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Getting in touch

Marking exams.

Student perspective

"In written answers, dyslexic students are more likely to be anxious about and take more time over reading, spelling and written composition. In multiple choice it may be the requirement for rapid reading and recall that presents problems. Extra time helps: students say it reduces pressure but it does not compensate entirely as students may not have been able to reflect all of what they know."

Source: Academic Support tutor, July 2007.

Students in discussion

Dyslexia video: "Dyslexic students: approaching exams and using extra time.." Duration: 1 minute : 49 seconds

Dyslexic students: approaching exams and using extra time.

"…it helps a lot and lets me check off the questions…because sometimes there's just that one line in there that I've missed…" (1 min 49s video by Joe Cornfield et al.)

In more depth

Dyslexia video: "Dyslexic students and exams: giving effective feedback on performance.." Duration: 4 minutes : 13 seconds

Dyslexic students and exams: giving effective feedback on performance.

"…but she hadn't realised that it was the level of detail that was really required…" (4 min 13s video by Barbara Taylor et al.)

Teaching methods

Inclusive teaching:

  • Ensure that marking criteria are explicit about whether errors in spelling and written expression are penalised and that students are informed.
  • Where spelling and grammar are part of assessment (e.g. in Languages), be clear about the rationale for this and the percentage of marks attached to them.
  • Consider the extent to which exam success relies on speed and memory and whether these are what is being assessed.

Examples of practice

Dyslexia video: "Feedback on exams: written sheets in History.." Duration: 2 minutes : 28 seconds

Feedback on exams: written sheets in History.

"…students who've got very particular learning strategies can get feedback on how those strategies are actually working…" (2 min 28s video by Nick Thomas)

Dyslexia video: "Feedback on exams: 1 to 1 tutorials in Geography.." Duration: 1 minute : 26 seconds

Feedback on exams: 1 to 1 tutorials in Geography.

"…we give them their numeric marks…and then back that up…by giving them much more intensive feedback in a PARS tutorial…" (1 min 26s video by Robert Dugdale)

Reasonable adjustments:

  • Follow recommendations for exam arrangements.
  • Be aware that extra time does not allow the effects of dyslexia to be eliminated.
  • Be clear about the recommendations implied by the presence of a dyslexia sticker.
  • Consider the small number of situations where an alternative form of assessment is appropriate.

Examples of practice

Dyslexia video: "Making individual adjustments for online exams.." Duration: 2 minutes : 56 seconds

Making individual adjustments for online exams.

"…We can send exam papers in both colours to both these students simultaneously just by pressing a few buttons…" (2 min 56s video by Simon Wilkinson et al.)

In more depth

Dyslexia video: "Negotiating reasonable adjustments for online exams.." Duration: 3 minutes : 4 seconds

Negotiating reasonable adjustments for online exams.

"…I think the first thing is we would try and liaise with the student to find out why they felt they would be disadvantaged by taking the exam online…" (3 min 4s video by Simon Wilkinson)

Thinking about dyslexia © Copyright The University of Nottingham
This page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/dyslexia/assessment/exams/
Printed: 04:32 am, Friday 20th October 2017