-8756.

How to arrange DSS-administered exams

Submit the Exam Request Form (ERF)

Instructors who need to arrange a DSS-administered exam for a student should submit the Exam Request Form (ERF). The ERF reserves space for your students and provides instruction to the DSS staff on how to administer your exams and quizzes. Please complete one ERF per student per semester and include all testing dates if possible. Once the ERF is submitted to DSS, the student will receive an email reminder to contact DSS (in-person or by phone) to schedule their testing appointments. Generally, you need to fill out only one ERF for all exams in your course, unless your instructions vary from exam to exam. Be sure to fill out the entire ERF—this is your way of communicating your test instructions to DSS, which will follow them to the letter.

We recommend completing the ERF with students during your initial meeting and reminding your students to contact DSS to schedule their exams as soon as possible. Space is limited, and referrals are taken in the order received. Once we receive an ERF, we can meet with the student but not before. To ensure adequate time for the student to schedule their exams and reserve a space, instructors need to complete the ERF 10 business days in advance for regular semester exams and 15 business days in advance for final exams. Besides allowing time for the students to schedule, this allows us time to secure other testing locations since we only have space for 10 students at a time.

Testing hours

DSS testing hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If your class meets after 5 p.m., we suggest that you allow the student to take the exam earlier. You can give permission for this on the ERF.

If you are not comfortable letting the student take the exam earlier than the rest of the class, you may have the student sign an honor statement promising not to disclose exam information to anyone until after the class has completed the test. Alternatively, you may contact DSS and request our assistance in locating a proctor.

Late arrivals and missed testing appointments

If a student arrives for a test appointment later than you indicate is permissible, we will send them back to you for instructions. It is entirely up to you whether to allow the student to take the test, but be aware that it may not be possible for the student to make a new test appointment with DSS on short notice. DSS will notify you via email if a student arrives too late or is absent for a test appointment.

Look for a confirmation email

You will receive a confirmation email from dsstests@indiana.edu three to five days prior to each exam. If you do not receive this email, it typically means that the student has not contacted DSS to schedule the exam and will have to take it with the rest of the class.

Provide your exam to DSS

You should provide your exam to DSS at least 24 hours prior to the student’s test appointment. You can hand deliver it to the DSS office, send it through campus mail, or email it to dsstests@indiana.edu.

Because we are a small office, you will only receive one exam reminder to submit the test. If you do not send your exam, we will be unable to accommodate your student. The will be sent back to you for alternate arrangements.

Questions or concerns?

Contact the DSS test coordinator at 812-855-8756 or dsstests@indiana.edu.