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Special exam arrangements

Special exam arrangements are available to provide students with a fair chance to demonstrate their skills.

To qualify, you have to be assessed to show that you have below average (<standard score 85) scores in some of the following:

  • Processing speed
  • Handwriting speed
  • Reading comprehension speed
  • Reading comprehension accuracy
  • Untimed single word accuracy
  • Spelling ability
  • Legibility

Part of the assessment, undertaken by a specialist tutor, also considers your past experience of undertaking timed tests and exams, to provide further evidence of your needs. Your educational history, including any support you received in the past, may also discussed.

A discussion will take place between you and the specialist tutor, possibly also involving some of your class tutors, to decide what would be available to you, to make sure you have a fair chance. The special exam arrangements currently allowed by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) are:

  • Extra time ( normally 25%)
  • Use of word processor
  • Reader
  • Scribe
  • Transcription
  • Read aloud
  • Rest Breaks
  • Prompt
  • Transcription

We also provide, as necessary, group rooms and private rooms.

All of these accommodations can only be provided if we have the evidence of your below average scores and evidence that you have the use of these provisions in your normal learning time, eg, If you have 25% allocated, your tutors should make allowances for this during all class tests. If you use a word processor in exams, you should generally be using a computer/ipad/laptop to complete your work in assignments.

Your tutors are informed about the agreed exam arrangements through  the private  part of your class register.  You could discuss this in a one2one with your tutors.  When you receive your exam timetable, you should check that your exam arrangements are identified.

Most students who have anything more than 25% extra time would generally take exams in a different room to the standard exam hall.  If your exam timetable is not clear, you should go to the Focus Centre for advice.

Students with 25% will have a small card delivered. You should keep this for the duration of the exam period. If you put it on the corner of your exam desk, it will reassure you and remind your invigilator not to disturb you until your extra time is up. You do not have to take all of your extra time – but as you have been granted it, we recommend you use it wisely.  You should practise using extra time as often as possible.

All exam arrangements should be practised; if you need help with this, please ask in the Focus Centre or send an email to:

If you are ill during an exam, it may still be possible to continue when you feel better. Make sure you let the invigilator know that you are ill and ask the invigilator to contact Additional Support or Exam services. We will help to work out what to do.

If you are ill before the exam, ring Blackpool Sixth and ask for Additional Support or Exam Services as soon as you can. We may be able to help you to take your exam using emergency arrangements.