Alternative exam support strategies

Find out more about accessing supports such as a Reader, Scribe or Exam prompt for assessments and exams.

This has been a very different academic year working largely remotely, and while there are not formal or traditional on-campus University examinations, some of your modules may have an online assessment under some form of timed exam conditions in early January.

When you initially met with one of the team in Student Wellbeing, you will have been recommended an individual room or some additional support during the traditional University exam period.

As assessments are now being completed remotely, we want to help you by sharing some suggestions of alternative support strategies that you could use instead of having a support provider to provide exam support on campus.

If you have previously used a Reader, Scribe or Exam prompt for assessments and exams have a look at the ideas below.

If you do not think these strategies will meet your needs, please contact your AccessAbility Adviser directly or contact Student Wellbeing on 028 9536 7000 or supportregister@ulster.ac.uk and we can arrange for remote support to be in place for you.

Reader/Invigilator to Read Aloud

If under normal circumstances you would have access to a Reader, we would suggest you consider the following alternatives:

Speech Software

Use text to speech software you already have access to such as Read and Write Gold

Audio file MP3

Contact your Course Director to ask them to supply you with an audio file/MP3 with the questions read aloud as well as the exam paper.

Accessibility features within Office 365

Try using the inbuilt accessibility features within Office 365 (e.g. Word)

My Study Bar

Try MyStudyBar this is a free tool with one of its features allowing you to listen to digital content read aloud using text-to-speech.

Android Accessibility

All android devices differ slightly but google have an Android Accessibility Suite in the Google Play store that will offer similar support.

Apple Accessibility

iPhone and iPad users can use either the Speak Screen feature or Speak Selection tool which will either read out the whole screen or read the highlighted text.

Scribe

If under normal circumstances you would have access to a Scribe, we would suggest you consider the following alternatives:

  • Use software you already have, such as Dragon Dictate
  • Contact your Course Director to see if you could get additional extra time
  • Ask a family member or housemate for assistance (if available) to act as a scribe
  • Use dictation software inbuilt to Google Docs or Office 365 users can dictate into word online
  • Use dictation options on your phone or tablet

Exam Prompt

If under normal circumstances you would have access to an Exam Prompt to help with timing, we would suggest you consider the following alternatives:

  • Use a session with your mentor to establish how to use time in your exam. Remember to allocate time appropriately while considering the overall mark a question is worth.
  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when you should move onto the next question.
  • Practice using this strategy on a past paper.

We would strongly recommend sitting a practice paper using any new software to establish effective working and compatibility before using it on the day of your assessment.

Again, if you do not think these strategies will meet your needs, please contact your AccessAbility Adviser directly or contact Student Wellbeing on 028 9536 7000 or supportregister@ulster.ac.uk and we can try to arrange for remote support to be in place for you.