Taking Exams in Disability Resources

Disability Resources values the health & safety of all students & 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 

Expectations & Logistics for Testing in Disability Resources 

Before Scheduling an Exam

  • You must be registered with  Disability Resources.
  • You must have exam accommodations approved and renewed for the current semester. All students must renew accommodations each semester before accommodation letters are sent to faculty and accommodations can be used.
  • If you are a returning student with previously-approved exam accommodations, renew your accommodations within the Student Portal. After they are approved, you will be able to make exam requests.  
  • You will not be able to schedule exams in DR without an active accommodation letter. 
  • If you are a returning student and wish to request exam accommodations for the first time, please contact your Disability Specialist. 

*Please Note*

  • 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. 
  • Before an online exam using lockdown browser, consult with your instructor if it needs to be proctored in DR. 

Student Responsibilities

  • All students are expected to abide by the academic integrity section of UMD's conduct code which is total honesty and integrity.
  • Students request exams within the Student Portal four or more days prior to exam date and confirm scheduling in advance.
  • Exam Schedules: Our official exam schedule is accessed via Student Portal.
  • Please check your Student Portal to confirm or adjust exam times. You may not start your exam early unless approved by your Instructor. 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. 

Exam Day Expectations

  • Students will be placed in low distraction group rooms with dividers, or if indicated by accommodation, in private or semi-private rooms.
  • Griggs Center will be utilized for most final exam proctoring. This is a larger low distraction exam setting on campus due to the high volume of exams during finals week. 
  • If a student arrives late, they can take the exam/quiz, but their stop time does not change. This is consistent with what happens in the classroom.
  • Exam rooms are monitored at random.
  • It’s a good idea to show up 10-15 minutes early for your exam because it may take us some time to get all students started.
  • Before checking into KSC 258:
    • Use the restroom
    • Log in/complete Duo if your exam is on canvas/lockdown browser
    • Gather allowable supplies (pencil, notes, calculator, if applicable)
  • No cell phones, backpacks, watches etc. will be allowed in the exam rooms, nor will students be permitted to access them during testing.
  • Students must check out of exam proctoring when an exam is complete by returning to DR front office and letting staff know you have completed it.
  • Unless indicated by an accommodation, students will remain in the exam room until they have finished the exam and checked out of DR, unless they report directly to DR front office with a question.
  • Once an exam is started, students are expected to complete the exam before leaving the testing room*. If you need to leave your testing room before it is complete, report directly to the DR office and notify staff (for example, if you must use the restroom).
    *We acknowledge that some students have a disability-related need to do so approved with DR. Please notify DR staff when this is necessary.

 Late Arrival Procedures

  • If you arrive late, DR will not extend the end time of your exam. 
  • You are responsible for scheduling your exams at the correct times and arriving before your exam start time.
  • If you arrive late for an exam due to disability-related impacts, please discuss the situation with your Disability Specialist to determine whether or not it is reasonable to reschedule the exam.
  • You may schedule make-up exams in DR. You must coordinate permission, scheduling details, etc. with your instructor before requesting an exam time/date on Student Portal.  

Final Exams

  • Final exams MUST be requested 10 calendar days in advance.
  • Final exams proctored in DR MUST be requested by Sunday April 21st by 11:59 pm.
  • During finals week, not all exams will take place in Disability Resources testing rooms due to the space needed.  DR exams also take place in Griggs Kirby Student Center and additional space as needed.  
  • Our goal of ensuring that all students receive their accommodations necessitates that we seek out additional space during finals. We will continue to communicate changes as we move through the semester.

For information on exam scheduling and scheduling expectations, please visit the exam request page.

Student Conduct

We serve many students with a variety of needs. Please be respectful while testing in or visiting Disability Resources. You are expected to follow the Student Conduct Code. Misconduct may be reported to The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

We will treat you with courtesy and respect. We will make every effort to have your exam and materials ready by your scheduled start time. If you have a question during your exam, we will do our best to contact your instructor.

Academic Integrity

Phones, all watches, calculator lids, and materials not explicitly allowed during your exam are not permitted in DR testing spaces. All items need to be stowed in our front office prior to the start of your exam and cannot be accessed during your exam. If we suspect you are in possession of a phone during an exam, we will ask you to remove any items from all pockets. If we find a phone on your person, regardless of use, we will end your exam in DR, notify your instructor, and file a report with The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

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