Test and Exam Accommodations

Possible Accommodations

Student Accessibility Services will administer any accommodated testing that is required and scheduled by the student. The following is a list of possible testing accommodations for any type of disability (Please note the list is not exhaustive):

  • ​Additional Time
  • Distraction Reduced Room
  • Private Room
  • Word Processor
  • Grammar/Spell Checker
  • Dictionary
  • Alternate Scheduling
  • Calculator
  • Memory Aid/Formula Sheet
  • Test Enlarged
  • Test on Coloured Paper
  • Use of Adaptive Technology such as Kurzweil, Dragons Naturally Speaking, Inspiration, or JAWS
  • Dictation of Answer to Scribe
  • Earplugs
  • White Noise
  • Ergonomic Chair
  • Access to Food/Medications
  • Access to Washroom
  • Pain/Rest Break
  • Allowance for Extensions or Deferrals

Internet browsers are disabled unless the test is accessed online.

Faculty Responsibilities

Before the Test

  1. Students who wish to utilize their testing accommodations will do so by scheduling in their quizzes, tests and midterms with Student Accessibility Services.
  2. An automatic notification will be sent from Student Accessibility Services 4 days prior to the schedule date requesting a copy of the quiz, test or midterm. This email will also indicate which students have requested the accommodations.
  3. Please take the time to carefully read the information sent in the e-mail and inform the Student Accessibility Officers (SAOs) if the information is incorrect (wrong date, time, etc.)
  4. You may choose to e-mail the test to sastesting@nipissingu.ca or drop-off the test to the Office of Student Development and Services (B210). We ask that you provide the quiz, test or midterm to us at least two business days in advance of the scheduled date. 
  5. Please ensure to also confirm the following details when providing the quiz, test or midterm:
  • Course Code
  • Date
  • Start Time
  • Duration of Test
  • Any aids or items that may be necessary and/or permitted (ie: calculator, cheat sheet etc.)
  • The location that your class will be writing, should there be a question for you.

During the Test

  1. ​The Student Accessibility Officers and trained proctors are responsible for administering the test to the student.
  2. If the student needs to use the washroom or get a drink of water, the student will be escorted by either an SAO or proctor.
  3. The student is aware that if s/he has any questions or concerns about the test, an SAO or proctor should be informed, and the professor will be contacted.
  4. As the professor, you may be asked to visit your student(s) in Student Accessibility Services. An SAO or proctor can invigilate in your classroom while you visit your student(s). Alternatively, an SAO or proctor may escort the student to your classroom, and ask that you step into the hallway to speak with the student (to maintain dignity and confidentiality).

After the Test

The Student Accessibility Officers will send you an e-mail reminder informing you that the test is ready to be picked-up from Student Accessibility Services. It will remain in a locked cabinet until you pick it up. Pick-up is available in B210-R.

Note: The SAS office does not scan and e-mail tests, deliver tests to classrooms or mail boxes, or send tests to professors in the mail.

Final Exams

For final exams, you will not be required to provide Student Accessibility Services with a copy of the exam. The Student Accessibility Officers receive all final examinations from Print Plus.

Student Accessibility Services asks that you visit your student(s) once during the first hour of the examination to answer any questions or concerns they may have. You will receive a slip of paper with your exam package indicating the location of each of your students that are writing with Student Accessibility Services. (Due to the large number of final exams being administered, it is necessary to accommodate some students in classrooms outside of our office.)​

Student Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

  • Students are required to book all quizzes, tests, midterms and final exams by the following dates outlined on the Testing Accommodations​ page.
  • If there are pop-quizzes scheduled for your class, students may opt to use their accommodations for these quizzes. The request is made to the Student Accessibility Officers, who will then get in contact with the professor to make the necessary arrangements. 
  • For any quiz, test or midterm that may be announced after the booking deadline, students are required to request use of accommodations a minimum of 7 days prior to the scheduled date fo the quiz, test or midterm.
  • Students are responsible for providing accurate information regarding the test including date, time, and duration of the test, which the SAOs will later confirm with the professor.
  • On the date of the test, students report to the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) Office rather than their classroom, unless there is a scheduled lecture beforehand.

Pop Quizes

It is important for faculty to remember that some students may require their testing accommodations for pop quizzes and will choose to write these quizzes with Student Accessibility Services.

The Student Accessibility Officers will co-ordinate a plan for administering pop quizzes with you. Typically, when a student expresses that they would like to write their pop quizzes with the SAS office, we ask the professor to provide us with the scheduling information ahead of time.  This allows us to schedule the quizzes in our system to ensure testing space is reserved, while ensuring the student does not have knowledge of these dates. 

Shortly before each class, the student will come to the Student Accessibility Services Office to see if there is a pop quiz that day.

  1. ​If there is a quiz scheduled, they will stay and write the quiz with their testing accommodations.
  2. If there isn’t a quiz scheduled, they will attend class as usual.

For pop quizzes that are scheduled for the end of the class, the student will attend class as usual and be excused to write their quiz in Student Accessibility Services when the other students begin their quiz in the classroom.

Memory Aids and Formula Sheets

Memory, including the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of information, involves a complex set of cognitive processes and neurological structures.  Some students registered with SAS have disability-related functional impairments that directly affect memory. At university, students must learn and retrieve significantly more information at a higher level of complexity and detail than they have in the past. 

The general purpose of all academic accommodations is to increase the likelihood that the performance of students reflects their knowledge and ability, rather than the functional impact of their disability, without jeopardizing essential course requirements or providing an unfair advantage.  Memory Aid is a rare accommodation for students whose disabilities clearly impact on the ability to retrieve information that they have learned during tests and exams. A memory aid will not be suggested for a student unless we have disability-related documentation that strongly supports the need and until they have met with a Student Learning Coordinator to develop strategies for studying, memorization, self-testing, etc.

A memory aid should not contain a synopsis of course material, but rather provide a cue to definition and formulae that would enable the student to solve the problem or generate a response. If information on the memory aid is deemed to be an essential learning objective or outcome of the course, it should not be allowed. For example, if the learning objective or outcome of the course is to know the formula, it should not be allowed on the memory aid; however, if the learning objective or outcome of the course is to demonstrate the ability to apply the formula, then it could be allowed. 

Memory aids are reviewed and signed by the instructor if approved, since the instructor is the one who decides the learning objectives or essential requirements of the course. Instructors can choose to remove memory triggers that are deemed to be essential requirements for the course. It is understood that the nature of some courses does not lend itself to the use of memory aids.

Memory Aids: Cueing Sheets and Computational Formula Sheets

Cueing Sheets are not cheat sheets with facts copied down for the student to refer to during tests or exams.  They contain retrieval cues that the student has developed over time from their course material to assist in the recall of previously learned information.

Features of a Cueing Sheet:

  • Double-sided 8 ½” x 11” page.
  • Created on a computer (minimum 12-point font) or hand written (equivalent to 12-point font).
  • May contain mind maps, images, rhymes, acronyms, and so on.
  • Make sense only to the student who created it.
  • Submitted to Accessibility Consultant and Instructor via email within 5 business days of a test or exam for review and possible revision.

Cueing Sheets do not:

  • Cover all of the information from a course.
  • Include specific examples, complete terms or definitions, or other essential course knowledge
  • Provide answers

Computational Formula Sheets are appropriate only for courses for which memorization of computational formulae is not an essential learning objective. It is intended to allow students to demonstrate their ability to apply formulas rather than to retrieve them from memory.

Features of a Computational Formula Sheet:

  • Double sided 8 ½” x 11” page.
  • Created on a computer (minimum 12 point font) or hand written (equivalent to 12 point font).
  • Contain formulas in notation form.
  • Submitted to Accessibility Consultant and Instructor via email within 5 business days of a test or exam for review and possible revision
  • Computational Formula Sheets do not:
  • Cover all possible formulas, only those that cannot be retrieved.
  • Include instructions, steps, or specific examples.
  • Provide essential information, for example, theoretical information about the relationships among concepts (such as in a purely definitional formula).
  • Generally, do not include conversion

Memory Aids: Process

Student’s Role:

  1. The student must request accommodations at the beginning of each term. They must first confirm any authorized items allowed for the entire class for tests and exams.
  2. The student must identify and summarize material throughout the course for possible use on the memory aid sheet. If the student requires support in developing cueing summary skills, they will contact their Accessibility Consultant.
  3. The student must submit their proposed Memory Aid via email to the Accessibility Consultant and Instructor no later than 5 business days before the test or exam.
  4. The student must make any changes required by the Accessibility Consultant and Instructor, and resubmit the edited proposed Memory Aid no later than three business days before the test or exam.

The Memory Aid Accommodation may not be available if the student does not follow the above process.

Instructor’s Role:

  1. After receiving the student’s Letter of Accommodation, the Instructor will contact the Accessibility Consultant with any questions or concerns.
  2. Upon receipt of a student’s proposed Memory Aid, the Instructor will reply with their formal approval or request changes to content if it undermines the essential learning objectives for the course, or provides an unfair advantage.
  3. When (and if) the Instructor has approved the proposed Memory Aid, the instructor will send the approved document to sastesting@nipissingu.ca for inclusion in the test/exam package. The memory sheet is collected with the completed test/exam.


To view the Student Checklist and Sample Memory Aids, click here.

Deferral of Tests and Exams


If a student misses a test due to a disability-related reason, supporting medical documentation will be requested by Student Accessibility Services. Once supporting medical documentation has been provided by the student, SAS will reach out to the professor to confirm the disability-related absence. If the professor is agreeable to allowing the student to reschedule the test, SAS will work with the student and professor to reschedule the test at an agreed upon time. 

If a student misses a test for reasons unrelated to their disability (illness, etc), they will be directed to contact their faculty directly. 

Final Exams

During final exams, students may have scheduling conflicts due to their accommodations (ie. if their extra time overlaps with another exam they are to write in the same day, or if they are unable to write at certain times due to disability-related reasons, etc.)  In these cases, a deferral form will be completed, and the student may request to write the exam on a different date than the remainder of the class, typically at the end of the regular exam period.

In such cases, Student Accessibility Services will contact you by email to request an alternate exam date.

On the day of the exam, students who are unable to write a final examination due to disability reasons, non-disability reasons, illness or circumstances beyond their control are required to required to follow the Nipissing University Exam Policy for Deferred Exams. If the SAS student is granted permission from the Registrar's Office to defer the exam, the student will write on one of the special exam dates outlined by the Registrar’s Office, however the exam may be administered within Student Accessibility Services​.