If you have specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, we can help you take your Cambridge English exam.
What I need to do?
It may take several months for some special arrangements to be made for you, so you should apply as soon as possible through your Cambridge English exam center. For IELTS, you need to apply through your IELTS test center.
What will the Cambridge English test center do?
- inform you of the application deadline (this may be several months before your exam, depending on any special arrangements you need)
- Request all the details of your learning disability
- make arrangements to take the exam
If your center does not have the equipment or space you need (for example, a separate room), they will try to help you find another center that does.
Your center may also ask you to provide a medical certificate.
You must provide the center with a report on your learning disability:
- prepared when you were 13 or older
- including details of the degree of learning difficulty and the tests that were carried out
- written by a fully qualified educational, clinical or chartered psychologist or other suitably qualified specialist advisor.
If you don't have (or can't get) a report like this, or if your report was prepared before the age of 13, talk to your Cambridge English test center.
What special arrangements can I request?
There are many different options - choose what you need from the list below. You or your teacher can ask your center to make the arrangements you need.
Once you have received permission for the special arrangements mentioned below, your answers will be marked in the same way as all other candidates. For example, if you make a spelling or grammar mistake, you may lose marks.
You may need more time to complete a job (for example, if it takes you a long time to read the questions or texts, or write your answers).
You can normally request an extra 25% of the normal time for a job. So if a job takes an hour, you get an additional 15 minutes.
You can request more than 25% overtime if you or your teacher think you will need it. However, remember that too much extra time can make you very tired.
You can also request a special version of a listening test, which is a way to give you extra time on the test. The supervisor:
- Stop the CD before each part of the test to give you enough time to read the questions
- Stop the CD at certain points during each part to give you enough time to write one or more answers.
- Stop the CD after each part to give it enough time to check your answers.
See if you can request a special hearing test for your exam
Breaks in addition to (or instead of) overtime, you can request supervised breaks. This means that you can stop typing and take a break alone in another room. This could help if you have trouble concentrating for long periods. You will be supervised while you take your break.
3. Write your answers using a computer
You can ask permission to write your answers using a computer or word processor.
You should not use the spell checker, grammar checker, or thesaurus functions if you want to use a computer or word processor.
If you have permission to use a computer, remember:
- Your center may not have equipment, such as a computer, that you can use. However, you may be able to use your own equipment.
- You will have to sit alone in a separate room. If your center does not have space for you to take the exam with a computer, they will do their best to help you find another center where you can take the exam.
- You must write your own answers. You cannot read your answers to someone who will write them for you.
- You cannot use speech recognition software (programs that convert speech to text).
4. Read the question papers
You must read the question papers yourself. While it may take you longer to read the question papers, you cannot:
- have someone read them to you (a reader)
- use a computer with screen reading software.
5. Have a copier (or transcriber)
If your writing is very difficult to read, you can ask your center to copy (transcribe) your work.
This means that, at the end of the exam, you will read your answers to the copier, including the entire score.
The copier will write an exact copy of your answers, including any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors.
6. Help to complete your answer sheets
For most Cambridge English exams, you must copy (transfer) your answers to an answer sheet which is then scanned by a computer.
If you find it difficult to follow the numbers or the order of the questions on a page, you may be allowed to write your answers on a separate piece of paper, or sometimes directly on the question paper. Ask your center for advice.
7. Transparent color overlays.
You can request permission to use transparent colored overlays if you normally use them.
8. You can request enlarged hard copies of an exam.
Enlarged print papers are also called 'modified large print' papers. The question document is modified and everything that is not necessary to answer the question is removed, for example, frames around texts. All the words in these documents are in the same print size. They look like this:
Each page in these documents is A4 size.
9. Other equipment
Ask your authorized test center if you want to use any other type of equipment, for example a screen magnifier.