What is Reasonable Accommodation in relation to examinations run by the State Examinations Commission?

Accommodations or Reasonable Accommodations in certified examinations refers to modifications in how a test is administered while not compromising the integrity of the examination system. Accommodations may include changes to presentation format, response format, test setting or test timing. In general terms, the provision aims to remove the impact of a disability so that candidates can demonstrate their full level of attainment, while not given any advantage.

Note: An Advisory Group on Reasonable Accommodations was set up by the State Examinations Commission in January 2007 and it issued a Consultative Document in October 2007. Copies are available from Government Publications Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin 1.

Where can one locate application forms and information pertaining to Reasonable Accommodations?

Application forms and further information pertaining to Reasonable Accommodations can be downloaded from the State Examinations Commission website.

Our school has students who need different types of accommodation if they are to participate effectively in the exams – where can we get more information on the most appropriate types of Reasonable Accommodations for them?

In general terms, students with Special Educational Needs who require Reasonable Accommodations in the examinations also require alternative and differentiated means of expressing what they have learned in their day-to-day school work. With this in mind, it is advised that these types of accommodations be considered in the normal planning for students’ special educational needs and implemented accordingly in school.

Further to this, the State Examinations Commission has information that relates to accommodations. They will answer queries in respect of individual cases where differences occur.

Can pupils with Special Educational Needs use calculators in State exams?

The use of scientific, non-programmable calculators is allowed in the certificate examinations in all subjects (see Rule 74 in Rules and Programme for Secondary Schools). Click for more information on the use of calculators (PDF - 38 KB)