Testing Accomodations FAQ

The implementation of testing accommodations

Low-distraction -  an environment outside the usual classroom with minimal interruption and other environmental influences. If the environment/location you have identified is next to a busy office and people within the environment can hear what is going on outside, then this would not be considered low distraction (also think about ringing telephones, pinging emails etc.).

Separate/Private setting - student should be placed in their own separate space, possibly with a door and free from distraction.

Slides or audio - If you are showing slides during the test, please remember that extended time pertains to this also. If you give non-ARS students 2 minutes for the activity, then the ARS students should be given additional time to view the slide, depending on their accommodations (25, 50, 75, or 100% extension). If you have an examination with an audio component and the student is approved for additional time, we suggest playing the audio clip an additional time.

Scantron alternative - the student should be allowed to mark their answers on the exam paper and then have this manually graded. If a scantron is necessary, the proctor (with the student present) should transfer the student’s answers from the exam to the scantron. The proctor should then have the student double check if the answers have been transferred correctly. A system of checks and balances must occur.

Stopped clock – some students may need extra breaks instead of or in addition to extended time. A stopped clock provides students with an opportunity to step away from the test/exam to regroup or attend to a disability or medical need, and then to re-engage with the test/exam with no time penalty. Ordinarily this should be for no more than 10% of the total testing time, but some students will have a stopped clock accommodation with a greater allowance specified.

Please remember that your administration of the examination in the class should mirror your administration of the exam for students with disabilities. For example, if you give the entire class an additional 10 minutes to complete the examinations then this time (plus extended time) should be given to the student with a disability.


I teach a foreign language and there is a listening component to my exam. Do you administer the listening portion?

We can administer listening portions of exams providing it can be made available electronically. The same goes for questions which may be based on a video clip. However, during finals we cannot administer exams with listening elements. This is too difficult for us to do given the limited resources we have versus the number of exams we have to proctor.

I give in-class 'pop-quizzes'. How should I accommodate a student with extended testing time?

Trying to provide accommodation a student for a "pop quiz" can be difficult if the faculty member chooses to give the quiz during the middle of the class.

Here are some possible options:

  • Give the quiz at the beginning of class and permit the student to begin the quiz earlier than the rest of the class

  • Allow the student to take the quiz in a previously agreed upon location near the classroom. The student would return to class after the extended test time.

  • Schedule the quiz at the end of the class and allow the student additional time after class to complete the quiz.

  • If the test has four questions and you allow the class ten minutes to take the quiz, grade the student on two questions or three questions, depending upon whether the student is entitled to time and a half or double time.

  • Vary how you obtain pop-quiz information from students -

    • do a class quiz on the overhead and discuss the answers with the whole class

    • do an in-class, small-group question and answer session

    • have students obtain the answers as a group and report to back to the class

  • Give extended time to all students. The most common extended testing time accommodation is +50% so you could plan for a 10 minute quiz to take 15 minutes or if you have a student with +100% extended testing time in class plan for the quiz to take 20 minutes.

  • Have the student take the pop quiz without extended test time, but disregard the grade

​Note that some of these options draw attention to the student who is being accommodated. If one of these options is being considered it is important to ensure that the student is comfortable with this in advance.


  • Ask the student to come to your office for an oral pop quiz

  • Make the quizzes more difficult, but take-home for everyone

  • Send out questions via e-mail at a set time prior to class for the students to complete prior to the beginning of class time

  • Administer the quiz via Sakai. See See http://sakaitutorials.unc.edu/?Special_accommodations for instructions on how to provide extended time for a student

If you plan to use pop quizzes, the best way to avoid awkward situations is to communicate early in the semester with the student who needs extended time. Together you can develop a workable solution for everyone involved. Remember, accommodations are always negotiable, but if an accommodation is not provided, you must document your decision and be prepared to justify why it was not provided.

My student said your office does not scan and e-mail exams taken in a bluebook. Is this correct?

Yes, this is correct. Our scanners cannot upload bluebooks, but we allow the use of lined paper instead.

How do you monitor students in testing rooms?

Obviously, we cannot keep each student under observation for every second, but we do monitor our testing rooms by camera and our exam proctors will walk around periodically. Students are not allowed to bring in backpacks, purses or other bags. All personal belongings are stored on bookshelves in our office and electronic devices are cancelled/removed at the start of testing.

The notification I received is not the date and time the exam is scheduled for the rest of my class. Are students allowed to take exams at their convenience?

Not at all. Please refer to the alternate testing guidelines that indicate students must take the exam at the same time as the rest of the class, unless specific arrangements are made with the faculty before scheduling. This may include issues with attending other courses right after or before the scheduled class time for your course.

My student has not spoken with me about exam arrangements, but I received notification that they will be taking it in your office. What should I do?

Students connected with ARS are expected to speak with instructors at the beginning of each semester to follow up regarding their accommodations. This should include exam arrangements. Please feel free to reach out to students directly, and copy ARS on emails, to make the student aware that they need to speak with you before scheduling exam with ARS.

If my students have questions during the exam, what should I do?

When uploading the test package to the ARS Hub, some instructors will give us a cell phone number which we will call if a student has a question while testing. Some instructors provide their email address as the main point of contact, as they will be administering the exam to the rest of the class and not available to "speak" to the student. Please know that we do NOT give out your cell phone number to students. We would dial your number for the student, and then hand them the phone.