Testing Accommodations

One of the most popular services provided by the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) to professors and their students with disabilities is proctoring of accommodated testing. Proctoring professors' exams for students with disabilities requires responsive communication between faulty and SSD staff.

It All Starts with the Accommodation Notification

Within the first two weeks of the quarter, the professor should receive an accommodation notification (email and, if requested, printout) from SSD. If the student is eligible for testing accommodations, the accommodation email will include red box. Inside this red box is a link specific to that student that will ask the professor to create an alternative testing contract for the student. (This contract gives the professors the option to make proctoring arrangements with a student themselves or to arrange to have SSD proctor the exam for the student.) For additional guidance, please see SSD's instructions for filling in alternative testing contract (Word doc).

The student receiving accommodations is also instructed to meet individually with his or her professor early in the quarter to confidentially discuss the type and method of accommodation he or she will need and answer any questions the professor may have.

Professors Proctoring Exams vs. SSD Proctoring Exams

SSD office door ajar with testing sign on it, click to enlarge

Because students often want to ask questions of professors or TAs during exams, it is greatly appreciated whenever professors arrange testing accommodations themselves. Moreover, the SSD office is staffed by only 3 professionals and has space for 10 testing stations. Therefore, if a faculty member has 4 or more students in his or her class requesting testing accommodations, SSD may not have adequate space or staff to proctor. In these situations, SSD will likely contact the faculty member and work out a mutually agreeable plan for proctoring the exam.

The student should remind his or her professor at least one week before each test that he or she is receiving testing accommodations. If a professor or TA is unable to proctor the student's exam, the student can request to take the exam at the SSD office, again, at least one week prior to the exam.

If the professor and student have agreed that the student will take his/her exam at SSD:

  1. The professor will need to fill out the student's alternative testing contract (available via a link in the student's accommodation email) to initiate this arrangement.
  2. Next, the student must schedule his/her exam (through the database) at least one week prior to each exam he or she needs to take in the SSD office.

Unless specifically allowed by the instructor, books, notes, cell phones, or any test-related material will not be allowed into the testing room. Students are permitted to exit the testing room only to use the rest room.

If a change in testing arrangements is necessary, SSD must be notified as soon as the student or professor knows of the change. If a student wishes to reschedule an exam, SSD staff must have written or verbal approval from the instructor.

Additional Considerations When SSD Proctors Exams

exam-related booklets, pencil, and rulers, click to enlarge

If your exam requires blue books, we appreciate it whenever you can provide them to us.

Instructors are requested to send exams to SSD at least 24 hours in advance. This ensures that SSD can read the exam (since exams are usually sent electronically and sometimes require specialized software to be loaded) and that the student won't be waiting nervously for his or her exam to arrive.

Repeated failures of a student to show up for a proctored exam may result in loss of privileges to take exams at the SSD office. It is the student's responsibility to talk to the professor regarding his or her failure to show up for the exam, and if possible, to reschedule the exam.

Students are told specifically not to take tests without the accommodations for which they have been approved. If the accommodation, as arranged by the faculty member, is not appropriate or if a faculty member refuses to make an approved accommodation, the student should refuse to take the test and notify SSD and the school or college responsible for the course immediately.