Student Rights: Exam Access Arrangements

Welcome to our mini blog series on your academic rights as a student!

At the SU we are here to represent your academic interests and improve your education; a key part of this relies on you, as students, being aware of your rights and what you should expect from your academic experience.

To ensure you have all the tools you need to successfully complete your studies, we've created a dedicated page where all my blogs will be in one place should you ever want to check back over things.

Student Rights Hub

In this blog I am going to give you the lowdown on exam access arrangements, when you should apply for one and how you can request them.

Exam access arrangements (EAAs) are available if you are unable to sit exams under standard examination conditions, due to a disability or another condition. EAAs allow you to perform to your best ability in an exam without compromising academic standards.

At school or college, you might have had some adjustments like use of a word processor or additional exam time. If so, then you definitely need to contact the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Services (DDS) and ask what you need to do to make sure you continue to receive those adjustments here. If you have already disclosed your disability and been in contact with DDS, they should have contacted you regarding provision of reasonable adjustments.

If you’re worried that you need exam access arrangements and that you have an undiagnosed learning difficulty or disability, then make an appointment with DDS to ask for guidance about getting a diagnosis. If you have genuine concerns of this nature, we strongly recommend you take action now, as getting a diagnosis once you stop being a student can be difficult and costly.

Am I eligible to apply for EAAs?

There are three main groups of students who might need alternative examination arrangements:

  • Students with a medically diagnosed disability/condition
  • Students with a specific learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia
  • Students with a temporary condition or illness.

If you think this applies to you then you may be able to apply for EAAs. If you’re not sure what needs you have, please contact DDS who will be happy to discuss this with you.

To apply you need to register with DDS. The team are based in Founder’s East room 140 or alternatively you can phone 01784 276473 or email disability-dyslexia@royalholloway.ac.uk. DDS will then support you to apply for EAAs.

When do I need to apply?

You can apply for EAAs from the start of the academic year but the deadline for applications to request them for your May exams is Friday 31 January 2020.  This is a strict deadline and missing it could mean having to repeat the year and increased student debt, so be sure to set yourself a reminder.

How will I know what my Exam Access Arrangements are?

After applying for your EAAs they will need to be approved by the University. You should receive an email in your University email account confirming details of your EAAs. Make sure to check these details are correct and as expected, if not you will need to contact Student Services (studentservices@royalholloway.ac.uk) as soon as possible.

How is extra time calculated, and how will this be shown on my timetable?

Extra time is calculated on a pro rata basis per hour. For example, if you are granted 15 minutes per hour extra time for a two hour exam your total exam time will be 2 hours and 30 minutes. Extra time is not displayed on your exam timetable on Campus Connect, so don’t worry if this shows the standard duration. Your EAA confirmation email will detail how much extra time you have been given per hour and the exam supervisor will re-confirm this to you at the start of your exam.

If you need help understanding/completing the process or want to discuss exam access arrangements further please contact the Advice Centre at the SU. They are an independent and confidential service offering impartial advice. You can email them at advice@su.rhul.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can ask for help via the Students’ Union Helpdesk either in person or by calling 01784 276700.

Kate Roberts // Vice President Education