Guidelines for Effectively Requesting Accommodations for Alternative Testing
Eligibility & Use
Alternative Testing is a group of academic accommodations approved by Disability Resources for Students (DRS) to provide access to course examinations, tests, and quizzes for students whose documented disability affects their ability to take exams. Students approved for Alternative Testing accommodations may be eligible for a reduced distraction room, use of specific technologies, a memory aid, or the ability to make up exams due to a disability related absence, among other accommodations. Alternative Testing accommodations can be facilitated by the faculty member, academic department, or through the DRS Testing Center. Students should discuss their preferred testing location with their professors. Faculty members make the final decisions about whether an exam will be accommodated in the department or in DRS during business hours.
Use of the Disability Resources for Students (DRS) Testing Center
If the student’s exam accommodations cannot be provided by the department, professor, or teaching assistant (TA), the professor may have the student take the exam in the DRS Testing Center. It is important to understand that DRS is administering the exam for the professor/TA. DRS has no authority to alter any aspect of the exam or how it is to be administered without prior written or verbal notification from the professor/TA. It is the responsibility of the student to adhere to the DRS Testing Center Policies and Procedures to ensure that the testing experience at DRS is positive and problem-free. Any questions about these policies or procedures should be addressed to the DRS Testing Center Manager.
Use myDRS to send Faculty Notification Letter
- Send the DRS Faculty Notification Letter through myDRS to your professor(s) by the first week of each quarter or as soon as the accommodation is approved. Meet with each course professor to discuss details of accommodations (or other TA or staff member if instructed to do so by professor).
- Within one week of sending your Faculty Notification Letter, meet with your professor to discuss the course requirements as it relates to the accommodation(s) requested.
- During this meeting, ask your professor whether they would prefer to arrange your testing accommodations (for example: administering the exams within their office, a room in the department, or the classroom or to utilize the DRS Testing Center). If you are taking exams with DRS, your professor will need to complete a testing contract via the link that was included on your Faculty Notification Letter.
- If your professor submits a testing contract, it is your responsibility to review the contract and discuss any discrepancies or conflict that you see with your professor as early as possible. Schedule exams through myDRS.
- After a Testing Contract is completed you are responsible for scheduling your exams.
- Exams must be scheduled through myDRS at least 5 business days prior to the exam date. DRS strongly recommends that you schedule all of your exams at the beginning of the quarter, once you have received your syllabi with the exam dates.
- If you will be using approved auxiliary aids that require DRS or faculty coordination (for example, memory aids, interpreting, etc.), you must communicate with DRS and your professor at least 5 days in advance. Modify/Cancel Scheduled Exams through myDRS.
- If you need to request a change to the date, time, or accommodations needed for a scheduled exam, for an academic or disability related reason, it is your responsibility to modify the exam request through myDRS.
- If an exam or exam allowances are modified by the professor, it is your responsibility to request that the professor notifies DRS through verbal or written communication, although an email from the professor to firstname.lastname@example.org is preferred.
- If an exam is canceled by the professor, or if you decide to take an exam in the classroom rather than DRS, it is your responsibility to cancel the exam request in myDRS, under “Alternative Testing,” as soon as you are aware of this change.
- Any exams scheduled fewer than 5 business days prior to the exam date will be considered late requests. Late exam requests are approved by DRS on a space and staff availability basis. Professors are not required to allow you to take an exam on a different day if you schedule late and DRS is not able to accommodate due to space and staff unavailability. Please communicate with your instructor(s) and DRS regarding make-up exams.
- If you miss an exam, it is your responsibility to communicate with your professor. If your professor allows you to take a makeup exam, you must ask her/him to email DRS at email@example.com to confirm the date that they approve of you taking the make-up exam. You must then schedule the exam in myDRS and mark in the notes section that it is a make-up exam.
DRS Testing Center Guidelines & Rules
Students who test in DRS facilities agree to:
- Follow all University and DRS policies/procedures.
- Conduct themselves professionally.
- Request testing accommodations through myDRS for each class.
- Meet with the professor to discuss details of the testing accommodations within one week of sending the Faculty Notification Letter.
- Schedule their exams for times approved of by each professor.
Before the exam, students agree to:
- Arrive on time for scheduled exams.
- Leave all personal items (backpacks, coats, hats, purses, cellular phones, etc.) outside the testing room or in the testing room locker.
- Take only those materials authorized by the professor into the testing room.
- Ask about using a timer or personal clock to help keep track of time during the exam.
- Bring all necessary and allowed materials (calculator, scantron, pencils, etc.) needed to take the exam.
When taking exams, students agree to:
- Monitor their time and turn in their exams to the testing center desk before their calculated time has expired. DRS will notify professors if a student uses more than their allotted time.
- Check their exams and notify the testing staff immediately if there is a problem with the exam (missing pages, wrong test, etc.).
- Notify the DRS Testing Center staff when they need to leave the testing center to use the restroom. Students are to place their exams and coversheets on the testing center desk.
- Not cheat. Students will be held accountable to the University’s Code of Conduct.
- Return any borrowed equipment to the testing center desk upon the completion of the exam (calculators, clocks, headphones, mp3 players, etc.).
Arriving late to an exam:
Students arriving more than 15 minutes late to an exam may not be allowed additional time to compensate for tardiness. Prior communication to DRS about the delay may be taken into consideration. DRS will consult the testing contract and/or contact the professor to proceed according to the professor’s instructions. Whether or not the student is able to take the exam may also depend on DRS space and staff availability. Please arrive to your exams on time, as this will make the testing process easier for both you and anyone involved in the accommodation process.
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