Some students are not able to sit an examination under standard conditions so the University allows examination arrangements to be tailored to suit individual needs
Our aim is to compensate as far as possible for any disadvantage you might experience in taking an examination, so that your work can be assessed on the same basis as that of all other students. The arrangements that we make for you should ensure that you are not at a disadvantage so your work can be assessed solely on merit. This means no information about a student's disability or illness is passed on to the academic staff who mark examination scripts.
This section describes what examination arrangements we can make, such as different types of question paper, alternative ways to present your answers, or extra working time that might be available.
Some students, for example if they use special equipment or have mobility or mental health disabilities, may be able to take an examination at home or in a room separate from the main examination hall.
If you have any problem attending or taking the exam, talk to your regional or national centre as soon as possible about your options.
Once you have read through the different sections here, you should complete a request form for examination arrangements. Alternatively you can read about examination arrangements in Meeting your assessment needs booklet (PDF, 667kb).
If you think that you are likely to need special examination arrangements, read all the information, and let us know what you need on the request form for examination arrangements.
Alternatively, if you would like help in preparing for an examination, or if you get very stressed before or during examinations, please speak to an adviser at your regional or national centre.
DSAs can be used for costs related to any special examination arrangements we make on your behalf, although this does not currently apply to students living in Scotland. See a general explanation of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).
Possible arrangements for your examination should be discussed during your DSA needs assessment and you should also talk to your regional or national centre about these. However, note that the OU may not always approve recommendations made, or items supplied by a DSA, as they may not be suitable for use in examinations.
If your DSA needs assessment report recommends support strategies that would be exceptional (for example, more extra time than is usually allowed), you should discuss the recommendation and your own particular requirements with your regional or national centre.
If you are eligible for a DSA, The Open University will only provide study support that cannot be provided by a DSA.
We will ask for further medical evidence to support some requests, such as for examination arrangements that you didn’t need when you started a module.
After the examination, you may feel there were circumstances beyond your control that affected your performance or your preparation, or that arrangements for your examination weren’t suitable for your requirements. You can report the matter to us and the Examination and Assessment Board may then take that into account when awarding your result. You make such a report by filling in the E39 form to explain how the circumstances affected your examination.
There is more information about reporting special circumstances on the Assessment website, in your Assessment Handbook and in the Examination Arrangements booklet which we send you during your study.
The E39 form and any supporting documents must be received by the OU within seven days of your examination.
We can provide facilities such as
If you have already requested services that included examination arrangements, your personal record on your StudentHome page will note those additional requirements and we will contact you automatically. You can alter your request either from that page, or by contacting your regional or national centre.
For DSA, examination arrangements, and some other financial or equipment schemes you will need to provide written evidence of additional needs. This evidence is usually a diagnostic assessment or medical report but will depend on the individual situation. As this can take a considerable period of time to arrange it is advisable to think about this well in advance.