Test Accommodations Guidance

Many students who are registered with DSS receive extended time on exams as a disability accommodation.  We understand that the implementation of extended time is a complex process that 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 are not “DSS students.”  They are university students like any other whose academic work is coordinated and lead by their faculty.  The implementation of the extended time accommodation is a shared responsibility between Disability Support Services and university faculty.

Therefore, we request that faculty make every reasonable effort to coordinate the implementation of the extended time accommodation directly with their students or within their home departments.  Disability Support Services should only be contacted in cases where faculty and students cannot arrange the accommodation directly.

Understand that DSS does not operate an official testing facility.  Our space is limited to an office suite, and we are responsible for coordinating support for undergraduate, graduate, law, medical, distance education, and professional students alike.  

Please seek testing support through this office only when necessary.

Student Disclosure

Faculty should expect that students who receive an extended time accommodation will present their official Letters to Professors at the beginning of the semester, or promptly after students have registered with us (in the case that they complete this process after the start of a particular term).  These letters are dated, so faculty are always allowed to ensure that students are notifying them promptly about their accommodations. 

When students present letters that list extended time as an accommodation, talk with them about the circumstances under which you will be able to provide that accommodation directly.  These students are not required to take their exams through 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. 

Also, note that DSS will only provide test proctoring support for students who are registered with our office and who have been approved for an extended time accommodation.   

We do not offer general support for any student who has missed an exam for personal reasons. 

DSS Test Proctoring Process

If you are unable to provide students extended time on their exams, then you should ask that students arrange to take their exams through DSS’s Test Proctoring Services.  Students will initiate this process by completing an electronic request form—one form per exam—when they are requesting DSS test proctoring support.   

We require that students place their requests at least seven days prior to the date of each exam.  If students do not adhere to this deadline, we will not be able to arrange testing support for them.  Likewise, we expect that students will take their exams on the same days, and at the same times, as their peers. 

When students complete their requests, you will receive email notifications—one email per request—informing you to approve or deny the request at hand.

 

Request Approvals and Denials

If your students have spoken with you about their exam 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 can deny these requests and can speak directly with the student in question. 

Either way, please formally approve or deny all requests that you receive to ensure a smooth process on our end. 

 

Exam Delivery

When you are ready to provide us with your exam, you may do so by sending it as an email attachment to [email protected] or by bringing a hardcopy of the exam to our office, which is located in Rome Hall, Suite 102

 

48-Hour Deadline

It can be difficult for DSS to ensure that students receive the appropriate exam when modifications are made to it within 48 hours prior to the exam date.  Please make every effort to provide us with the final copy of your exam 48 hours prior to the date and time when the student will take it. 

Similarly, last minute changes to the exam format, such as allowing the use of a computer, or entirely changing the exam to Blackboard, can comprise the exam environment for other students—when, for instance, we have prepared a quiet testing space for groups of students and then there are suddenly several computers in that room.  Please finalize your exam at least 48 hours prior to the date it will be administered.

Completed 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 GW ID for verification), or you may send a representative from your department—TA, student assistant, or department administrator—if you are unable to retrieve your exams in a prompt fashion.  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 GW ID. 

Due to space constraints during busy times of the semester, students might take their exams in satellite testing locations around campus.  As a result, you might 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).  Please be patient.

Specialized Exam Date and Time Adjustments

DSS is able to proctor exams from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on Monday through Thursday.  On Friday, DSS can proctor exams from 8:00 am-5:00 pm.   

Oftentimes, night classes extend beyond these times, particularly when accounting for extended time.  In those instances—if you cannot proctor the exams yourself—DSS recommends that students request to start their exams earlier in the evening so that they will conclude their tests by 8:00 pm. 

Sometimes it is the case that a student’s extended time will 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.  At that time, you can negotiate alternate exam scheduling arrangements as appropriate.  Should a student ever place an exam request for a date and time to which you have not expressly agreed, you can deny that request. 

DSS does not support alternate exam schedules to account for student vacations.

Quizzes

DSS is not equipped to handle 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 in the moments before class begins (so that they will receive their accommodation and will conclude with their peers) or to complete their work unobtrusively in the moments immediately after the class concludes.

Alternate Exam Formats

DSS works with students across a wide array of disability designations.  Not all DSS students receive extended time as an accommodation, and not all students who require exam accommodations require extended time. 

If a student requires an alternate format exam—for instance, an exam in enlarged print—but does not require an extended allotment of time, this accommodation  should always be provided directly by faculty. 

Should you have any questions about exam and course materials accessibility, please contact Alisa Major for guidance.  She will be happy to assist you.  You should also consult our universal design resources

In cases where you have students whose alternate format exam accommodations overlap with an extended time accommodation (that you cannot provide directly), we request that you provide us with the alternate format exam, rather than requiring DSS to change your exam format for you. 

We take academic integrity very seriously, and we do not consider it our purview to modify professors’ materials.  If you have any concerns about exam format conversions, please contact Alisa.

DSS Test Proctoring Hours

Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.