Do you have a learning disability?

If you have specific learning difficulties, like dyslexia, we may be able to help you take your Cambridge English qualification.

What do I need to do?

It may take several months for some special arrangements to be made for you, so you should make your application as soon as possible through your Centre.

What will the Cambridge English Authorised Exam Centre do?

Your Centre will:

  • tell you the application deadline (this may be several months before your exam, depending on the special arrangements you need)
  • ask for full details of your learning difficulty
  • make the arrangements you need to take the exam

If your Centre does not have the equipment or space you need (e.g. a separate room), they will try to help you to find another Centre that does.

Your Centre may also ask you to provide a medical certificate.

What medical evidence must I have?

You must give the Centre a report about your learning difficulty:

  • written no more than two years before your exam date
  • with full details of your learning difficulty and tests which have been carried out
  • written by a fully qualified psychologist (educational, clinical or chartered)

If you do not have (or cannot get) a report like this, contact your Centre.

What special arrangements can I ask for?

There are lots of different options – choose what you need from the list below. You or your teacher can then ask your Centre to make the arrangements you need.

Once you have received permission for any 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.

1. Extra time

You may need extra time to complete a paper (e.g. if it takes you a long time to read the questions or texts, or write your answers).

You can normally ask for an extra 25% of the normal time for a paper. So, if a paper takes one hour, you will get an extra 15 minutes.

You can ask for more than 25% extra time if you or your teacher think you will need it. Remember, however, that too much extra time may make you very tired.

You may also ask for a special version of a Listening test, which is a way of giving you extra time in the test. The supervisor will:

  • 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 you enough time to check your answers

    Check with your teacher or your Centre to see if you can apply for a special listening test

2. Supervised breaks

As well as (or instead of) extra time, you can ask for supervised breaks. This means you can stop writing and take a break alone in another room. This might help if you have difficulty concentrating for long periods. You will be supervised while you take your break.

3. Writing your answers using a computer

You can ask for permission to write your answers using a computer or word processor.

You must not use the spellcheck, grammar check or thesaurus functions if you want to use a computer or word processor.

If you have permission to use a computer, remember:

  • Your Centre may not have equipmentsuch 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 Centre does not have space for you to do the exam with a computer, they will do their best to help you find another Centre where you can take the exam.
  • You must write your own answers. You cannot read out your answers to someone who writes them down for you.
  • You cannot use voice recognition software (programs which turn speech into text).

4. Reading the question papers

You must read the question papers yourself. Although it may take you longer to read the question papers, you are not allowed to:

  • have someone read them to you (a reader)
  • use a computer with screen-reading software

5. Having a copier (or transcriber)

If your handwriting is very difficult to read, you may ask your Centre to copy (make a transcript of) your work. This means that, at the end of the exam, you will read out your answers to the copier, including all the punctuation. The copier will write down an exact copy of your answers, including any mistakes in grammar, spelling or punctuation.

6. Help filling in your answer sheets

In most Cambridge English exam papers, you have to 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 order of questions on a page, you may be allowed to write your answers on a separate piece of paper or, sometimes, directly on to the question paper. Ask your Centre for advice.

7. Transparent coloured overlays

You may ask for permission to use transparent coloured overlays if you normally use them.

8. You may apply for enlarged print copies of an exam paper

Enlarged print papers are also called ‘Modified Large Print’ papers. The question paper is modified, and anything which is not needed for answering the question – for example, frames around texts – is removed. All the words in these papers are in the same print size. 

9. Other equipment

Ask your Centre if you want to use any other type of equipment, e.g. a screen magnifier.

More Exam Regions in Switzerland

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