Exam Accommodations FAQs for Instructors

The University values equity and inclusion as a fundamental aspect of the everyday work that we do.  Disability Resources (DR) partners with instructors and faculty in the accommodations process and in making educational environments more accessible and inclusive for all students. The following FAQs answer common questions regarding student accommodations and inclusive design practices. 

What are the benefits to having the student complete their exams within the academic department? 

There are several benefits for accommodating a student in your own department:

  • Better communication between student and instructor,
  • Student is able to get questions answered faster,
  • Less correspondence needed to set up a test, and
  • Instructors get the exams back immediately.

 How to set up an extended time and additional attempts in a Canvas exam?

Please review extend time on a Canvas quiz or email Tim Walters [email protected] for questions.

How many days advance notice does Disability Resources  (DR) need to receive exams for accommodated exam administration? 

DR requests that exams be uploaded or delivered to DR KSC 258 at least 48 hours in advance of the date the student is scheduled to complete the exam. Because of the large amount of exams proctored during finals week, we would appreciate exams as soon as possible.  

 Why does the DR Testing Center need the exam 48 hours in advance? 

On the UMD campus in 2022-2023,  Disability Resources served 766 students which is a 40% increase up from last year.  There were  2,761 exams proctored by DR, with 324 finals and 114 proctored on one day alone, many of which had to be converted to an alternate format or administered with assistive technology. This takes time to coordinate and also find ample space with our numbers increasing, so advance planning is necessary. 

 What is my responsibility if I choose to have my student complete exams in the DR Testing Center?

  • Review accuracy of exam dates and details provided by students, and edit the exam request to resolve inaccuracies.
  • Check email regularly and respond when necessary.
  • upload the exam to the faculty portal  in a timely manner.
  • Provide clear instructions, exam details and a return method for completed exams.
  • Include phone number for contact if questions arise during the exam if possible.

 How will I receive the completed exam?

You can receive the completed exam back in one of two ways:

  • Online:  Completed exams will be scanned and uploaded to the Faculty Portal in PDF format. These are completed by the end of the business day during which the exam was taken. The physical copy will be secured in our office for four weeks, after which it will be shredded.
  •  Pick-up: Instructors or department staff can come to the DR to pick up completed exams.

How do I send the exam to the DR Testing Center? 

About three to four days before the exam, you will receive an automated  “Exam Needed” email from DR requesting approval of the exam request submitted by the student. Faculty Portal | Disability Resources | UMN Duluth  As soon as you 1. approve exam requests and 2. provide materials, email reminders cease. Instructors are responsible for providing DR exam information such as:

  • Approving correct test date and time.
  • Duration of exam.
  • Materials allowed.
  • Canvas Passcode 
  • Phone number to contact instructor during the exam if questions arise.

Do students with disabilities have to take their exams in DR?  

Testing accommodations can be provided within the academic department whenever possible. If the accommodation(s) listed on the accommodation letter cannot be provided within the department, DR  is available to proctor exams during the following hours: Monday through Friday from 7:30am-4:30pm. 

 How do I set up a testing space? 

If you decide to have the student test in or near the department or course classroom, here are some things that should be considered or that you will need a low distraction environment

  •  Provide students with their approved accommodation. (EX: if the student has an accommodation to test, “Alone,” no other students should be testing with them.)
  • Clock (be sure the clock and class clock are close to the same time) or a timer.
  • Extra exam resources (scratch paper, etc.)
  • A proctor such as a TA or other staff member who can check in on the student.
  • A way the student can reach you if they have questions.
  • A place to store the student’s backpack/materials that they shouldn't have access to during the exam.

If you have questions about how to assist a student with exam accommodation, please call the students Disability Specialist listed on the Students Portal.  

What do I do if I have questions or concerns about a student’s accommodations?

  • If you have questions or concerns about the reasonableness or implementation of an accommodation, reach out to the Disability Resource Specialist who signed the letter. They will work with you to address your concerns. 

Should I refer someone with an injury or short-term condition to Disability Resources? 

Can I provide accommodations without a DR accommodation letter? 


  • You may also consult with the students' Disability Specialist listed if a student reports experiencing a persistent pattern of disability or health-related barriers and needs formal accommodations or resources.  

Can I upload multiple exams for students testing in DR for the same class? 

Yes! Please review the Bulk Review and Edit Exams ACE Tutorial for directions.