special arrangements for exams

The British Council aims to ensure that every candidate is treated fairly and objectively and that they are given optimum conditions to take their exams. We can make arrangements to accommodate special circumstances or requirements to enable test takers to attend a test centre, to understand questions and to give their exam answers.

If you require special arrangements to undertake your exam, please follow the instructions for each exam below. The special arrangements available depend on the examination board and in some cases you may be exempt from a part of an examination because of a disability or difficulty. Please note, no documents regarding special arrangements will be accepted after registration has closed.

IMPORTANT: Unfortunately we are not able to provide special arrangements service if you contact us after the registration deadline. Please note that no application can be considered unless there is a supporting medical certificate.

If you need special needs arrangement please always contact us via email address pavla.stara@britishcouncil.cz.  

There is no extra charge for the Special Arrangements service

Special arrangements can be provided for:

IELTS

The IELTS test has been designed to be a fair test. Your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any disability or special needs that you may have. We make every effort to cater for all our candidates.

If you have a disability or special need, please contact us to discuss your circumstances. 

Candidates with special needs requiring the adaptation of test papers (e.g. hearing/sight impairment), should submit their application for special arrangements complete with medical evidence to the British Council no later than 3 months before the test date. 

Candidates with special needs requiring administrative changes (e.g. the use of headphones, computer, etc.) should submit their application for special arrangements complete with medical evidence to the British Council no later than 8 weeks before the test date.

Evidence of disability 

  • The evidence should be accessible to the Administrator in terms of language and legibility.
  • The evidence should be an original document on headed paper, and bearing the name, relevant qualification/s and signature of a recognised, qualified professional. 
  • The evidence should give a clear statement of the candidate’s disability. 
  • The evidence should make it clear how the disability justifies Special Arrangements.

Additional criteria apply in the case of applications for Special Arrangements for candidates with specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia): 

  • The evidence must be in the form of a letter or report prepared when the candidate was aged 13 or older. 
  • The evidence must include details of the degree of disability. 
  • The letter or report must include an assurance that the evidence of specific difficulties was obtained through the results of appropriate and recognised tests and the tests used must be stated. 
  • The evidence must be provided by a fully qualified educational, clinical or chartered psychologist, or other appropriately-qualified specialist assessor. 

The organisers of the test may not be able to provide the service requested. Requests submitted after the end of the regular registration period will not be accepted. If you have a disability or special need, contact us

Computer-delivered IELTS candidates, who require special arrangements such as extra time, or modified question paper material, must be entered for the paper-based exam and not computer-delivered IELTS.

CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH EXAMS

If you want to apply for Special Arrangements Service, please contact us by the the standard registration period, preferably sooner (not during the late registration period) - for some special arrangements it can take 6 months before the modified materials are sent. Unfortunately we are not able to provide special arrangements service if you contact us after the registration deadline.

IMPORTANT: Please note that no application can be considered without a certificate from a medical specialist. The medical certificate should be an original document on headed paper, and bearing the name, relevant qualification and signature of a recognized practitioner and should give a clear statement of the candidate’s disability. This certificate cannot be older than two years.

  • If you need question papers in Braille please contact us at least  6 months before the exam
  • If you want to apply for an exemption please contact us at least 3 months before the exam

Once you have received permission for the above Special Arrangements, your answers will be marked on the same basis as for all other candidates.

If you have a disability or special need, please contact us.

You can apply for special arrangements for Cambridge English paper-based exams only.

 PROFESSIONAL AND UNIVERSITY EXAMS

In most cases you will need to contact your examining board or university directly for a special need request. The examining board will contact the British Council about the arrangements and will inform you about the approval of your request. 

You can contact us  for a special need request if you have registered with us for your exam. You will need to provide a medical certificate issued within the last two years at the time of registration.

Please check carefully all the possibilities for special arrangements.

Hearing difficulties

Hearing difficulties may range from a minor condition (where you may need to take the test in a separate room, or use headphones, for example) to total deafness (where you may need a lip-reading version of a hearing test).

What Special Arrangements you can request

For the Listening test:

  • If you suffer from partial hearing loss and can hear with the help of headphones or special amplification equipment, you may ask for permission to use this type of equipment. Please note that you will not be allowed to use a Walkman®, MP3 Player or similar personal stereo.
  • If you want more help than this, you can ask for a lip-reading version of the Listening test.. Your supervisor will read the listening texts to you. You will hear each text twice and the supervisor will make sure you have enough time to read the questions and to write your answers.

For the Speaking test

If you have hearing difficulties, you can apply to:

  • have extra time if it takes you longer than usual to say things or to understand what people say to you

Visual difficulties

Visual difficulties may range from a minor condition to total blindness, and we can supply enlarged and modified question papers for less serious difficulties, or brailed and modified question papers where these are required.

What Special Arrangements you can request

  • Extra time

If you have visual difficulties, you will almost certainly need extra time to complete a paper. You may ask for an extra 25%, 50%, or 100% of the normal time allowed for a paper. Remember, however, that too much extra time may make you very tired. You will also be allowed to have breaks whilst taking a paper, in addition to any extra time you need.

  • Reading the question papers in a different way
  • If you are partially sighted you may use the following equipment: magnifying glass, hand-held scanning apparatus, etc
  • You may ask for a 'reader' to read and re-read questions to you
  • Braille question papers - Braille versions can normally be made available. Please tell us at least 3 months in advance whether you need your papers in contracted or uncontracted Braille
  • Enlarged question paper
  • Having a 'reader' or an amanuensis - a reader is a person who will read the questions out to you. Note that the reader will not explain the questions to you or offer any advice. Reader is not usually allowed to read out the texts in a Reading test. An amanuensis is a person who will write down your answers. We recommend that you practice with a reader/amanuensis before the examination. For example, you should make sure that you can spell out the letters of the alphabet. 

Learning difficulties

What Special Arrangements you can request

  • Extra time - if you have dyslexia or another specific learning difficulty, you may need extra time to complete a paper. You may normally apply for an extra 25 %, 50 %, or 100 % of the time allowed for a paper. Remember, however, that too much extra time may make you very tired.
  • Answer sheets

Candidates are asked to transfer their answers to a computer-marked answer sheet. If this is going to cause you particular problems (for example if you find it difficult to follow the numbers/order of questions on a page), you may be allowed to write your answers on a separate piece of paper, or, if appropriate, directly on the question paper.

Exemptions and Endorsements

IELTS

It may be appropriate for candidates who have a severe disability affecting speech or hearing to exempt from the Speaking and/or the Listening test.

  • in this case, your Test Report Form will have the following statement printed on it: 'Due to extreme speaking and/or hearing difficulties this candidate was exempt from taking the Speaking and/or Listening modules and the overall band score reflects this.'

Please contact us at least 3 months before the exam in case you want to apply for this exemption.

CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH  EXAMS

If the Special Arrangements described above are not sufficient, for example if you are unable to lip-read, then you can apply for exemption from either the Listening test or the Speaking test in certain exams.

  • If you pass the examination, you will then get a certificate which is endorsed (i.e. it has the following statement printed on it): 'The candidate was exempt from satisfying the full range of assessment objectives in the examination.' 

Please contact us at least 3 months before the exam in case you want to apply for this exemption.