Exam access arrangements improves with computer based examinations

Exam access arrangements improves with computer based examinations

This exam blog aims to discuss how access arrangements are made easier if A levels and GCSEs are increasingly deployed using computer based examination services.

 Access arrangements for the GCSE and A level candidates that have been prescribed as an important part of an examination officers job

Under the 2010 Equality Act there needs to be reasonable effect to give the pupil or candidate the access arrangements they need to sit the exam. While at the same time not reducing the integrity of the exam.The challenge this brings can be quite burdensome on the school or exam centre. Increasing the management pressure and inevitability reducing the opportunity for pupils to sit exams as schools curtail the pupils that have the complex access arrangements. 

 . Currently as things stand, GCSE and A level exams are written. For exam candidates who cannot write there is the opportunity under the access arrangement requirements to use a scribe. The scribe being a person who sits next to the candidate and writes down what the exam candidate says.  The  are now a range of key boards and software that now goes some way to accurately recording voice to text. In one swoop you would do away with the exam scribe.So too would you not need to organise the scribe or have them on standby.  A reader is another one where a computer can now do it better. Reading computer text out a loud now is so good that is it almost impossible to know the difference between human and computer. Oral examinations which are not part of access arrangements are an integral part of modern language examination. Listening for modern language is another obvious do away when a computer instructs the exam candidate and records their oral answer. 

Computer based exams

ADHD and dyslexia sufferers along with the neurological diversity of the exam cohort will mean there will be varying degrees of extra exam time needed for candidates. This means extra rooms and staff to accommodate not so much the extra exam time more the idea that if exams are in a big room it is disruptive for exam candidates to leave at varying times. So extra rooms are put on the extra time exam candidates. On top of that you have candidates who have varying degrees of extra exam time. Causing more headaches for the exam officer and invigilators. 

In one whole swoop, computerised based examination does away with the wide access arrangement efforts that exam offices have to do. Merely plug in the Unique Learning Number and the exam being taken along with the access arrangement that have been prearranged. Hey presto. Out comes an exam on the screen that the candidate works through. Submits their work over the time allowed. Immediately the exam is sent off to an examiner, or if it is multi choice given a result soon after the candidate has completed their exam.