Need Exam Support?

Considering using a Scribe and /or Reader in Exams?

You may need a Scribe and/or Reader for a variety of reasons. You may have a temporary or ongoing disability such as a mobility impairment or dyslexia.

A Scribe is a person who writes or types for a candidate who is either unable to write or is significantly restricted in their ability to write due to a disability.

A Reader is a person who reads written text aloud either in real-time or on an audio recording for a candidate who is unable to read or significantly restricted in their ability to read due to a disability.

Due to the nature of exams a scribe or readers duties are extremely explicit.

Duties of a Scribe

The primary duties of a Scribe are to:

  • Record accurate and legible responses dictated by the candidate
  • Record ONLY what the candidate has said
  • Read back what has been dictated, as requested by the candidate
  • Make alterations to what has been written if the candidate identifies and dictates the amendment
  • Converse with the candidate only to clarify their instructions, if necessary, emphasising that they are there to act only as a writer and/or Reader and that the candidate should give clear instructions about their requirements
  • Act as Invigilator, ensuring that examination regulations are adhered to

If your needs assessment report recommends that you use a Scribe (Amanuensis) and/or Reader in exams and you would like to, you must apply for this formally, following the University procedure. You will find details on how to do this on the Exams page of your institution’s website.

Duties of a Reader

The primary duties of a Reader are to:

  • Read through the assessment material with the candidate, ensuring that each word is recognised
  • Only read the questions as they are written
  • Read back over parts of the assessment material as often as necessary
  • Read back any part of the candidate’s answers, as requested
  • Converse with the candidate only to clarify their instructions, if necessary, emphasising that they are there to act only as a Reader and that the candidate should give clear instructions about their requirements
  • Act as Invigilator, ensuring that examination regulations are adhered to.

Hints and Tips

  • Scribes will not be a specialist in your subject, and therefore may not know how to spell some of the technical vocabulary used on the course. Scribes may need to ask candidates how to spell words during the exam and decide how to do this:-
    1. as the need arises, which may interrupt the work flow
    2. or whether candidates want the Scribe to write the word and mark it on the paper for the candidates to return to at the end of the exam
  • A Scribe and/or Reader will not be told why you require their support (they will not assume that you have difficulty spelling the course’s technical vocabulary)
  • A Scribe will not discuss the question or discuss the answer you provide
  • You may want to be able to read what the Scribe has written at stages during the exam, in which case seating position can be important. If the Scribe and/or Reader is left-handed, you should sit to their right. If they are right-handed, you should sit to their left

What should be taken into the exam?

You must take all of the items that you would take to the exam if you were not using a Scribe and/or Reader. A Scribe and/or Reader will not know exactly what is expected for your subject, for example if the use of a calculator is allowed. However this information will be provided by the exams team on the day of the exam.

How many people will be in the exam room?

There will be two people in the room – the candidate i.e. the student and the allocated Scribe and/or Reader. A Scribe and/or Reader will also act as the invigilator and ensure that the University regulations are observed.

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