Testing Accommodation Information

Accommodation Links: Alternative Texts | Notetakers | Testing Accommodations

Picture of testing room

Student Accessibility Services hopes that the following explanation and guidelines will be helpful in avoiding confusion when accommodations such as extended time, quiet location, oral exams or computer testing have been arranged.


It all starts with a letter: Student Accessibility Services generates letters for students with disabilities to give to their professors to inform them of their individual accommodations approved by SAS. SAS generates around 1,000 of these letters per semester, so we need students to do their part in this process:

Delivering Accommodation Letters to Faculty

  • Pick up letters from Student Accessibility Services in 121 East Annex or request to have the letter and testing form emailed to you.
  • Your professor will decide whether you take your test in his department or at SAS.
  • Review your class schedule and see what impact the extended testing time accommodation (if approved for it) will have on your other classes. For example, if you have three classes back to back and need to take a test in the middle class, will having extra time mean missing your 3rd class?
  • Deliver your Accommodation letters to your professors as soon as possible. We recommend that you deliver the letter during your professor’s office hours when you can have a quiet private conversation about how he/she will implement your accommodation. You may certainly deliver the letter before or after your class but this is likely to result in a public conversation about your accommodations.  If you deliver your letters via email make sure to follow up with them to get the completed testing form.
  • When you deliver the Accommodation Letter tell your professor about any conflicts that arise with other classes for the accommodation of extra time. Ask for their approval in either taking the test earlier or later depending on your class schedule. This will assure your ability to attend all your classes.  The professor makes the final decision about when and where his test is taken. Tests taken at other times than the regular class period, which are proctored at SAS, must have approval by the professor for time changes.  (note: SAS hours are generally 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and tests scheduled outside these times will need the professor’s approval to take it during SAS’ operating hours.)
  • Make sure that when you are done delivering your accommodation letters you are clear about where and when you are expected to take your tests. If the professor asks you to take your exams at SAS please fill out the Test Proctoring Request Form (mostly prefilled forms are included with accommodation letters – see instructions below) and return it to Student Accessibility Services staff in room 121 East Annex 3 business days prior to exams during the regular semester and 1 week prior to final exams. Tests or exams must be received at SAS 1 business day prior to the test for regular tests or exams and by the last day of classes for all final exams.

What does the Accommodation Request Letter tell my professor?

The Accommodation Request Letter tells the faculty that you have a legitimate documented disability and the type of testing accommodation(s) requested.

What does the letter not say?

It does not tell the faculty how your work, personal or class schedules will connect with their schedule when extending the testing time or changing the location of the exam. As a third party, trying to coordinate student and faculty schedules for over 300 students with disabilities is extremely challenging. We therefore expect that students will communicate with their faculty about the time and location of their upcoming tests in advance of the actual test date.

Where and when can I take my test?

The professor may require you to take your test at the same time as your class in order to protect the integrity of the test. In this case the accommodation is served by either allowing you to start your test before the class begins or to stay later. Most faculty are willing to be flexible in making testing arrangements as long as you speak with them about your schedule and needs in advance of test day.

When a quiet location is requested, be sure to discuss with your professor where he plans to put you. If you have an opportunity, visit the testing environment to be sure the conditions meet your needs. Professors have been instructed in the accommodation letter not to use hallways or photocopier rooms as test locations. Sometimes what your professor considers an adequate quiet location may be far too noisy and distracting for your needs. If, at any point, you are uncomfortable with the testing arrangements made by your faculty, please contact Student Accessibility Services as it is not your responsibility to bring faculty into compliance, it is ours.

Computer testing is dependent on the availability of a computer terminal and proctor for the exam. Computers may be readily available in the building where the class is testing or the faculty may put the student in their office or special arrangements may be made through Student Accessibility Services.

Can I take my test at Student Accessibility Services?

If your professor has difficulty finding a location or proctor for your exam, Student Accessibility Services can provide assistance.  We administer approximately 1,000 exams each semester! With this volume of tests, it is no longer feasible for SAS to contact each instructor and get specific instructions for administration, pick up, and delivery of exams. If faculty request that students take tests and exams in East Annex a Test Proctoring Request Form will need to be brought to SAS for each exam 3 business days prior to the test during the semester, and 1 week prior to taking a final exam.

If Your Test Day is: Completed form is due at SAS:
Monday Wednesday before
Tuesday Thursday before
Wednesday Friday before
Thursday Monday before
Friday Tuesday before

Instructions for Students Regarding the Test Proctoring Form

Students fill out section 1 of the form (note that forms included with your accommodation letters will be mostly pre-filled for you!), and bring it to instructor to fill out section 2. The Instructor will indicate any instructions we need to know in order to proctor your test. Once the instructor has filled out his or her portion of the form, please return it to 121 East Annex.

Be Advised

Due to the heavy volume of exams (~1,000/semester) we will no longer be able to proctor exams for students who do not follow this procedure. If a student doesn’t turn in the form on time, we will ask the student to return to the instructor and request that he or she make arrangements for the student to be accommodated within department facilities.

Don’t – Don’t – Don’t

Don’t call Student Accessibility Services at 8:00 a.m. on test day and request a letter of accommodation and a testing accommodation for your 10:00 a.m. exam. Although you have a legal right to an accommodation, case law is very clear that adequate notice to the faculty and testing service is required.

Don’t arrive at your exam and tell your professor that you have a doctor’s appointment in one hour so you will need to take the test this afternoon in order to get your extended time accommodation. The professor is required to provide you extra time but not to be flexible about the time of the exam on such short notice.

Don’t sit down and begin an exam in a location that you know to be totally unsuitable for your needs. It is far easier to make arrangements before an exam begins than to go through the process of requesting a make-up test.

Don’t wait for your faculty to find you. In a sea of student faces you may not be known to the faculty, and they have been instructed to be cautious about calling you to the front and bringing you to the attention of the class.

Do seek them out for testing arrangements when there is an opportunity to discuss your schedule and plans.

Students Receiving Testing Accommodations

You must deliver your accommodation letters to your professors ASAP. DO NOT wait until a day or two before your first exam!! Your instructor may be able to provide the accommodation in his/her department. It is not necessary to come to Student Accessibility Services in East Annex to take the exam. We have contacted the instructors to let them know that we have lost more of our testing area and asked them to take on the responsibility of administering the tests in their department or classroom area. If the instructor is not able to provide the accommodation, then the Test Proctoring Request Form should be filled out so the necessary arrangements can be made.

Please note: It is your responsibility to contact this office and arrange a room for testing.  It is not your instructor’s responsibility.

You also should remind your instructor that you will be taking your exam at Student Accessibility Services – or if the instructor has a room for you also remind him/her of your accommodation needs for the exam. They have a lot of students and may not remember from one test to another the students who need testing accommodations.