Computer based exams and access arrangements for GCSE and A level

Computer based exams and access arrangements for GCSE and A level

Computer based exams and access arrangements for GCSE and A level

GCSE and A level exams have access requirements to provide reasonable adjustments for exam candidates who would not otherwise have access or be heavily prohibited from accessing the exams. Computer based exams provide a total game changer for access arrangements.

Whereas access arrangements with paper and pen include but exclusively: Extra time, bigger fonts for partially blind, physical space, scribes, readers and use of a computer for word processing. Certainly those who already use computers and devices for reasonable adjustments will see their experience come into line with the rest of their cohort.

Careful consideration for Sendco and access arrangements for computer based exams is important. Especially with the large scale nation wide exams like GCSEs and A levels.

Without a doubt the computer based exams provides amble opportunity for higher quality access. Investment in user experience and assistive technology can widen the access for all exam takers. E.g. different print size, sound and other sensory rich experiences.

User interface and experience with computer based exams need to provide access and reasonable adjustments to achieve this.

The overall, eventual system of on screen exam experience for everyone will bring greater inclusivity and a higher quality user experience.

If computer based exams can develop better user experience for all. The resulting quality of the exam will rise. The better the user experience the truer the exam result. As the exam can focus on the knowledge and understanding rather than the use.

Technologies such as e-readers in assessment may see these more readily integrated with the examination experience, and options such as differential print sizes can be directly embedded into assessment systems.

Technology can also cause challenges for sendco. Sendco exam candidates depending on their disability could find using a mouse difficult.If pen and paper is an issue so too. may be typing too is an issue. Other devices need to be considered.

computer based exams at their most suitable are device agnostic.

This effort to make the exams on equal footings for all candidates may cause un intended consequences and additional problems for SENDCOs. Some of which we cannot phathom yet.

Software - Some exam candidates may well have greater experience to the software than others. Preparation in getting ready to use the software would be required for all candidates . Practice practice practice!.


Devices - or access to suitable equivalent devices maybe be variable.

The systems need to ensure equal opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of their subject / topic they are being examined on despite the technology being used. I.e. computer based exams at their most suitable are device agnostic.

There is not one solution. Rather a process for access arrangements and reasonable adjustments using computer based exams. Options are available throughout. While good timing and plenty of practice on the devices and software is key for all participants.