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Exam Accommodations

Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for reasonable exam accommodations. Accommodations that may be provided to students include, but are not limited to, extended time, a distraction-reduced exam setting, and the use of a computer with word processing. Our staff collaborates with students to determine reasonable accommodations. Typically, faculty then provide the exam accommodations as Colorado College does not have a testing center.

Students and faculty should follow the guidelines below to implement exam accommodations:

Students are responsible for informing faculty of any need for accommodation via AR Online Services, including exam accommodations. This should be done prior to the beginning of each block or early enough for faculty to implement accommodations.

Students and faculty should discuss how best to arrange accommodations for each testing situation. Students and faculty are encouraged to contact Accessibility Resources if consultation is needed regarding exam accommodations.

Extended Time

  • Typically, students approved for a 1.5x exam accommodation are to be afforded 50% more time than the amount of time provided to other students in the class. Therefore, if the class is given two hours to complete an exam, the student with 1.5x should be given three hours.

  • Normally, students receiving extended time start their exams at the same time as other students and work until they are finished or the extended time period is up. In cases where extended time might run into an afternoon class activity (e.g., lab, film viewing, field trip), a student may need to start an exam earlier than the standard start time.

  • The extended time begins at the start time determined by the student and the professor. If the student arrives late for an exam, the student should not be allowed to make up the time that is lost unless there are extenuating circumstances related to a documented disability (e.g., the student experienced a flare related to chronic health or mental health conditions) or other circumstances that a professor would take into account for other students in the class.

  • Students should let faculty know if they need extended time for short quizzes, including pop quizzes. If a student needs extended time for short/pop quizzes and logistical issues are encountered, such as those related to timing, Accessibility Resources can assist in determining solutions.

  • The approved extended time (e.g., time and one-half or double time) does not automatically apply to exams that are administered overnight or over multiple days, as students typically do not spend all of the allotted time working on an exam. However, if a student indicates a need for extended time for this type of exam, the student, the faculty member, and Accessibility Resources should collaborate to determine if extended time is reasonable and, if so, how much additional time should be provided.

Group Exams

  • If a course has group exams and a student in a group is approved for an extended time, the extended time would not be provided to the other students who have not been approved for this accommodation. Oftentimes, because of the nature of group exams, students with extended time elect to take this type of exam with standard time so they can participate in the group exam. However, if a student requests to not take the group exam, Accessibility Resources can help to explore other options.

  • Note: This also applies to in-class work that is done in groups.


  • Students who use extended time may require breaks during exams. If a student requests a longer time period than the approved extended time for an exam due to the need for breaks, Accessibility Resources can help to determine options that may be appropriate.

Distraction-Reduced Exam Setting

  • Some students approved for a distraction-reduced exam setting may determine that the classroom is the better place to take an exam. Therefore, an alternative space is required only when requested by the student.

  • If a student requests a distraction-reduced exam setting, the student and faculty member should determine an appropriate space prior to the day of the exam. Unless the student has been approved for a private exam setting or is using a computer when other students are not, multiple students using exam accommodations may take exams in the same space. Please contact Accessibility Resources if assistance is needed in determining an appropriate exam setting.

Use of a Computer for Exams

  • Faculty should determine if a student approved for the use of a computer with word processing will use the student's own computer or one provided by the academic department.

  • If a student using a computer for exams is the only person in the class using a computer, it may be helpful for the student to take the exam in another space so other students are not distracted by the sound of keyboarding.


  • Leniency with spelling on exams is managed on a case-by-case basis, as this accommodation is very specific to essential course requirements. Therefore, this accommodation is not listed on faculty notification letters for students who experience difficulty with spelling that results from disability. Instead, we ask students to speak with professors about their grading policies for spelling on exams. If points are deducted for incorrect spelling, we ask that students and faculty consult with Accessibility Resources so we can work together to determine if it is reasonable to put an accommodation in place for spelling.

Exam Administration by Accessibility Resources

Due to constraints of the Block Plan and the philosophy that students with disabilities are best served when accommodated in the most integrated setting possible, faculty typically provide exam accommodations within their own departments. However, on the very rare occasion when it is not possible to provide appropriate accommodations within the academic department (e.g., the student needs to use assistive technology that is available only via Accessibility Resources), the faculty member should request that Accessibility Resources assist in the administration of the test.

The following procedures should be followed to set up an exam administration with Accessibility Resources:

  • At least one week prior to the exam, the faculty member should contact Accessibility Resources to request assistance in administering the exam. The faculty member must provide information regarding the delivery and return of the exam and instructions for exam administration.

  • If the student does not keep the appointment for the exam, the exam will be returned to the faculty member. It is the student's responsibility to contact the faculty member to seek permission to reschedule the exam.

  • In keeping with the spirit of the College's honor system, Accessibility Resources provides space and accommodations for the exam but does not serve as a proctor.

  • For additional information on exam accommodations, please contact Accessibility Resources.

Report an issue - Last updated: 08/16/2021