Exams in progress


Exams can pose particular difficulties for disabled students and students with Specific Learning Difficulties.

Providing we have evidence of your disability or a copy of your needs assessment report, the DDSS can make recommend that alternative exam arrangements are put in place for you.

For example:

  • extra time – e.g. for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties
  • use of a computer – e.g. if you are dyspraxic or have impaired manual dexterity
  • rest breaks – e.g. if you have difficulties concentrating or tire easily
  • exam papers in Braille or large print – e.g. if you have a visual impairment
  • taking your exam in an alternative room – e.g. if you are anxious or have difficulties concentrating
  • modifying language used in exam questions – e.g. for students with a hearing impairment

Alternative exam arrangements are not put in place automatically, you must make an appointment to see a Disability Adviser before this can happen.

Once a recommendation is made, the Exams Office are responsible for making the practical arrangements regarding your exams. If you have any queries regarding the arrangements for your examinations please contact the Exams Office directly.

Examination & Assessment

The University of Sheffield tries hard to ensure that exams and assessments are accessible for disabled and dyslexic students. All academic departments:

  • design assessment tasks to ensure that they are as accessible as possible
  • use a range of assessment methods (e.g. coursework, exams, and presentations), wherever appropriate
  • provide feedback on assessments, to assist you in developing your academic skills and abilities
  • consider requests for reasonable adjustments or alternative assessments, in cases where students feel that the standard assessment method may unfairly disadvantage them

Your Disability Adviser or Needs Assessor can talk to you in-depth about exams and assessments on your course. If you are worried that a particular type of assessment might disadvantage you because of your disability, we may be able to recommend support strategies and adjustments for you.

Other Assessments

Certain types of assessment tasks present difficulties for disabled students or students with Specific Learning Difficulties and may therefore need to be adjusted. Your department will be open and responsive to your needs. Where appropriate, your department will work with you and your Disability Adviser to agree an adjustment to the assessment.

Example Scenario

A student who has speech difficulties may be concerned that a timed oral presentation, which will be marked for fluency and clarity of expression, could disadvantage them. The student should raise these concerns with their department. Potential adjustments could include: allowing the student extra time; marking the presentation for its content and not its delivery; creating a substitute non-oral assessment.