Assessment Adjustments

Two students painting together


Changes to assessment for students requiring adjustments must not place other students at a disadvantage.

Assessment is the basis for developing, implementing and evaluating teaching and learning programs.

Student learning is greatly improved when teachers provide individualised instruction and appropriate adjustments in the curriculum, the classroom and in testing situations.

Assessment adjustments should be selected on the basis of an individual student’s needs and should be consistent with the adjustments provided during instruction.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the use of adjustments is necessary to ensure the meaningful participation of students with disabilities in any assessment.

There is a wide range of assessment adjustments for students with special needs;
Some examples include:
  • Providing specialised equipment
  • Modifying a classroom environment to reduce anxiety during exams or assessment tasks
  • Adjusting the level of complexity of assessment
  • Providing support in the form of a scribe and interpreters where necessary
  • Providing explicit guidelines for assignments, tasks given in writing to give specific direction
  • Additional time for students to complete assessable tasks – assignments, exams
  • Exemption or alternative arrangements
  • Recognising small achievements using positive reinforcement, communication strategies and feedback
  • Extended time for tests and exams
  • Alternative evaluation/assessment procedures (e.g. substitute assessment- many students experience anxiety with oral presentations; provision of alternative formats to demonstrate knowledge e.g. instead of written journal, video, computer, digital recording device, Braille and oral tests. Oral presentation to the teacher and a few close friends rather than the whole class)
  • Break assignments into manageable sections

Types of adjustments and subsequent assessment

Adjustments to:


Enable students to access information in ways that do not require them to visually read standard print. These alternate modes of access include visual, auditory and a combination of visual and auditory.

Adjustments to:


Enable students to complete assignments, tests and activities in different ways or to solve or organize problems using some type of assistive device.

Adjustments to:
Timing and Scheduling

Timing and Scheduling

Change the allowable length of a test or assignment and may also change the way the time is structured due to the individual/physical needs of some students.

Adjustments to:


Change the location in which a test or assignment is given or the conditions of the assessment setting.

Source: Department of Education and Early Childhood development
Province of New Brunswick