Test Accommodations Guidance

Test Accommodations Guidance

Why do students receive testing accommodations?

  • To provide support to students with various types of disabilities for example, learning, mental or physical disabilities which may impact processing speeds and result in receiving extended time as an accommodation for quizzes and examinations.
  • Some students may also require the use of assistive technologies which may call for additional time to process questions and construct responses.
  • The implementation of extended time involves collaboration between students and faculty, this guide is meant to offer assistance with that process.
Essential Considerations
  • Students who receive extended time on exams or other testing accommodations are not “Disability Support Services (DSS) students.” They are university students similar to any other student whose academic work is coordinated and led by faculty. 
  • The implementation of the extended time testing accommodation is a shared responsibility between DSS and university faculty. Therefore, we request that faculty make every reasonable effort to coordinate the implementation of the extended time testing accommodation directly with their students or within their home departments if possible. 
  • This may include timed exams completed through an online learning management system (e.g., Blackboard). Blackboard: Set Test Exceptions.Test Availability exceptions allow instructors to make exceptions to the time limit or test availability of an existing Blackboard test for students who need extended time.
  • Most students and faculty prefer a testing environment that closely aligns with the rest of the class as administering testing accommodations within the course has several advantages; however, we recognize the complexities of class scheduling, space constraints and other factors which do not always make this possible.
  • In cases where students and faculty are unable to make arrangements to implement extended time testing accommodations, instruct students to follow the test proctoring request process which requires students to submit a test proctoring request at least seven (7) days in advance of the exam date.
  • Although we provide test proctoring services for students who are registered with DSS, we do not operate as a traditional test proctoring center. Our space is limited to an office suite with 10 individual testing rooms, and we are responsible for coordinating support for: undergraduate, graduate, law, medical, distance education, and professional students alike. 
Student Disclosure
  • Faculty can expect students who receive exam accommodations to provide them with an official digital “Letters to Professors” from DSS at the beginning of each semester, or promptly after students have registered with us (in the case that they complete this process after the start of a particular term). This letter is dated, therefore, faculty are always allowed to ensure students are notifying them promptly about their accommodations. 
  • When reviewing a student's letter and it lists extended time as a testing accommodation, please speak with them about the circumstances under which you will be able to provide that accommodation directly. Students are not required to utilize DSS’s Test Proctoring Services, and we genuinely advocate that they take their exams with their classmates whenever possible to ensure an equivalent exam experience. 
  • Additionally, DSS only provides test proctoring services for students who are registered with our office and who have been approved for the extended time testing accommodation. Due to the confidential nature of our office, we do not offer general support for non-registered students who have missed an exam for personal reasons.
Request Approvals, Alterations and Denials
  • When students submit their requests, you will receive one email notification per request, informing you to approve or deny the request at hand via the DSS Faculty Admin Panel.
  • If your students have spoken with you about their testing accommodations, then it should be unlikely that you would need to deny any requests. However, if you find that a student has requested testing accommodations that are:
    • Inconsistent with those listed on their “Letters to Professors”
    • Or, if you discover that they are attempting to adjust the exam date and time for reasons that they have not previously mentioned, you may deny these requests and should speak directly with the student in question. We are able to provide confirmation as needed.
48-Hour Requirement and Exam Delivery

Please make every effort to provide us with the final copy of your exam at least 48 hours prior to your student(s) exam date and time. When it is ready, you may send it using one of the following options:

  • Email exam to [email protected] (preferred) 
  • Deliver exam to DSS Office in Rome Hall, Suite 102
Exam Pickup
  • When students have completed their exams, we will hold them for pickup at our office. You are welcome to pick up your exams in person during our test proctoring hours (please bring your GWID for verification.)
    • Regular Test Proctoring Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm 
    • Finals Week Test Proctoring Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
  • You may also send a representative from your department (TA, student assistant, or department administrator) if you are unable to make it to our office. Simply ask that representative to indicate on whose behalf the exams are being retrieved (it is also very helpful if that representative knows your students’ names), and please ensure that this person is also able to present a GWID. 
  • Due to space constraints during high volume periods, students may take their exams in other testing locations around campus. As a result, you may need to wait until the end of the business day or to the start of the next business day to pick up your exam(s). We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Specialized Exam Date and Time Adjustments
  • A student’s extended time testing accommodation may run into another class period during the standard business day. In these cases, we ask that students indicate these scheduling conflicts during their disclosure conversations with their professors. At that time, you can negotiate alternate exam scheduling arrangements as appropriate. 
  • In certain cases, a student’s total exam time duration including their extended time accommodation may exceed our office’s regular or finals weeks proctoring hours. If this is the case, we will need to determine an alternate exam start time. 
  • Should a student ever place an exam request for a date and time to which you have not expressly agreed, you may deny that request. Note: DSS does not support alternate exam schedules to account for student vacations.
    • Regular Test Proctoring Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 
    • Finals Week Test Proctoring Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • DSS is not equipped to proctor testing accommodations for unannounced “pop” quizzes or for quizzes that are timed for brief clusters of minutes (5-15) at the beginning or conclusion of a class meeting. 
  • In cases where you will be administering a quiz of this kind, we recommend arranging for students who receive extended time either to begin their quizzes during the moments before class begins or to complete their work unobtrusively in the moments immediately after the class concludes.
Alternate Exam Formats

Certain students are approved for the accommodation of Alternate Exam Formats. Examples include: Text to Speech (TTS, screen reader), Speech to text (STT, dictation software), Braille, digital copy, large print, etc. For those formats, an electronic (Word) format file is required to be submitted to the Test Proctoring team at least 3 business days prior to the scheduled exam date. Should you have any questions about exam and course materials accessibility, please contact DSS Assistive Technology at [email protected] for guidance.