Testing Accommodations

Getting testing accommodations

A testing accommodation refers to any university approved accommodation from DSS that relates to the way a student with a disability takes an exam. This includes, but is not limited to, extended time on exams, a testing location with reduced distractions, a scribe to write exam answers, or the use of assistive technology during an exam.

If you are a current Indiana University Bloomington student who needs exam accommodations, the Office of Disability Services for Students (DSS) will help you arrange them.

DSS also can assist incoming students who need accommodations for placement exams.

Register for services

Your first step in getting any type of disability-related accommodation, including exam accommodations, is to register for services from DSS. This involves completing the DSS request for services form and submitting documentation of your disability.

If DSS determines that you are eligible to receive accommodations, you will receive access to an Academic Modifications Memo that explains your accommodations. You are expected to meet with your instructors at the beginning of each term to present the memo and arrange your accommodations.

Learn how to register for services

Types of exam accommodations

Simple accommodations

Some simple exam accommodations can be provided by your instructor in a classroom setting. Simple accommodations include:

  • 50 percent extended time (time-and-a-half)
  • A reduced distraction, proctored setting 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

Complex accommodations

If you need complex accommodations, your instructor may have you take your exams at the DSS office. Complex accommodations include:

  • 100 percent extended time (double time)
  • A private, proctored setting
  • A test reader, adaptive technology, or an audio recording of the exam
  • A word processor for essay exams
  • A scribe to record exam answers

Options for taking exams

  • Option 1: Take your exams in class, without accommodations. No additional action on your part.
  • Option 2: Take your exams with accommodations that are arranged by the instructor. This is the best way to arrange testing accommodations. Present your memo to your instructor and discuss arrangements for the method and location of your test. For Canvas quizzes and tests, your instructor can adjust your allotted time.
  • Option 3: Take your exams at Disability Services. Meet with your instructor, as they must approve you taking the exam at the DSS office. Due to limited space, DSS needs at least five business days’ notice for semester exams and quizzes and 14 business days’ notice for finals.

Taking exams at the DSS office

Scheduling your exams

The first step in scheduling your exams at the DSS office is to have your instructor complete an Exam Request Form (ERF). (A paper ERF is available upon request.) It is important that your instructor complete the entire form—this is their way of communicating their test instructions to DSS. We will follow the instructor’s directions precisely.

Generally, your instructor can fill out one ERF to cover all exams in a course. This allows you to schedule all your exams for the course in advance.

After your instructor submits the ERF to DSS, you must contact DSS staff, by phone or in person, to schedule your exams. Have your course syllabus available for easy scheduling.

Scheduling deadlines

You must schedule semester exams and quizzes at least five business days in advance to ensure that you get all your accommodations and a test proctor is available.

You must schedule final exams 14 business days in advance to ensure that you get all your accommodations and a test proctor is available.

Failure to meet these deadlines could result in not getting your testing accommodations.

Testing procedures

Before the test
  • Arrive at the DSS office a few minutes early. If you are late, you will not be given additional time to complete your exam. Depending on your instructor’s directions, it is possible that you won’t be allowed to take it at all.
  • Prepare to show your ID to DSS staff.
  • Turn off cell phones.
  • Cell phones, smart watches, coats, backpacks, purses, etc., must be left in DSS lockers. You may not retrieve anything after the proctor has given you your copy of the exam.
  • Bathroom breaks are not permitted during the exam unless noted as an accommodation. Restrooms are available in the quiet study area on the third floor. One restroom is available in the DSS office.
During the test
  • Any student who is found to have a cell phone, MP3 player, notes, or other unauthorized items in the test room will have their exam confiscated immediately and will be asked to leave. DSS staff will notify their instructor of the incident.
  • You are expected to be quiet and courteous if there are other students in the test room. Any student who is disruptive will be removed from the test room and their instructor will be notified.
  • DSS proctors will not give "time warnings," especially if other students are taking exams in the test room. Plan ahead and use either a basic watch or the wall clock to keep track of your time.
  • You must write your name on all exam papers and fill in your Scantron (if applicable) during the time allotted for your exam. When your time is up, you will be allowed to finish the sentence you are writing, but no more than that.
  • If you need to leave the test room for a university approved accommodation, notify the proctor quietly. Either the proctor or a DSS staff member will escort you to the restroom or provide supervision, and the proctor will record the time you leave and the time you return. You will not be permitted to make up time that you use for this purpose unless your memo authorizes it. Students leaving the office without an escort will not be permitted to finish their tests.
After the exam
  • When you finish the exam, you are free to leave unless your instructor has specified otherwise.
  • If you are returning the exam to your instructor, please wait for DSS staff to prepare it for return.
Learn about testing modifications for placement exams

Missed exams and rescheduled/cancelled exams

Missed exams

If you miss a scheduled exam, DSS staff will contact your instructor to let them know. It is up to your instructor to decide whether to allow you to take a makeup exam. You should contact your instructor immediately to discuss the situation.

Missed exams need to be rescheduled with sufficient notice in order to obtain a space and proctor. There is no guarantee that the exam will be rescheduled in a private space or within a certain time period.

If you are going to miss a scheduled exam for any reason, contact DSS staff as soon as possible. This helps DSS staff more efficiently use our limited testing space.

Rescheduled or cancelled exams

Contact DSS staff if your instructor reschedules or cancels an exam. DSS must receive sufficient notice to reschedule an exam as space or proctors may not be available.

Questions or concerns?

Contact the DSS test coordinator at 812-855-3508 or or dsstests@indiana.edu.