Frequently Asked Questions - Assessment

Frequently Asked Questions - Assessment

How do I know if I’m entitled to adjustments / alternative arrangements?

If you are registered with the Disability and Dyslexia Service you should have had a discussion about your support entitlements, including those relating to assessment, either with someone from the Service and / or with a Disabled Students Allowance Needs Assessor.

A s a result you should have been issued with a letter (form DDS1) outlining your entitlements for you to pass on to your tutors at the beginning of each semester (or immediately if mid-semester) so they can fully support you.

If you do not have this letter or think that you have additional needs in relation to assessment please continue reading.

What do I do if I think that a mode of assessment poses disability-related difficulties for me?

Have a chat to one of the Disability Co-ordinators within the Disability and Dyslexia Service because it might be possible for alternative assessment methods or adjustments to be considered.

You should contact the service at least 4 weeks prior to the assessment date as late applications will not usually be considered.

What sort of adjustments / alternative assessment arrangements might be allowed?

It is not possible to list all the arrangements that may be required but some of the most common exam arrangements include extra time, rest breaks, use of a computer, a scribe or reader, assistive technology. In other types of assessment a student might be permitted to make a presentation or video instead of a written project, and visa versa.

Students with a specific learning difficulty or a sensory impairment are entitled to have their written work marked sensitively.

The type of adjustments or alternative arrangements will depend on a number of factors including the barriers that are being experienced and what competencies, skills and abilities are essential to be demonstrated.

Will an adjustment / alternative assessment arrangement mean that my work will be marked differently to other students?

Some students are entitled to sensitive marking which means that, where applied, they won’t be penalised for disability related errors in their written work (see following FAQs for more info). Otherwise there is no difference in the way your work is marked compared to any other student on your programme.

Because adjustments and alternative arrangements can only be made to the WAY that your competence or ability is assessed you will always be assessed against the same standards as other students, even if the way that you demonstrate this is slightly different to other students.

Which students are entitled to sensitive marking?

If you have a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D, or if you have a visual or hearing impairment then you might be entitled to sensitive marking.

Sensitive marking means that students aren’t penalised, or compensated, for disability-related effects* and that markers will give positive feedback and make comments on the works of students in a way that the students will be able to learn from the comments.

*NB if it is essential for students to demonstrate their written English skills in an assessment, then you will be assessed for these in the same as other students.

How do I access the Sensitive Marking Request Form?

  • Log onto SOLE page
  • Click on “My Assessments”
  • Select “Assessment Receipts” option in the box called “My assessments”
  • Select “Print Cover Sheet” option for relevant item of work being submitted
  • Assessment Tracking Sheet will appear. Print this and the Sensitive Marking Request Form will follow the tracking sheet.
  • Securely attach to the work to be submitted.

For any queries relating to the Sensitive Marking Request From please contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service.

What if I choose not to make use of the recommended adjustments / alternative arrangements?

The university is continually working towards an inclusive programme of study, which means that when academic programmes are designed, consideration is given to what disability related barriers exist, with a view to minimising these wherever possible before finalising the programme.

Although this approach won’t entirely remove the needs for adjustments, it should have the effect of dramatically reducing the need for individual adjustments.

Although you don’t have to utilise any recommended adjustments, you should think carefully before making this decision as adjustments / alternative arrangements are intended to give you maximum opportunity to demonstrate your skills and ability. Choosing not to use them might adversely affect your performance and therefore the grade awarded to your work.

Where can I find more information about the university’s assessment policy?