Two Oxford students sat studying.
Two Oxford students sat studying.

Examination Adjustments

You should apply for exam adjustments after matriculation and no later than Friday of Week 4 of the term before the exam is due to take place. It is your responsibility to request exam adjustments and provide any supporting evidence required. Requests may, for urgent reasons, be considered nearer to the date of your exam.

Your responsibilities:

  • Application: to initiate a request and provide evidence for reasonable exam adjustments for your exams or summative work.
  • Deadline: to request adjustments as soon as possible in the academic year to allow your adjustments to be factored into your exam timetable (no later than Friday of Week 4 the term BEFORE your exam/s will take place. Please note Week 9 of Trinity term is still considered to be part of Trinity term, so any applications for exams in that week should be submitted by Week 4 of Hilary term).
  • Trial arrangements: it is strongly recommended that you trial your exam adjustments ahead of sitting your exams.  This can be arranged with your college office for collections, by using the Inspera practice sites or by attending a exam preparation session

Types of adjustments:

  • Extra time for students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) or physical disabilities/illnesses requiring extra exam time. 
  • Rest time for students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) or physical disabilities/illnesses requiring rest time during the exams 
  • To handwrite or type as appropriate to the exam mode of completion for students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) or physical disabilities/illnesses that make writing or typing difficult. 
  • For undergraduate or postgraduate taught students with a recorded SpLD, your examiners will be informed of your SpLD on their mark sheets and referred to the Inclusive Marking Guidelines/IMG form (previously 2D form) about the possible impact on formally assessed coursework.
  • To sit in-person exams in college for conditions that require a support worker and/or rest time.  
  • Enlarged font papers for in-person exams for those with a visual impairment.
  • Written instructions for in-person exams for those with a hearing impairment.
  • Ergonomic or other seating arrangements for in-person exams.
  • Scheduling of exams at a specific time of day or only one exam scheduled per day due to fatigue effects caused by some disabilities, or for religious observances.*
  • Permission to bring food and drink into an exam - requires a signed letter from the nurse or senior tutor in your college.  Please refer to the information at sitting your examinations.

*Scheduling requests MUST have been submitted by Week 4 of Michaelmas Term in order to be factored into exam timetables.

If you have requirements that are not covered here, contact your college office to find out if these can be accommodated.

Duration of adjustments:

On-going exam adjustments apply for the duration of your course.  If you change course or college, your college will need to re-apply for adjustments.  On-going adjustments include:

  • SpLDs
  • Long term conditions and disabilities
  • Religious observance

Temporary exam adjustments apply either for the year or the exam period.  Temporary adjustments include:

  • Infection
  • Injuries and surgery
  • Changeable conditions such as anxiety, RSI, tendonitis, etc.

How to apply:

  1. Contact your college office or disability advisor, who can advise on reasonable adjustments and what information you will need to provide to support an application for those adjustments to be considered.
  2. Contact the Disability Advisory Service who offer a range of services to you in your studies and assess requirements. They can provide a Student Support Plan, which may be used in evidence for an application for adjustments.
  3. Provide evidence to your college office to support your request (additional assessment/s may be required to evaluate your needs).
  4. Your college office will submit an application for consideration on your behalf.
  5. The Proctors make the final decision on whether to approve the adjustments requested.
  6. Approved adjustments will be notified to your college office and your course organiser/s.
  7. Your approved adjustments will be visible to you in self service and your individual exam timetable (when this is published).  Any issues should be raised with your college office as soon as possible.

What evidence is required?


(Specific Learning Differences)

An educational psychologist's or specialist teacher's report should be provided to the Disability Advisory Service who will arrange a summary sheet to be produced by the university's SpLD specialist.

Your assessment must meet the University of Oxford's Guidance on SpLD Diagnostic Assessments.

 Long term conditions and disabilities

You should undertake an assessment with the Disability Advisory Service, who will review professional assessments and/or medical evidence and make a recommendation on suitable adjustments to exams as part of your Student Support Plan (SSP).

 Religious observance A letter from your faith leader.
 Infection A medical form from your college doctor.
 Injuries and surgery A medical form from your college doctor.
 Changeable conditions (i.e. anxiety, RSI, tendonitis, etc.) Your evidence should address the duration of your condition and what medications are being used to treat the symptoms. 

Contact your college office for advice if you are unsure of what evidence is sufficient to support your request.

Last minute exam adjustments for acute conditions

In accordance with the university policy exam adjustments will be granted for any exams taking place 5 working days after the application has been submitted. This includes adjustments to mode of completion and for late diagnosis of conditions, such as an SpLD.​ 

If you are experiencing difficulties and due to start your exams in 5 working days, you are advised to:​

  • continue with exams as planned (without adjustment)​ and submit a mitigating circumstances notice to examiners if you feel your exams were impacted
  • attend some exams, if that is appropriate, and seek excusal for from those that will be missed/unable to sit (via Proctors)​
  • suspend or withdraw from the exams to take them at another opportunity when adjustments can be put in place (noting any implications for course progression or completion). 

Jury Service

  • You cannot claim exemption from Jury service.
  • If you are summoned to serve during term-time, and particularly when sitting exams, you should apply to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau for deferral or excusal, as set out in the summons.
  • You should seek the advice of your college office.

Religious observance

  • If you wish to uphold religious observances which impact on your ability to sit exams on particular days or times of day, speak to your college office as early as possible. Further details are available in the religious observance and exams guidance.
  • An application for scheduling preferences should be submitted as an exam adjustment application via your college office.
  • Scheduling adjustments must be applied for by the end of Week 8 of Michaelmas term in order for your preferences to be taken into account whilst setting the exam timetable.
  • If it has not been possible to meet your preferences and your exam timetable does clash with your religious observance, you may need to apply for an adjustment to your individual timetable under Part 12 of the Examination Regulations.

Coursework and other assignments

  • Extra time is not automatically applied for coursework and other assignments.
  • For undergraduate or postgraduate taught students with a recorded SpLD, your examiners will be informed of your SpLD on their mark sheets and referred to the Inclusive Marking Guidelines/IMG form (previously 2D form) about the possible impact on formally assessed coursework.
  • If you are having difficulties with your workload deadlines because of illness or other urgent cause then you should discuss with your college. Further information on requesting extensions is available on the Submitted Assessments page and the Problems completing your assessment page.
  • If you are having difficulties with workload deadlines because of your disability then you should discuss this with your tutor and with the Disability Advisory Service.
  • There may be other adjustments that can be made to help, and the extension of the course may be recommended.

Mitigating circumstances affecting performance in exams

If you would like the examiners aware of mitigating circumstances that may have impacted on your performance in an exam, refer to the information on the in-person exams page and the Problems completing your assessment page. You should be aware that exam adjustments are intended to mitigate the impact of your particular circumstances. A mitigating circumstances should only be submitted to the examiners if you feel your adjustments have not fully mitigated the impact of your circumstances.

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