GCSE & A Levels Exam Access Arrangements

There are a range of Access Arrangements and Special Considerations for External Exams such as extra time, ‘read aloud’ facilities, readers, scribes and rest breaks. Some of these do not require an assessment.

Some schools now offer Assessments in-house; these include: Exam Access Arrangements (EAA) Non-Diagnostic Assessment For Access Arrangements at GCSE O Level & GCE (A Levels).

However many EAA’s now ask you to provide the evidence required, and you should first seek advice from the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at your child’s school. However, some schools may not possess the Assessment expertise required for all exam access arrangements or prefer to outsource their assessments. Brainwaves Education Ltd can offer an Assessment to support this.

Parents are advised to think carefully about several facts before seeking independent Assessments for Exam Access Arrangements.  Please note:

  • The decision to provide access arrangements in exams always rests with the school and is likely to reflect ‘Normal Working Arrangements’. A private Assessment may only provide evidence to support this decision.  In some cases, particularly students who are in ‘top sets’ we may identify a need that has been masked.
  • Exam Access Arrangements should reflect the normal study behaviour of your child.  For example, if your child has dyslexia, and has mastered reasonably accurate reading skills but always reads out loud to process information they are reading, then it is reasonable to ask for the ‘read aloud facility’.
  • Extra time for examinations is not always the answer for students with dyslexia who tire easily.  Extra time reduces rest breaks between exams on heavy exam days particularly at GCSE. Think carefully about which exams require the extra time. Would your child benefit more from the rest between exams? Seek the advice of your child’s school during and after mock exams.
  • What evidence is there of the quality of work and marks gained when extra time is offered?
  • Ask the SENCo at your child’s school about the Exam Access Arrangements that may be suitable for your child.

The cost of a Non Diagnostic Assessment for Access Arrangements at GCSE & GCE/A Level


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