Exam Accommodations

What you need to know about students taking exams at the Office for Students with Disabilities:


Students are required to sign up for any quizzes/tests or midterms a minimum of 7 days before the date of the exam using the appropriate exam sign up form. For final exams, students sign up by the semester’s deadline, usually 4 weeks before the start of the final exam period. Instructors receive an automated email from the exam sign up form for each student. Please verify the student-input data included in the email, so we can administer the exam correctly. Corrections should be sent via email to exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca

Submitting your exam

The OSD requires that a copy of the exam be submitted to our office a minimum of 3 business days prior to the date of the exam. NOTE:If this is a Crowdmarked exam, see the section on Crowdmark below.

Exams can be submitted via email: exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca, a OneDrive link, or a hard copy brought to the Exam Center at 3459 McTavish, Suite RS – 56. For final/supplemental/deferred exams proctored through Enrolment Services, the OSD will retrieve a copy of the exam directly from the Central Exams Office. If it is a in-department final exam, you will need to submit a copy to the OSD.

The OSD also requires that instructors complete the Exam Instructions for OSD form so that we have all the information we need to proctor the exam on behalf of the faculty. This form is not required for final exams proctored through Enrolment Services. 

Crowdmarked Exams

Teaching and Learning Services is collaborating with the OSD and will provide them with Crowdmark exam copies directly. The OSD requires exam copies a minimum of 3 business days in advance for administrative purposes, which allows their technicians to do any disability-related technical modifications (e.g. enlarged print, or other alternate format). Instructors will receive an e-mail reminder from TLS a week before their exam date. This means that instructors must have their exam ready in Crowdmark and have added Meganne Hirsch (meganne.hirsch [at] mcgill.ca) as a facilitator a minimum of 4 days before the exam date, so that she can provide OSD with the exam. Crowdmarked exams will be returned directly to TLS for grading after they are written at the OSD. 

In-class exams

If you will be teaching during the same class period as the exam, please note that some students receive additional time as part of their disability-related exam accommodations. We do our best to schedule their exam so they do not miss any important course content. We ask for your flexibility and understanding so that students writing with the OSD are not penalized by missing important course content, or on lateness due to writing at the OSD.

Returning the exam

Instructors have two options for receiving the exam from the OSD: to have it delivered to your faculty’s main desk, or to come and pick it up at the OSD the following business day.

Pick up: you can come to the front desk at the OSD Exam Centre (3549 McTavish, RS-56), Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, the business day following the date of the exam. When completing the Exam Instructions for OSD form, you will be asked to specify the name of the person authorized to pick up the exam. All persons picking up exams are required to show their McGill ID card.

Delivery: Please note that our staff do deliveries 3 times a week and all deliveries are sent to your faculty's main office. We do not deliver to locations outside of the downtown campus (e.g. Mac campus or MUHC hospitals)

Changing the start time of your exam

In order to proctor the exam, it may be necessary to adjust the student’s start time to fit within our exam operating hours. The OSD Exam Center proctors exams starting no earlier than 8:15 am, and no later than 7:30 pm. These time adjustments are done on an individual basis, based on the student’s accommodations and the timing of the exam. Exam security is maintained through sequestering.

Example: Your exam starts at 6:30 pm and is scheduled to run for 3 hours. A student writing with the OSD would have their exam scheduled to finish by 7:30 pm, and would remain sequestered at the OSD Exam Center until 1 hour after the class’ start time (7:30 pm) in order to maintain exam security.

Changing the date of your exam

The OSD Exam Center does not have the authority to authorize that a student write their exam on an alternate date. In the event that a student misses an exam, or wishes to defer a midterm, they are advised to obtain permission from the faculty to write on an alternate date. This authorization email must be sent by the faculty to exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca and include the authorized alternate date. The OSD Exam Coordinators will then coordinate with the student to arrange a time.

Student questions during exams

If you are permitting students to ask questions during the exam, you may need to be available earlier than the scheduled exam time (see above section on changing your start time) We ask that if instructors are taking questions during the regular exam, that they submit a phone number where they or their TA can be reached so that OSD students can have the same access to getting questions answered. This number is not shared with students in your class, but managed by OSD Exam Center staff. When students ask questions, they signal to an invigilator who lets the Exam Center staff know. Exam Center staff place the phone call, and once you have been reached, the student is brought to the phone to ask their question.

myCourses Quizzes/Exams

For exams hosted on myCourses, students will need to sign-up using the exam sign up form a minimum of 7-days in advance of the test, and indicate in the comments section that this is on myCourses. The OSD Exam Coordinators will then follow up with the instructor listed, to inform them of what time accommodations should be added for the students in the course. With the information provided by OSD, instructors can follow the guidelines on Allowing students Special Access to a quiz available on the IT Knowledge Base, and apply the student's time accommodations. 

Alternate formats

Due to disability-related barriers, some students require alternate formats for their exam. This may include enlarged text, Braille, or digitized versions of the exam questions. In some instances, student accommodations include the use of a computer to type their exam answers instead of writing by hand. These computers are provided by the OSD and exam security measures are enforced by the invigilators under the guidance of our Access Technologist. This means that instead of a question booklet, a set of typed exam responses may be returned instead.

Questions and feedback

Any concerns or questions that instructors or administrators have related to accommodated exams coordinated by the Office for Students with Disabilities can be directed to the Exam Center Manager, Rakhee Chowdhury. She can be reached via email at rakhee.chowdhury [at] mcgill.ca or at extension 1508.

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