skip to content

Disability Resource Centre


Requests for exam access arrangements must be made by the Division of Lent Term. All necessary evidence must be obtained and submitted to your College Tutor or Tutorial Office by the last day of Lent Full Term for your exams in May/June.

Please contact the DRC if you are unsure what evidence is required.

Applying for exam access arrangements

Examples of exam access arrangements:

  • extra time
  • use of word processor
  • separate room
  • scribe/amanuensis

Access arrangements for examinations at the University of Cambridge must be approved by the Board of Examinations following an application from your College Tutorial Office, based either on medical evidence, or on a full diagnostic report written by an Educational Psychologist or Specialist Teacher.

The recommendations for exam access arrangements, for example, the amount of extra time requested, must be clearly and specifically stated.

Your application must be submitted to your College Tutor or Tutorial Office by the Division of Lent Term (13 February). All necessary evidence must be obtained and submitted to your College Tutor or Tutorial Office by the last day of Lent Full Term.

Some postgraduates may need to apply for examination access arrangements via a different route. Please see the Student Registry website for further details.

Additional instructions for students with Specific Learning Difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)

Have you had your diagnostic evidence cleared by the Board of Examinations for the purpose of exam access arrangements?

You may have handed your Educational Psychologist report to your Tutorial Office, but it is essential that you check whether the evidence you have provided is suitable and that it has been cleared by the Board of Examinations. The DRC can advise you on this, but we do not make the exam arrangements for you.

Make sure you have done the following:

  • Handed your diagnostic evidence into your Tutorial Office
  • Made sure that either the DRC or the Board of Examinations have checked it to see if it adheres to the criteria
  • Ensured that your College Tutorial Office submitted the application to the Board of Examinations for your exam arrangements (or will do so shortly)

Please do not leave this until February. You risk not getting your exam arrangements for the summer if you miss the February 13 deadline. The DRC will need at least a month's notice if you need help in obtaining a new diagnostic report, and it might be that you are not aware if your report is unsuitable. Please also be aware that handing your report into the DRC does not constitute an application for exam access arrangements. Your Tutorial Office needs a copy of the report to put the recommendations in place.

If you have any questions, please contact the DRC for further advice.

If you do not yet have an existing diagnosis of a Specific Learning Difficulty:

If you think that you would like to be screened for a SpLD, you will need to act as soon as possible. The Board of Examinations will consider new diagnoses on a case by case basis after the deadline, but if your application is made after the deadline you would not be guaranteed exam arrangements for the summer.

Guidelines for diagnostic reports

The Cambridge Board of Examinations has strict guidelines for what constitutes a valid report. To be valid, the report must be:

  • written by an Educational Psychologist, or Specialist Teacher, who has the Patoss SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate (or equivalent)
  • no more than 5 years old on your entry to the University for Undergraduates and 8 years old on entry for Graduates
  • written after you were 16 years of age
  • written in accordance with the SpLD Working Group 2005/DfES Guidelines

If you are unsure whether your report meets these criteria, please contact the DRC.

If you have a valid report

If you have already been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Difficulty (such as dyslexia) and have a report that meets the Cambridge Board of Examinations guidelines, you need to provide your College Tutorial Office with a copy of it and ask them to apply for exam access arrangements.

If you do not have a valid report

If you require an assessment from an Educational Psychologist to support your application, either because your current report does not meet the Cambridge Board of Examinations guidelines, or because you have not yet been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Difficulty (such as dyslexia), please contact the DRC as soon as possible.

It can take several weeks to complete the assessment process. Be sure to choose an Educational Psychologist (EP) who adheres to the strict Cambridge Board of Examination's guidelines. We can give you the contact details of a suitable EP, or, you can find your own EP, but please contact us first, so that we can provide the EP with details of the tests that the University would prefer were used for your assessment. Any report that does not meet the guidelines stipulated by the University's Board of Examinations may be rejected.