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Information for students with specific learning difficulties

Students who have specific learning difficulties (such as dyslexia or dyspraxia) often qualify for special examination and assessment arrangements. Such arrangements most commonly include being allowed extra time in which to complete examinations and timed assessments, and not being penalised for poor spelling, grammar or awkward sentence structure in examinations and in coursework, where appropriate. In some cases, students who have specific learning difficulties may also be entitled to use a computer, amanuensis (scribe) or reader in examinations.

If you have (or think you may have) specific learning difficulties, and would like to be considered for special examination and assessment arrangements, then please follow the guidelines given below.

If you have already been formally diagnosed as having specific learning difficulties

Please provide a copy of your assessment report to the Disability Advisory Service in the Carrington Building. Please note that we need a copy of your full assessment prepared by an Educational Psychologist or Specialist Teacher Assessor - a summary of the report or a copy of an assessment for the Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) will not fulfil our requirements.

Your report will then be forwarded to our Specialist Teacher Assessor. She will review your report and provided that it is sufficiently recent and contains enough information, will make recommendations for your University examinations and assessments based upon it.

If your report is more than three years old, or is not sufficiently detailed, you may be asked to make an appointment for a new assessment.

An assessment or re-assessment for specific learning difficulties is charged at £350 for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. This amount will be waived for students in receipt of a University bursary. If you are studying at the Greenlands campus or the College of Estate Management you will be charged a separate fee - please contact the Disability Advisory Service for further details. Students who wish to be assessed but are concerned about the charge are invited to discuss this with the Disability Advisory Service.

If you think you may have specific learning difficulties, but have not yet been formally assessed

You may wish to discuss your concerns with your Personal Tutor or School Disability Representative in the first instance. You may also refer yourself to the Disability Advisory Service for a full assessment.

Please note that to ensure fairness to all candidates, we can only implement special examination and assessment arrangements for students with specific learning difficulties following a recommendation by our Specialist Teacher Assessor. We would therefore urge you to provide us with the relevant documentation or to make an appointment with the Disability Advisory Service as soon as possible after you start your programme of study, so that we have enough time to put appropriate arrangements in place.

A number of degree programmes involve class tests or interim assessments, the arrangements for which are made directly by your School or by the School that owns the particular module. The Examinations Office makes arrangements for centrally timetabled examinations and further details are given below.

If the Specialist Teacher Assessor recommends that special examination arrangements should be made for you, then we will write to you about a month before your examinations begin to confirm the practical details.

  • If the Specialist Teacher Assessor recommends that you should be granted extra time in which to complete your examinations, we will arrange for you to sit your papers in a room dedicated for use by students who receive extra time (providing you do not also need to use a computer, amanuensis or reader). The purpose of having a specially dedicated room is to reduce disruption caused by other candidates leaving the examination at the standard finishing time.
  • If the Specialist Teacher Assessor recommends that you should not be penalised for poor spelling, grammar or awkward sentence structure, you will be given yellow labels at the start of each examination to affix to the front of each answer booklet that you use. These labels will alert the script marker that your work should be marked accordingly. For other assessments, your School Disability Representative will give you a set of green labels which you should affix to the front of each piece of coursework that you submit.  Again, these labels will alert the coursework marker that your work should be marked accordingly.
  • If the Specialist Teacher Assessor recommends that, in addition to the above, you should be allowed to use a computer in examinations then we will arrange for you to take your papers in our dedicated computer room on the main Whiteknights campus. The computers in this room are standard University PCs which are isolated from the University network to ensure that candidates are not able to access saved work, email or internet during their examinations. Printing facilities are provided free of charge.
  • If it is recommended that you should be allowed to use an amanuensis or reader in your examinations, we will arrange for you to sit your papers in a separate room. It will also be possible for you to have a practice session with the amanuensis or reader beforehand, if necessary.

Further Information

Should you have any queries concerning special examination and assessment arrangements for students with specific learning difficulties, please contact Colin Baker in the Examinations Office.

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