Testing accommodations are changes to the parameters of a test or the procedures for taking a test. Testing accommodations change how students take tests, not what the test evaluates. In other words, testing accommodations change the process for taking a test; they do not change the grading or evaluation standards. Students receiving testing accommodations are expected to demonstrate the same knowledge, proficiency, and competencies as others students.
Access to Food, Drink, Medication and/or Medical Equipment During Tests, Exams, and Quizzes
For medical reasons, students may be approved to access to food, drinks, medication, and/or medical supplies during quizzes and exams. If there are concerns that related to test security, SDS should be consulted before the accommodation is denied.
Assistance with Scantrons
Some students may experience disability-related barriers to tests involving the requirement to complete scantrons. Students might be approved for no scantrons, which means the student can write on the test or be approved to use a ruler or blank notecard to assist with accurate bubbling of the scantron. SDS staff will not complete scantrons for students.
Distraction-Reduced Test Environment
Students who are easily distracted by auditory and visual stimuli may experience distractions to the extent their ability to demonstrate their knowledge during a testing situation is negatively impacted. In such cases, students need a testing environment with fewer external distractions in order to devote their full attention to the content on an exam. A distraction-reduced environment is an environment with fewer external distractions so students can maximize their ability to sustain attention while taking an exam. SDS cannot guarantee a distraction-free
testing environment, only a distraction-reduced
testing environment. SDS can provide a distraction-reduced environment at the SDS Testing Center
Extended time may be approved for many disability-related reasons. The typical amount of time approved is 1.5x, though in some cases, more time might be approved. Extended conversions for 1.5x are as follows:
- 50 minute test: additional 25 min. = 75 min. (1 hr. 15 min.).
- 75 minute test: additional 37.5 min. = 112.5 min. (1 hr. 50 min.).
- 150 minute test: additional 75 min. = 225 min. (3 hrs. 45 min.).
- Final exams (180 minutes): additional 90 min. = 270 min. (4hrs. 30 min.).
Extended time applies to in-person and web-based testing. For web-based tests, instructors will apply the student’s extended time within the testing platform.
Reader or Text-to-Speech Software
Students approved for test readers will be placed in a private room with an SDS Testing Center staff member who will read exam content as requested. When available, students are encouraged to use Text-to-Speech software that is available on SDS Testing Center computers.
Test readers are individuals who will read the contents of a test verbatim, and will not use any inflection or hints to the correct answer. Test readers will not define terms, rephrases questions, or explain context. The role of the test reader is to read the directions and the questions as provided by the instructor.
Students do not have to utilize the test reader for all questions. Test readers may repeat questions as many times as requested, however, the time allotted for the test does not stop. If students spend a significant portion of time on a set of questions, they may not have adequate time to answer additional questions in a timely manner.
Reasonable Brief Exits During Tests, Quizzes, and Exams
Students approved for this accommodation are allowed reasonable, brief exits during exams to attend to disability-related needs that may arise during examinations. Examples of reasons include, but are not limited to relieving anxiety, minimizing the effects of panic attacks, to access water, food, medication, or to use the restroom. All testing materials will be collected by the testing proctor if a student needs to exit the designated testing room and redistributed upon their return.
Students are responsible for informing their course instructor ahead of time that reasonable, brief exits may be needed during exams.
Four Function Calculator
The use of a four-function calculator on exams is intended to remove the barrier of the disability on the student’s ability to perform mathematical calculations. The use of a calculator should not fundamentally alter the objectives or evaluation criteria of a test. If the use of a calculator prevents the course instructor from accurately assessing the student’s knowledge of course content, instructors may deny its use on exams.
Word processors allow students approved for this accommodation to type long answers instead of handwriting them. This accommodation is provided for students who have Disorder of Written Expression, difficulty with fine motor skills, or the inability to handwrite. The SDS Testing Center provides the word processor/computer and limits access to the internet as directed by instructors.