Disability Service enters the exam arrangements onto MyCampus on behalf of students registered with the Service. Registry Examinations Team compiles the exam lists of students registered with the Disability Service from MyCampus and sends this to the relevant Academic Schools, who then disseminate this information to disabled students with exam arrangements. Regstry organises the requisite rooms and invigilators. Academic Schools organise the scribes and readers through Clearlinks.

Link to Registry deadline dates for exam support

After this deadline there is no guarantee that exam arrangements can be made.


Link to University Regulations for exam support

Special arrangements:

Computers in exams

The guidelines for the use of computers by students in examinations are under review. Revised guidelines will be available in due course.

Computer Cluster for Exams:

Room 735 in the Library is set up with 12 standalone machines i.e. no network connection, with software consisting of the operating system and MS Office. A separate machine provided with a local printer and material for printing is transferred via pen drives.

Specialist software:

If you require the use of Zoomtext or other specialist software for a student exam contact IT Helpdesk.

Find out more:

Separate accommodation

Registry organises separate rooms and and invigilator and sends out a list to departments of students who need exam arrangements before each exam diet. Registry delivers the papers to the separate exam rooms to be received by the invigilator.

University Regulations state the necessity for a separate invigilator “An arrangement to provide separate accommodation to sit an examination may be required to meet the needs of a range of students with a disability, but is most usually required when the use of a scribe or a reader is recommended. The presence of a separate Invigilator is always required in these circumstances.”

The Academic School organises the scribe or reader through Clearlinks.

Temporary disabilities

For students with a temporary disability, academic schools are responsible for putting exam arrangements in place and organising separate accommodation, if necessary.

This must be approved by Clerk of Senate.

Information to provide students with a temporary disability.

Scribes in exams:

How to organise scribes

Disability Service outsource scribing to the agency Clearlinks. Please contact Abi Griffiths

Please note: The scribe/reader should not be the person who has been note taking for the student as stipulated by University Regulations.



Guidelines for Scribes in Exams

Skills and abilities:

Ideally, an amanuensis (or scribe as it will be referred to below) should be regarded as an efficient writing machine, responsive to instructions and free of the mechanical complexities of keyboards or tape-recorders.

The scribe should be literate in the subject s/he is scribing. This is particularly important for subjects with terminology and symbols, which would be unfamiliar to most people. While some students are used to working with a scribe, for others this might be the first time, and if the student has not practiced sitting exams this way, it can be really difficult. The fact that the amanuensis must be literate in the subject means that the student may feel awkward about dictating answers to someone s/he knows has a sound grasp of the material.

The scribe should be a calm, quiet, reassuring presence and above all, should be patient!

The reason a student needs a scribe in exams affects the arrangements for the exam. This is because some students – those who have a manual impairment, permanent or temporary – are able to read over the scribed work after it has been recorded, whereas other students – those who have a visual impairment or severe dyslexia – are unable to do this. The students in the latter group will also have to have the exam paper, and individual questions, read to them. An exam in which a scribe is used takes longer, and as a guideline 25% extra time will be recommended by the Disability Adviser – usually 15 mins extra per hour.

Negotiations between the student and the scribe:

Try to meet with the student 15 mins before the exam (add to time sheet) to discuss the following:

  • How are notes to be made?
  • Are they to be made by the scribe on the script, or where a limited amount of writing is possible, by the student on a separate sheet of paper?
  • Punctuation and spelling
  • Does the student want to give only the main punctuation breaks, leaving the rest to the scribe, or would they rather dictate every punctuation mark?
  • What if the scribe cannot grasp a word? Do they ask the student to repeat there and then, or come back to it later?

The following issues are NOT negotiable:

  • The scribe should under no circumstances indicate by any word or action that s/he thinks the student has made a mistake.
  • The scribe should under no circumstance prompt the student with regard to the content of the exam answer.
  • Ideally in an exam the scribe should speak only when spoken to, leaving the student in charge of asking to have text read back, or to have the exam questions read out again. However, this rule of silence will sometimes have to be broken, if for example the scribe cannot keep up with the speed of dictation.

Scribing for students who have a visual impairment:

  • Does the student wish to be reminded about the time throughout or only towards the end of the exam?
  • If you have to draw diagrams, how can you check with the student that what they have drawn is an accurate reflection of what was wanted?

Most students with a severe visual impairment will be well used to working with a scribe and will be well able to say what is required.