Exam Accommodations

Important Exam Update - COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Due to CUNY’s mandate for Distance Learning, The AccessAbility Center/Student Disability Services is not administering in-person exams until further notice. Students are strongly encouraged to speak to their professors about any upcoming exams and accommodations that are needed.

During this time students are required to submit Exam Requests via the online Exam Portal, as usual, so that the AAC/SDS staff can communicate with professors about accommodations. 

Exam Accommodation Portal: https://central.ccny.cuny.edu/index.php

Please reach out to aacexams@ccny.cuny.edu for questions and concerns. 


Overview of Exam Accommodations

In order to enable students with disabilities to take exams on an equal basis with their peers, The AccessAbility Center/Student Disability Services (AAC/SDS) provides exam accommodations through City Central. Exam accommodations are changes to the administration of an exam, in order to remove obstacles in the exam-taking process that are presented by the student’s disability. This is done without modifying the exam’s content, or changing the standard by which it is graded. The online City Central Exam Accommodation Portal was created for the purpose of coordinating exams with accommodations for registered students with disabilities at AAC/SDS. Both students and faculty complete this online City Central form for each respective exam that is to be proctored with accommodations at AAC/SDS. Providing accommodations is a campus-wide responsibility that includes faculty cooperation and involvement. 

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and amendments (ADA) of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and amendments, and other related laws and regulations, students registered with the AAC/SDS may receive exam accommodations upon meeting with and receiving approval from an AAC/SDS counselor. As per the ADA law, “the examination is selected and administered so as to best ensure that, when the examination is administered to an individual with a disability that impairs sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the examination results accurately reflect the individual’s aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factor the examination purports to measure, rather than reflecting the individual’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills [.]” 28 C.F.R. §”36.309(b)(1)(i). Exam accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the functional impairment of the disability.

Common examples of exam accommodations are:  Extended Time (150% or 200%), Reduced-Distraction Environment, Use of a Computer, Reader, Scribe, Permit Breaks, Use of Assistive Technology, Use of a Calculator, Use of Spell Checker. Alternate Format of Exams (large print, digital, Braille, etc.)

Exam Administration & Security

Exams are managed by the Exam Coordinator and administered in a separate location designated specifically for students registered with the AAC/SDS in NAC 1/217.

  • Academic Integrity Policy: Students are held to the same academic standards upheld by the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity which reads as follows:

“Academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion.”

Academic dishonesty is defined as: cheating, plagiarism, obtaining unfair advantage, falsification of records and official documents. If a student is observed cheating or using materials not permitted on an exam, the Exam Coordinator will file an incident report and notify the professor.

  • Exam Security: The AccessAbility Center/Student Disability Services follows all IT and CUNY guidelines and protocols regarding the safekeeping, administration, and delivery of exam material, including FERPA and HIPAA regulations related to privacy and confidentiality.
  • Exam Access: Only AAC/SDS staff and the faculty member who submitted the City Central Exam Accommodation Form have access to uploaded exams. At no point do students or other departments have access to exams uploaded to the secure portal. 

Before the Exam

In order to receive exam accommodations, students must complete the following procedure:

  • Meet with an AAC/SDS counselor to discuss disability impact and receive approval for accommodation.
  • Read and sign the Policies and Procedures Agreement for Accommodations Form.
  • Accommodations Memo: Email your professors your Accommodations Memo as soon as possible—at least 5 business days in advance of the exam. 
  • Exam Accommodation Form: Fill out and submit an Exam Accommodation Form through City Central’s Exam Portal. Completed forms must be submitted to the AAC/SDS at least one week/7 days prior to the exam date. If an Exam Accommodation Form is not completed in City Central portal one week in advance, exam proctoring is not guaranteed.
  • Students are able to take exams with accommodations in NAC 1/217 during the hours Monday, Wednesdays, & Fridays, 9:00am-5:00pm and Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:00am-7:00pm. Exams That End After 7PM: Exams that will end beyond AAC/SDS available hours will require rescheduling to ensure that the student receives their full accommodations.
  • Alternate Hours: Hours may vary during summer and winter sessions. During high peak times such as midterms and finals, AAC/SDS will open earlier/later depending on need. The Exam Coordinator can provide information about any changes in hours. 
  • Arriving On Time: Arrive 10 minutes before the exam begins and go to NAC 1/217A where the Exam Coordinator is located. If you are late to an exam, the time dedicated to take the exam will decrease accordingly.
  • Multiple Exams: If you have multiple exams on the same day, schedule your exams on separate days with the assistance of the Exam Coordinator and AAC/SDS counselor. The Exam Coordinator will assist students to reschedule exams that overlap due to extended time.
  • Extenuating Circumstances: If there are extenuating circumstances, please address this prior to the exam date and time with AAC/SDS staff (within 48 hours/2 business days at the latest). For example, if an exam is proctored with accommodations at an alternate time and location, consultation must be sought from AAC/SDS staff regarding its administration.
  • Exam Date/Time Change: If you need to change an exam date, contact your professor to determine whether the exam can be rescheduled. AAC/SDS cannot change exam dates/times without faculty permission.
  • Lateness: If you will be late or absent due to disability-related illness, you will work with the Exam Coordinator and AAC/SDS counselor to reschedule the exam.

During the Exam

Exam proctoring includes:

  • Securing your personal belongings not permitted for use during the exam (including but not limited to cellphones, smartphones, smartwatches, study sheets, tablets, supplies, book bags, and CCNY ID) in a secure AAC/SDS locker. You will be assigned a secure locker by the Exam Coordinator, which is where your belongings will be placed.
  • Regular check-ins and monitoring by live cameras.
  • Students will be notified of when they have 10 minutes remaining.
  • Collecting all exam documentation (exam, responses, and scrap paper) upon completion.
  • Restroom Breaks: Only use assigned AAC/SDS restrooms and you must notify the Exam Coordinator when you are leaving to use the restroom. Time dedicated to exams will decrease accordingly during restroom breaks.
  • Other Breaks: Other breaks must be determined prior to the beginning of the exam and must be supported in the student’s documentation (e.g., necessary snack breaks, or time to stretch). Students will not have access to personal belongings during breaks.
  • Food and Drinks: Small snacks and bottles of water are permitted in the exam room.

The AAC/SDS provides the following materials to students during exams:

  • Scientific/Graphing* calculators (only when permitted). The Exam Coordinator will clear and reset student’s graphing calculator memory prior to exam administration.
  • Rulers
  • Blue books
  • Scrap paper: You are provided scrap paper in all testing spaces. Scrap paper is included with completed exams for return to your professor.
  • Writing utensils

After the Exam

  • Personal belongings stored in your assigned locker will be returned after the exam.
  • You will sign a form indicating completion of the exam. 
  • The Exam Coordinator will scan and upload your completed exam to the City Central Exam Portal for the professor.