Taking Exams in Disability Resources

Disability Resources values the health and safety of all students and staff.

If you are feeling unwell as your exams approach, please contact your instructor and let them know that you will need to reschedule your exams. The UMD Excused Absence Policy applies to all course requirements including final examinations when a student has a legitimate absence due to, among other things, illness such as COVID-19.

Exam Accommodations in Disability Resources 

What we do

Disability Resources (DR) prepares and administers exams as specified by a student’s individualized accommodation letter. 

Accommodated exams may be administered in DR, or your instructor may choose to administer them directly within departmental spaces.To the extent possible, we encourage instructors to administer accommodated exams requiring only extended time and/or a low distraction environment in a space and time available to them. This allows students greater access to their instructors if they have questions during the exam and it is often closer to the experience of their classmates. 
*Faculty, if you want more information about proctoring accommodated exams within your department, please review our Faculty Guide: Proctoring Accommodated Exams in the Department 

Student Expectations

  • All students are expected to abide by the academic integrity section of UMD's conduct code which is total honesty and integrity.
  • No cell phones, backpacks, watches etc. will be allowed in the testing rooms.
  • Rooms are checked randomly.
  • Students will be placed in private rooms or low distraction group rooms with dividers for exams.
  • Griggs Center will be utilized for most final exam proctoring. This is a larger space, low distraction exam setting on campus due to the high volume of exams during finals week.
  • Test Schedules: Our official testing schedule is now accessed via Student Portal.
  • Please check your Student Portal to confirm or adjust testing times. If you arrive at the incorrect time, we may no longer be able to proctor your exam and will refer you to work with your instructor to request exam proctoring with them. 

Requesting an accommodated exam

Students must request their exams through the Student Portal as soon as possible or at least four calendar days in advance.  Please follow the steps on our Submitting Exam Requests ACE Tutorial.

When a student requests an exam, instructors are automatically notified and must approve the exam request along with instructions for uploading exam documents and submitting exam-related details. 

Common exam accommodations

Extended Time

Extended testing time is the most common accommodation utilized by students registered with exam accommodations. If exams are designed to be taken online (e.g Canvas), many students with exam accommodations can take their exams with their classmates, eliminating the need to coordinate with DR.  

Low distraction environment

A low distraction environment is a space in which a student may take their exam per their accommodation with few or no other students. A low distraction environment may be an empty office, a conference room, or another suitable space. Disability Resources offers updated low distraction testing rooms or instructors may coordinate a low distraction environment for accommodated exams.  

Assistive technology

Exam accommodations may include assistive technology, which provides access to the exam for students with disabilities. Students with assistive technology accommodations may utilize a computer to do one or more of the following:

  • Type instead of hand-write answers
  • Use a screen-reader program such as Read & Write Gold or JAWS
  • Use a Voice-to-Text program such as Google Voice to record answers
  • Use a screen magnifier such as ZoomText

Alternate formats

Exams may need to be provided in one of the following alternate format for access purposes:

  • Large Print: enlarged text such as 18 point with bold font
  • Braille: Tactile text used by students who are blind or have low vision.
  • RTF: This Microsoft Word-based format is compatible with most screen reader programs

Assistive technology DR often provides:

  • Read & Write Gold
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • JAWS
  • Voiceover
  • Zoomtext

Read & Write Gold

Read & Write Gold is a text-to-speech software program that uses a synthesized voice so the student can hear the exam as well as read it.This accommodation is available for students that need assistance reading and/or writing during exams. This may be provided in-person or remotely depending on the exam expectations. Instructors that use a lock down browser in canvas will need to upload a paper copy to Disability Resources’ Faculty Portal. 

Testing materials provided by Disability Resources

  • Adjustable sit/stand desks
  • Scantrons (Forms 883-E, 882-E, 4521, and 19641)
  • Blue Books
  • Pens and pencils
  • Ear plugs
  • Scratch paper (lined and unlined)
  • White noise machines with headphones
  • Timer/stopwatch  
  • Space dividers

Students need to be registered with Disability Resources and have a current accommodation letter that includes exam accommodations to request exams within our office.

How to Submit an Exam Request in the Student Portal