Assessment arrangements

How can I obtain adapted materials for assignments or portfolios?

SQA can also provide adapted versions of coursework assessment tasks for Administration and IT and Accounting on request. These requests must be submitted to SQA by e-mail to aarequests@sqa.org.uk. Please do not request these adaptions through the AAR system.

My candidate is colour-blind, and some question papers contain colour content; is an adapted question paper available?

Exam question papers can be modified if there is colour content. See guidance for this in the following resource: Additional Guidance for Requesting Adapted Question Papers and Artwork through AAR (2.59 MB).

Where can I find guidance on adapted question papers?

You can find this information in the following resource: Additional Guidance for Requesting Adapted Question Papers and Artwork through AAR (2.59 MB).

Can a candidate use a calculator in a Mathematics non-calculator exam paper?

If candidates have a problem in Maths such as dyscalculia, sequencing problems, visual problems, short term, and long-term memory problems and if using calculator enables these candidates to bypass their difficulties, then the use of a basic non-scientific calculator in the non-calculator maths paper would be allowed.

Is there any guidance available on digital question papers?

Further information on the use of digital question papers can be located on page 14 of the Assessment Arrangement Explained (332 KB) document.

How much extra time can we provide to a candidate in an exam?

The amount of extra time required may vary according to the candidate’s individual needs. There must be appropriate evidence indicating the impact of the candidate’s disability on their ability to complete tasks in a specified time and that a specific amount of extra time is appropriate.

If a candidate gets extra time in an exam, can they also have this arrangement for classroom and pre-exam coursework?

If a candidate is identified as requiring extra time in an internal assessment, you only need to seek approval from SQA for any assessments where the performance of a task in a specified time is an actual assessment requirement.

I have a candidate who has limited mobility due to their difficulty. Can someone assist with using, for example, an ordnance survey map?

As long as your centre has evidence to support the need, a practical helper could be requested for health and safety reasons - the helper would be able to fetch, carry and hold steady equipment at the explicit instructions of the candidate. Further information and guidance can be located in the Assessment Arrangement Explained (332 KB) document.

My candidate uses a prompter in class due to their difficulty. Would this be allowed in an exam?

Yes, a member of staff may act as a prompter to keep the candidate’s attention on task. The member of staff must not communicate with the candidate in relation to the production of any exam work. No advice must be given regarding which questions to answer, in which order the questions should be answered etc. The member of staff must not be the class teacher in the subject concerned or a relative who has a vested interest in the success of the candidate.

Can anyone act as a reader for a candidate in SQA exams?

The reader cannot be the class teacher in the subject concerned or a relative who has a vested interest in the success of the candidate. Also, there should not be any conversation between the candidate and the reader.

Are candidates allowed to take breaks during an exam?

Rest periods and supervised breaks are permitted during a timed assessment. The time taken for the break does not count towards the time allowed for the assessment concerned. It is the centre's responsibility to supervise the candidate if they are out of the room. This is not the invigilator’s responsibility.

Is it possible to have several candidates, who require to be in separate accommodation, in the same room?

Yes, as long as no other assessment arrangements are in place that may cause a distraction, for example, a reader, scribe or prompter. However, having a small number of candidates using ICT or who just need that separate accommodation is acceptable.

Would my candidate be permitted to use a spell-checker in an exam?

Yes, if your candidate has a significant spelling difficulty, the use of ICT with or without spellchecker can be requested through the AAR system.

Are candidates allowed to use text-to-speech/speech recognition software in SQA exams?

Yes, speech recognition software can be used in examinations and assessments (including National 3 and 4 Literacy units and National courses in English). However, it is not allowed in the assessment of writing in Modern Languages and Gaelic (Learners).

Where can I find exam support forms?

You can find exam support forms at https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/8421.html.