Disability Resource Center

DRC Testing Guidelines

The DRC may provide any one or any combination of the following testing accommodations to eligible students, based on the functional limitations of their disability.

  1. Extended testing time
  2. Modular testing
  3. Reduced distraction environment
  4. Private room (minimal distraction) environment
  5. Testing aides and examination equipment: proctors, readers, scribes and interpreters, markers & chalk boards or assistive technology necessary to take an examination such as; voice recognition software, screen readers, specialized keyboards or similar items
  6. Specialized furniture such as tables and chairs
  7. The fuse of formula cards and cue cards
  8. The use of calculators (as per departmental policy)
  9. Alternative test formats:  enlarged type, taped tests, tests on disk, tests by/on computer, CCTV, brailed tests
  10. Other accommodations as may be determined under ADA guidelines

 Students with authorized testing accommodations, for traditional class-based courses, are tested at 1 of 2 locations:  At the DRC (or place they designate) or the Assessment Center*

Testing at the Assessment Center:  For students with extended time testing.

Students with only extended time testing accommodations (item 1) will be tested at the Assessment Center.  The Center is open Monday through Thursday 8 am to  8 pm. and Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm  Students can take their tests at any time during the day, testing is available on a drop-in basis,  however student must be seated two hours before closing time.

Extended time testing in the classroom, an instructor's office or other location must be pre-approved by the DRC.  Such exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Testing at the DRC:  For students with other or additional accommodations.

Students with other accommodations (items 2 thru 10) must come to the DRC to complete testing.  Designated DRC testing locations are available at all campuses.  All tests are proctored and/or monitored.

Student Responsibilities:

Students must schedule testing times with the DRC at least 2 school days in advance for tests and mid terms and 10 days in advance for final examinations.  Students are required to sign an agreement form on testing procedures before they can begin testing.  Students are not allowed to bring any materials into the testing room that has not been pre-approved by faculty or DRC staff.

Faculty Responsibilities:

Faculty members are encouraged to provide input to the DRC with regard to the testing accommodations outlined on the written Notice of Accommodation.  Instructions for contacting the DRC are included.  Faculty must however, comply with these accommodation instructions until they are changed by the DRC. 

Tests must be dropped off at the DRC (regardless of whether testing is at the DRC or the Assessment Center) at least 24 hours in advance of testing.  A testing envelope is provided for this purpose.  Students are not allowed to transport tests to and from the DRC.  Test may also be emailed or faxed to the DRC.  Faculty can mark additional testing conditions on the front of the envelope.  Pick up preferences for completed tests may also be indicated.

Open book testing must be pre-approved, in writing, by instructors.  Sufficient details should be provided so DRC staff can apply instructor's directives.  Students are not allowed to bring anything into the testing room (papers, books, cell phones, CD player, computers, etc.)

Use of Calculators for testing in math classes must be pre-approved by the department.  Such usage should be consistent across all sections of the same course, but can vary as to course.

 Accommodations for practical, hands-on proficiency demonstrations and similar testing are usually not accommodated.  There are however, exceptions and may require discussions between faculty and the DRC.

Time Frames:  Same Day Testing Policy

It is DRC policy to test students on the same day and generally at the same time as other students taking the test.  Testing at the DRC is done by appointment.  Students must contact the DRC and arrange for a specific testing time.  If testing facilities are not available (which happens during finals, etc.,) testing will be conducted at the first available day/time.  This may necessitate testing to be conduced on the following day.

Students, who request a delay in testing, must provide medical support for such a request.  It is our policy not to allow delays in testing, unless the medical reason is compelling.  The DRC will make every effort to contact instructors about requests for such delays.  Any request for delays, other than medical reasons, will require instructor approval.

Questions about the testing policies should be directed to the DRC Testing Coordinator or the Director.

Additional Conditions and Procedures:

Authorizations for extended testing time DOES NOT automatically apply to home work or take home assignments.  They require a separate authorization.

In-class quizzes (scheduled or unscheduled) present challenges for students with testing accommodations.  It is recommended that instructors contact the DRC to discuss viable options.

Testing in-class

Alternative testing is the number one accommodation provided by disability offices at colleges across the country.  The primary reason for this is that limitation in mobility and the ability to read, write, see, concentrate or understand, at the same level of other individuals in the general population, is characteristic of a wide range of disabilities. 

Testing usually involves extra time but can also include the use of a reader, scribe, interpreter or the use of aids such as calculators, chalk boards, memory aides, computers and the use of software such as JAWS, Dragon Speaking, Zoom text or various combinations of these accommodations.

Providing testing accommodations in class can be difficult, given the range of accommodations that might be required.  The potential for class disruption is also high.  As a result the DRC arranges for or administers all such tests for faculty. We have testing facilities and staff resources to insure that testing is administered as per ADA guidelines.

In most cases, the only testing accommodation which can be reasonably administered in class, is extra time testing, most notably - class quizzes.  In-class testing must be pre-approved by the DRC and must be written into the accommodation letter.  The following guidelines might be useful for faculty who are providing extra time testing to students.

In-Class tests, midterms and finals should be administered at one sitting in one location. Moving a student, holding a student over to another class, allowing student to start and then complete a test at a later date, or letting students take a test home and bring it back is not recommended.  It is easier for the DRC to administer these tests.

Homework and out-of-class assignments are rarely, if ever, accommodated with extra time and are not included within the definition of testing accommodations.  They will always be listed separately, with explanations, on the accommodation letter. Faculty should call the DRC if they have any questions about such an accommodation.

In-class quizzes are considered tests and must be administered with the same accommodations that are authorized for tests. Since quizzes usually last 5-10 minutes and are combined with class discussion or lecture they are most likely to be administered in class.   Extra time can not be waived and can become very problematic since they will most likely disrupt other students and/or interfere with the class instruction. 

In order to have equal access, students must be allowed to participate in any class instruction or discussion and be given their appropriate testing accommodations. Students  cannot be excused to take a quiz elsewhere and miss out on in-class information.

If given a choice, students are told to stay for instruction and skip the quiz- which must then be administered later.

  • The easiest solution is to give quizzes at the end of class and let students go when they are finished. Students with accommodations can then leave to take tests at the DRC or instructors can stay a few minutes extra.  If class discussion about the quiz is held, then this should be done at the beginning of the next class period. 

If the student requires a reader, a scribe, an interpreter or a computer to take the quiz, they should always be administered at the DRC.  In these cases the end-of-class quiz works best.

Extra time can be easily accommodated during a class if you allow all students extra time. Many instructors are already allowing double time by estimating that it usually takes X number of minutes to do a quiz and then allow 2X  time for everyone.  The explanation given to students about quizzes is however critical in order to avoid misunderstanding and meet ADA guidelines.

Instead of saying the class has ten minutes and this should be enough time for everyone to finish.  Do say you are giving a 5 minute quiz etc., and that you are allowing everyone 10 minutes to finish it.  This statement clearly and accurately allows double time.  This option also allows for class continuation after the quiz and would allow students with disabilities not to miss out on instruction and discussion.

One of the new trends in testing is the use of "Clickers" by faculty.  Students are asked to respond to questions posed by instructors and have their answers recorded.  Students are usually given a set amount of time (like 60 seconds) to respond to each question.  This type of test administration presents challenges to students with disabilities. 
Students with extra testing time would need to be accommodated and students with ADHD, Brain Injuries and some forms of LD with distraction-free testing accommodations, might have difficulty responding to such devices.  Solutions such as; giving all students extra time to respond and/or allowing student to write down answers might work. 

In other cases the quiz might need to be administered in some other format or location and discussions as to logistics for such administrations might be necessary between the DRC and the instructor.  In most cases, the student and the DRC will not know, in advance, that clickers are being used, so we would encourage the instructor to contact the DRC, when they have been presented with a letter authorizing testing accommodations, rather than waiting for the student to call us after the first quiz has been administered.