13 Common test and exam accommodations for students with Specific Learning Difficulties

Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties are often eligible for reasonable adjustments and/or accommodations during exams in line with their learning difference.

Firstly, what is an accommodation?

An accommodation

An accommodation refers to any assistance that enables your child to access the grade appropriate curriculum. Today we are going to focus on just those accommodations that can be offered during tests and exams.

These can vary considerably but may include:

  1. The extra provision of time. Your child may receive the extra provision of time to complete their tests and exams.
  2. An alternative room. Your child may be able to sit tests and exams in an alternative room. This can mean they feel less pressured during exams or may be placed in a room where there is less noise and distraction.
  3. A question reader and clarifier. A support teacher or aid may be provided to read and clarify questions for your child on tests and exams that don’t pertain to reading skills.
  4. A scribe may be provided to write answers for your child in tests and exams.
  5. Reading aloud. Your child may be able to read aloud written questions and their answers on tests for sensory feedback.
  6. Reduced focus on spelling. This may mean students are not penalized with marks being deducted for spelling errors when spelling is not the focus of the evaluation.
  7. The ability to complete oral assessments.
  8. The use of an electronic speller.
  9. The use of a laptop. They may be able to use a laptop to complete their exam work instead of writing by hand.
  10. They may be able to record their answers orally via a recording device instead of recording them in written form.
  11. Changes to exam formats. Change the font size, paper colour and amount of text per page on written tests.
  12. Use software. Use voice recognition software for writing and print to speech software for reading text.
  13. Longer time frame. The student may be permitted to take the exam over a longer period. This may be at different time slots during the same day or over a few days.

If you know of any others please comment below.

These accommodations should be organised and approved well before your son, daughter or student sits for any test and exams. They should be written into your child’s individual Education Plan (IEP).

“Accommodations are put in place to allow your child or student to show what they know about a subject topic or and to achieve a result that is reflective of their true academic ability.”

“Students with specific Learning Difficulties who are not provided with the appropriate accommodations will be held back from achieving an accurate mark of their ability on their assessments and will therefore be penalized academically.”


  1. Avatar Julie Hill   •  

    This would be fantastic. I have been trying to get oral exams for my son for 3 years. He is year 10 now and has dyslexia and dysgraphia. His school in qld states that the curriculum board only allows 3 modifications and they are bound by this. Extra time. E reader pen which is useless for dysgraphia and I pad for typing. I have given up and so has my son.

  2. Avatar Amanda   •  

    Julie, I feel for you. I know how hard it is advocating for your kids. I have a meeting tomorrow for my 13 year old Dyslexic son and thanks for letting me know about the 3 modifications. I will be interested to see what they say. Also my daughter has Dysgraphia so thank you for letting me know about the E pen. I won’t bother with it. My daughter finds it difficult to learn to type. Did your son? Don’t give up, your a wonderful parent for caring.

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