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Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre


Requests for exam access arrangements must be made by the Division of Lent Term. All necessary evidence must be submitted to your College Tutor or Tutorial Office.

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

If you suspect that you may have a disability, and think you will need examination access arrangements but do not yet have a diagnosis, you will need to contact the ADRC immediately. There is no guarantee that arrangements can be put in place at this stage.

Please be aware that while the ADRC is happy to advise students who are seeking exam access arrangements, we do not have a role in making such arrangements.

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 Student Registry following an application from your College Tutorial Office, based either on medical evidence, or on a full diagnostic report written by a Practitioner Psychologist or Specialist Teacher.

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

For more information, there are guidelines for students wishing to apply for exam access arrangements on the Student Registry Exam Access Arrangements Website

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

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

You may have handed your Practitioner 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 Student Registry. The ADRC 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 ADRC or the Student Registry have checked it to see if it adheres to the criteria
  • Ensured that your College Tutorial Office submitted the application to the Student Registry 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 ADRC 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 ADRC 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 ADRC for further advice.

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

If you think that you may have a hitherto undiagnosed SpLD, you will need to act as soon as possible. Please contact the ADRC. The Student Registry 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

Cambridge University's Student Registry has strict guidelines for what constitutes a valid report. To be valid, the report must be:

  • written by an Practitioner Psychologist, or Specialist Teacher, who has the Patoss SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate (or equivalent)
  • written in accordance with the SpLD Working Group 2005/DfES Guidelines and subsequent updates

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

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 Student Registry's 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 Practitoner Psychologist to support your application, either because your current report does not meet the Student Registry's guidelines, or because you have not yet been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Difficulty (such as dyslexia), please contact the ADRC as soon as possible.

It can take several weeks to complete the assessment process. Be sure to choose a Practitioner Psychologist who adheres to the strict Student Registry guidelines. We can give you the contact details of a suitable Practitioner Psychologist, or, you can find your own, but please contact us first, so that we can provide the Practitioner Psychologist 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 Student Registry may be rejected.