English language special needs

Trinity is committed to creating an inclusive environment where candidates with special needs, disabilities and health conditions are able to demonstrate their skills and feel welcomed.

We aim to make our exams accessible to all. We treat each learner individually when considering how we can achieve this aim, recognising that requirements vary. Candidates can be assured that we do not compromise on the standard of marking or allow the quality of exams to be affected in any way. 

For candidates who require any adjustments to their exam, or would like to make the examiner aware of a disability or health condition, one of the following Special Needs Provision forms must be completed and submitted at the time of entry, along with appropriate supporting evidence (if required - please see the section below).

Forms should be submitted a minimum of 28 days before the exam date. If the request is for modified exam materials (eg large print or Braille) you must give at least six weeks’ notice. Notes and forms handed to the examiner on the day of the exam are not acceptable.

  • International and Skills for Life Candidates
    Special needs adjustments should be applied for through your college, school or the centre where you are taking the exam. Please inform your English teacher or centre if you have any requirements, and they will coordinate the application.
  • SELT candidates (UKVI, TfL)
    When you book your test online, please select ‘Yes’ on the part of the form where it says ‘Special needs/requirements’ and enter any information about your needs/requirements. A Trinity staff member will be in touch to discuss your needs and tell you how to apply for any arrangements.

Supporting evidence

We require evidence of need for any adjustments which could potentially give an advantage to candidates who do not need them, or which alter the format of the exam. Please refer to the table below to find out which adjustments we require supporting evidence for.

Evidence should be from an appropriately qualified medical or educational professional, and should demonstrate how the candidate’s condition affects access to the exam in question. Trinity reserves the right to turn down requests for adjustments if sufficient information is not provided.

If you are not sure whether your evidence is suitable, please contact language-csn@trinitycollege.co.uk


Adjustment

Evidence required?

Extra time

Yes

Headphones/speakers for Listening task

Yes

Transcript for listening task

Yes

Use of word processor

Yes

Supervised rest breaks

Yes

Enlarged/modified written exam paper

No

Braille exam paper

No

Examiner briefed (Speaking & Listening only)

No

Other

Please contact  language-csn@trinitycollege.co.uk  

Useful Trinity links

If you have any specific questions regarding special needs procedures for Trinity’s English Language examinations, please email: language-csn@trinitycollege.co.uk


Appeals

If a candidate, or their representative, is not satisfied with the decision made by Trinity College London with regard to special needs provision, they have the right to appeal. Any appeal must be submitted in writing to appeals@trinitycollege.co.uk, with supporting evidence as appropriate.

Please note that, whilst an appeal will be considered and concluded within 30 days of receipt, this may prevent the candidate from sitting the exam on the chosen date.

 

Special needs provision

Please see the details below for some of the options available for candidates with special needs. This information is not exhaustive, and we strive to respond to a candidate’s individual needs where possible.

For requirements not listed please contact language-csn@trinitycollege.co.uk to discuss your needs.

Speaking & Listening exams

1. Extra time (ISE, GESE, SfL)

Candidates with special needs, disabilities and health conditions may require extra time to complete their exam; the amount of extra time available to candidates who qualify is usually 25%, although up to 100% may be requested in certain circumstances.

Evidence of need is required for all extra time, and additional evidence may be requested if more than 25% extra time is applied for.

2. Headphones/hearing aid compatible speakers for Listening task (ISE)

Some candidates with hearing loss may require headphones to improve the quality of sound, cut out background noise or to be compatible with hearing aids. Candidates or centres are expected to provide their own equipment, and must submit it for inspection if requested. Supporting evidence is required for this adjustment.

3. Transcript for listening task (ISE)

Some candidates with hearing loss will not be able to access the listening task, even with headphones, and will need to lipread to understand what is being said. In these cases, the examiner may read out a transcript of the listening task rather than playing a recording. Supporting evidence is required for this adjustment.

4. Examiner briefed (ISE, GESE, SfL)

Sometimes it is useful for the examiner to be briefed about a candidate’s condition so that they can be sensitive in the way they deliver the exam, even if no specific adjustments are needed. However, please be aware that assessment standards remain the same for all candidates.

Reading & Writing exams

1. Extra time (ISE, SfL)

Candidates with special needs, disabilities and health conditions may request extra time to complete their exam; the amount of extra time available to candidates who qualify is usually 25%, although up to 100% may be requested in certain circumstances.

Evidence of need is required for all extra time, and additional evidence may be requested if more than 25% extra time is applied for.

2. Use of word processor (ISE, SfL)

Candidates who are unable to write by hand, due to a physical disability, or a learning difficulty affecting (for example) the ability to structure work or hand-write legibly, may apply to use a word processor for their exams (where exams would usually be paper based).

Centres are expected to supply their own equipment, and must ensure that all spelling and grammar functions are disabled, the computer is not connected to the internet, and any relevant files are removed. Centres may be asked submit equipment for inspection. Supporting evidence is required for this adjustment.

3. Supervised rest breaks (ISE, SfL)

Rest breaks may be used where a candidate does not require any extra time to complete the exam itself, but may need a ‘time out’.

If a rest break is required, the timing of the examination is paused and re-started when the candidate is ready to continue. During the supervised rest break the candidate must not have access to the question paper/answer booklet, and must be accompanied by an examiner if they need to leave the exam room.

4. Enlarged/modified written exam paper (ISE, SfL)

Written exam papers can be provided in alternative formats- typically large print (A3), and/or printed on coloured paper. We can also provide papers in Braille - British Grade 1, British Grade 2 or UEB (Unified English Braille).

Please note that for modified papers we require at least 6 weeks’ notice. If you have specific requirements please contact language-sen@trinitycollege.co.uk.

 

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