Academic Manual


Section 5: Exam Adjustments

Published for 2023-24

5.1 What are Exam Adjustments?5.3 How to apply
5.2 What support is available?5.4 Deadline for applications

5.1 What are Exam Adjustments?

1.Exam Adjustments are specifically designed to support you in timed, written assessments such as In-Person and Online Controlled Condition Exams and Take-Home Papers. They include adjustments such as extra time, rest breaks, specialist equipment or a more comfortable chair. 

Exam Adjustments are available to students with both long-term and short-term conditions. This includes (but is not limited to) students experiencing:

  • Mobility differences such as wheelchair users, or musculoskeletal conditions 
  • Sensory differences, such as individuals certified as blind or partially sighted, and those who are D/deaf  
  • Long-term health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, HIV or autoimmune conditions 
  • Long-term mental health conditions such as depression, eating disorders or schizophrenia 
  • Specific learning differences (SpLD) such as dyslexia or dyspraxia 
  • Social or communication differences such as an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) 
  • Progressive conditions such as motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy or forms of dementia 
  • Fluctuating or recurring conditions such as bipolar disorder, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, myalgic encephalitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) 
  • A short-term physical or mental health condition which makes it physically difficult to write or to sit for long periods of time, e.g. you have a broken arm or lower back pain 
  • Pregnant students. 
3.If you are unsure if you are eligible, you can contact UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team for advice.  

If you need support for another type of assessment, such as coursework or a practical exam, please use the following processes:

5.2 What support is available?

1.Exam Adjustments can take a wide range of forms depending on your specific condition and the type of assessment e.g. you might need different adjustments for in-person and digital assessments.  
2.The following examples are provided to help you understand the types of support that might be possible, however please note that this list is not definitive, and some adjustments are subject to eligibility criteria: 

For online exams 

  • Extra time  
  • Rest breaks 
  • Assistive technology and software 
  • Sitting a digital exam on paper 
  • Sitting your exam in a venue on campus  

For in-person exams 

  • Extra time  
  • Rest breaks 
  • Exam papers in accessible formats such as large print or braille 
  • Assistive technology and software 
  • A reader or scribe 
  • Adapted or improved lighting in UCL-run venues 
  • Adapted or ergonomic furniture, or a more comfortable chair in UCL-run venues 
  • Food and drink 
  • Sitting a face-to-face exam on a PC 
  • Sitting your exam in a venue on campus  
 Calculation of extra time and/ or rest breaks 
3.If you are eligible for extra time and/ or rest breaks these will be rolled into a single adjustment and your individual assessment duration will be extended. You will then be able to take any rest breaks as and when you need them. For further details of how this will be calculated, please refer to the Student Regulations for Exams and Assessments. 

5.3 How to apply

1.A UCL Student Support and Wellbeing adviser will consider your request for Exam Adjustments. The first step is to book an individual appointment or get in touch with us through the askUCL online enquiries system. The adviser will talk you through the process. 

You will need to make an application for Exam Adjustments if:

  • You do not have a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA) 
  • You have a temporary condition and need Exam Adjustments for a short period of time 
  • You already have a SoRA but you need to amend your existing allowances for extra time and/ or rest breaks 
  • You already have a SoRA for extra time/ rest breaks but you also need other types of adjustment such as specialist equipment, a scribe, or a PC. 
3.If you already have a SoRA which includes extra time and/ or rest breaks, your individual requirements will be passed to the Central Assessment Team automatically; you do not need to make a new application unless you need to make any changes. 
 Supporting evidence 
4.You may be asked to provide some medical evidence to support your application - Section 1.5: Providing Supporting Evidence includes more information. 
 Help and advice
5.The Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) team can help you complete your application and advise you on gathering any evidence that you might need. 

5.4 Deadline for applications

1.Applications must be received by UCL Student Support and Wellbeing by 4.00pm BST (UTC -1) three weeks before the Central Assessment Period in question. Exact dates will be published on the Exams and Assessments website each year. 
2.After the deadline it is unlikely that UCL will be able to put Exam Adjustments in place. However, you may still be eligible for support via Extenuating Circumstances