Exam and Quiz Accommodations

To receive disability accommodations for exams or quizzes, students must be registered with ODA and have given their instructor an accommodation letter indicating they have been approved for exam accommodations. When possible, students are encouraged to make arrangements to take exams with instructors or in the department. By doing this, instructors are likely to be available for asking questions or to inform students about changes that may have been made on a test. A student’s or instructor’s class schedule may prevent a student from taking an exam with an instructor. Therefore, depending on the circumstances, other options for administering exam accommodations may include:

  • ODA on the Hattiesburg campus
  • ODA Scribes/Readers on the Gulf Coast campus
  • Gulf Coast campus Library Exam Proctor for extended test time and minimal distraction accommodations
  • In online courses

Regardless of how an exam will be administered, students are urged to follow ODA's Testing Guidelines. Students should confirm plans with instructors ahead of time. If they will take exams at ODA, then they are encouraged to inform ODA and their instructor five (5) working days ahead of time.

When contacting ODA or the Gulf Coast Exam Proctor to schedule an exam, students should give:

  • course information (name and number)
  • exam date and time
  • instructor name and contact information
  • students’ phone number

To protect students’ privacy, discussions between students and instructors about accommodations should take place in private settings, not in front of the class or others. Instructors needing assistance in arranging exam accommodations, should contact ODA by calling 601.266.5024 or 228.214.3232.

Exams administered at ODA

Students must discuss their exam accommodation plans with the instructor and ODA five (5) working days ahead of time. When students take exams at ODA, they should also inform the instructor so the instructor will know to forward the test to ODA. Unless there is an academic scheduling conflict, exams at ODA will be administered at the same time the class is being tested.
Prior to taking exams at ODA, students must complete ODA’s Student Testing Guidelines (Word), which outlines the exam testing procedures. When exams are administered at ODA, students should arrive on time. If a student is more than 15 minutes late for an exam, it may be regarded as a missed exam. Rescheduling of missed exams with ODA will occur only after the student receives permission from the instructor.
While testing at ODA, if ODA suspects academic dishonesty, the situation will be investigated immediately and the exam may be halted, resulting in consultation with the instructor. Mirrors, cameras and observation will be used to insure that cheating does not occur. Students’ personal belongings, purses, books, cell phones, calculators, book bags, etc., will not be allowed in the testing room unless specified on the Testing Instruction Form (Word) that is completed by the instructor.

Exam Accommodations on the Gulf Coast Campuses

On the Gulf Coast campuses, if the exam accommodations are extended test time or minimal distraction test environment, then students should contact the Library Exam Proctor at 228.214.3459. The Exam Proctor is located in the Library, Room 202 on the Long Beach Campus. Students are encouraged to discuss their exam accommodation plans with the instructor and the Library Exam Proctor ahead of time and follow all ODA's Testing Guidelines. ODA students will not be charged the proctoring fee.
Students needing exam scribes or readers in classes on the Gulf Coast campuses are encouraged to contact ODA and the instructor at least five (5) working days ahead of time and follow all ODA's Testing Procedures.

Online Courses

Instructors and students should discuss exam accommodation plans at the start of the semester or after the instructor receives the student’s accommodation letter.
For students who receive accommodations in online classes, the following are steps that students should take each semester:

    1. Communicate with instructor or academic department to determine best way to deliver accommodation letters if this has not been done.
    2. Confirm with instructor that he/she received the accommodation letter and how the accommodations will be implemented.
    3. Request ODA's assistance if have difficulty delivering the letter to an instructor.
    4. When preparing for each quiz or exam, remind instructor about the exam accommodation plans.
    5. When taking exams with online proctor, keep a copy of your accommodation letter with you in case there is a question.
    6. Inform ODA as soon as possible if any accommodation problems arise.
    7. If you have questions on online proctoring, contact Linda Bass at 601.266.6261or email, linda.bass@usm.edu. Information on online proctoring can be found by visiting the Learning Enhancement Center Proctoring Information website.
    8. If problems arise when taking exams outside of the 8am-5pm work period, ask the proctor to email the instructor and students should write a note on the exam about their difficulty.

To protect students’ privacy, discussions between students and instructors about accommodations should take place in private settings, not in chat rooms or other open forums. Instructors needing assistance in arranging exam accommodations, should contact ODA by calling 601.266.5024 or 228.214.3232.