Disability Supports for Online Exams

Online exams are a new feature of UCD Assessment. In previous years you may have had none or very few online exams. Disability Supports or Reasonable Accommodations for exams are still applicable to online exams, but you may find some are no longer required due to the different environment.

Some key exam supports which are still applicable online are:

  • Extra time for timed online exams is still applicable. Students with the extra time support should contact the module coordinator for the online exam prior to the exam, giving at least 1 weeks notice. The student should request the extra time to be applied to their exam and attach a copy of their Certificate of Disability Support. This Certificate would be emailed to you after your Needs Assessment or can be downloaded from SISWeb, under the Registration, Fees & Assessment tab and by clicking on ‘My Exam Supports’.

Some Module Coordinators will automatically add your extra time support and will notify you of such if they have done so. If you have any concerns about your support, please contact your module coordinator.

Online exams can take place in many different formats and with different timing procedures. If your online exam is not timed, extra time will not apply. Two examples of different timing procedures are illustrated below:

  1. An exam which is set as 2 hours in length and the student can complete it at a time which suits them across a week. Once the student begins the exam it must be completed in 2 hours. This exam would include extra time for students with the reasonable accommodation of extra time.
  2. An exam which is available over a 48 hour period, and students are not expected to spend more than 2 hours on the exam but they can if they wish. Extra time would not be applied to this exam.
  • The Refer to Grading Guidelines Support can be used for online timed exams. Students entitled to this support will be sent a piece of text to copy and paste at the beginning of the exam script. Module Coordinators are encouraged to confirm that students are entitled to this support by checking the Module Class List on Infohub. This support can only be used for timed exams. 

For other assessments students should use proofreading software such as Grammarly to proofread their work prior to submission. Students can also attend one-to-one and/or group sessions with the Writing Centre.  

  • The Reader support for online exams is now the Read and Write Gold extension which is a text to speech tool. We recommend that they install the Read and Write Gold extension for Chrome and practice using it before your exam. Then on the day of the exam access Brightspace from the Chrome browser and use the 'hover speech' function which will read aloud the text wherever they place the mouse pointer. 
  • If you normally work with a Scribe for your exams you may find you no longer require one during online exams. However, if you would like to work with a scribe, please contact Access & Lifelong Learning on disability@ucd.ie to organise this support for an online exam.


Temporary exam supports for online exams are locally arranged by the module coordinator. If you have a temporary illness or injury, please contact the relevant module coordinator to request temporary exam supports.