Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHigher Education (University +) · 2 months ago

How are exam accommodations perceived at university?

What do professors think of students who use disability exam accommodations such as extra time, word processor, reader, scribe and other accommodations? Considering the fact that extra time extends the length of an exam, is extra time (or other accommodations) seen as unfair by some professors?


Thanks for the answer. In the U.S, at universities that receives federal funding, if an accommodation is approved by the disability office for a student and requested to the professor by the student it's not really up to the professor to decide what to allow, unless a particular accommodation "fundamentally alters" the nature of what is being tested, or causes an "undue burden": 

Update 2:

However, just because professors legally have to accommodate certain students such as giving students extra time, doesn't necessarily mean all professors think think it is fair.

Update 3:

Thanks for your answers. Are certain accommodations, such as extra time, sometimes viewed more favorably than other accommodations?

Unless the accommodation "fundamentally alters" the nature of the test, in which case it is not legally required or reasonable, I really cannot see how accommodations such as a reader, large print, or scribe give a student an unfair advantage.

Update 4:

For example, if you just have an electronic reader as an accommodation on a history test, unless it is testing the ability to read efficiently using sight (unlikely especially on a history test), how would that give you an unfair advantage on the test when it's just compensating for reading and not for knowing the answers? If a student didn't know the answers I don't see how a reader would help them know the answers?

4 Answers

  • John
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    This answer is just my personal opinion, so don't take it as being written in stone.  

    I believe disability accommodations previously were viewed favorably by most professors.  One facet of the ongoing college admissions scandal, however, was abuse of disability accommodations for the SAT and ACT.  I think those needing accommodations in the future (for both the entrance exams and regular tests) will face more scrutiny and oversight than before.   

  • MS
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I've never known a professor who feels these accommodations are unfair in any way.  Every school I've been associated with has had an excellent disability services office that manages the accommodations for faculty, so it shouldn't be a hassle or inconvenience.  I don't bat an eye at these accommodations and I don't think differently of the students who receive them. 

  • 2 months ago

    Truth is, they don't really care. The university has policies to deal with exams and the lecturers know those policies. It's in their contracts of employment. Many universities have anonymous marking where you are given an exam number, the lecturer marks the scripts and enters results against that number, and they are assigned back to the student by computer systems afterwards.

    Lecturers have multiple courses and possibly hundreds of students. They have research to conduct and possibly graduate students to supervise. They really don't care if a handful of students require additional support and request that through the disability office. Every lecturer I ever had teaching me, whether a soft touch or hard boiled egg, wanted students to succeed, wanted to push the mental abilities of students, and wanted to test your understanding of the material. Allowing students the opportunity to do that, irrespective of what support or conditions that student might require in an exam, is pretty much what all lecturers want!

    And to be perfectly honest, every university wants to give students the best opportunity of progression through the course. If students don't, they want a situation where the onus falls solely on the individual - they want a situation where students fail because they didn't do enough work or weren't capable enough. Not because of something the university failed to do.

  • Brian
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Each Professor is different. You have to have a chat about it with each professor to see what thy will allow or not allow to help accommodate you.

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