how to qualify for extra time in exams

How to Qualify for Extra Time in UK Exams

Qualify for Extra Time in UK Exams

Students can feel a lot of stress and worry before tests and exams. There are some people who can’t finish their exams on time for a variety of reasons. For instance, they have trouble learning, physical limits, or mental health issues. This is something that schools in the UK know about. They make sure that everyone has the same chances by giving them extra time. This blog post will explain how student’s can get extra time for exams. So, if you are wondering “what makes you eligible for extra time,” this blog is for you.

How do I get more time?

The grounds for granting students additional time to complete exams are varied. The most important of which are the candidate’s needs and the verification that those needs are valid. Moreover, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) is in charge of access plans like extra time. Students frequently receive extra time for the following reasons:

Having trouble learning

Students who have learning disabilities like dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dyspraxia often need extra time to finish their exams and understand what they have learned. However, applications usually require a report from an educational psychologist or licensed instructor.

Trouble with the health

Candidates who have health problems that make it hard for them to write or type quickly may be able to get more time. For instance, people with cerebral palsy, arthritis, or recurrent strain injuries may get extra time on the exam. For a considerable period, it is essential to have medical confirmation from either a primary care physician or a specialist.

Mental health issues

Students with ADHD, nervousness, or depression may find it hard to concentrate and work when they are under a lot of stress. Moreover, to get extra time, you need proof from a mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychologist.

Trouble with senses

Kids who have trouble seeing or hearing might need extra time to read questions or understand what is being said. However, for extra time in exams to be granted, proof from a professional in the field, such as an optometrist or audiologist, must be shown.

Why do some people get an extra 25% of time on tests?

Most of the time, student’s with special needs are given an extra 25% of the exam time. Students should be given this standard amount of time to fully understand the subject, get their thoughts in order, and finish the exam without feeling rushed. Furthermore, people think that the 25% extra time is a fair change that strikes a balance between students who need extra help and the integrity of the exam process.

ADHD and Extra exam Hours

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) patients often receive extra exam time. Some kids with ADHD have trouble focusing, organizing their thoughts, and getting their work done on time. Students must show a diagnosis from a doctor to be qualified, and schools often ask about how the condition affects their schoolwork.

Ways to calculate Extra Time

Calculating extra time is straightforward. Typically, all it takes is adding a percentage to the initial exam duration. For example, if the student gets 25% extra time and an exam is scheduled to last 100 minutes:

Extra time = 100 minutes x 0.25 minutes 

which is 25 minutes. So, students will get 25 extra minutes in this scenario. 

Who gets more than 25% extra time on exams?

Although some students might be able to get 50% more time, most students only get 25% extra time. People with more severe or multiple disabilities that make it hard for them to finish exams in the time allowed are usually the only ones who get this higher percentage. People with serious dyslexia, severe physical disabilities, or complex mental health issues may be granted 50% extra time. However, similar to when you had 25% extra time, you needed a lot of papers and proof from experts in the field.

How to apply for extra time

Know what you need

The first step is to admit that you require extra time. Educational psychologists, doctors, or other experts can help you get the proof you need to show how a student’s condition affects how well they do on an exam.

Show proof

Get all the proof you need to show that you need the extra time. For instance, document notes, medical papers, and evaluations from teachers and other experts.

School help

The person at school who is in charge of helping students with special needs (SENCo) usually takes care of requests for extra time. Furthermore, they will send out all the necessary paperwork to board on the student’s behalf. It is important to apply early so that the accommodations are ready on exam day.

Denial or approval of request

The exam board will review your application, along with any provided proof. So, the extra time and any modifications will be communicated to the student if authorized.

GCSE exam Timer and How to Make Use of Extra Time

It is very important to make good use of extra time once it has been given. Even if they have extra time, students should use past papers to check their work while being timed. As a result, these things help them figure out how to best utilize the extra time to complete all portions of the examination.

Useful Advice

Split the Exam 

The exam should be broken up into sections, and each section should have its own time limit plus extra time.

Time yourself 

On practice exams, time yourself using a timer to get used to the extra time.

Stay Calm 

Although having more time may make you feel less anxious, you should still remain composed and focused during the exam.


Giving students with disabilities and special needs extra time on exams is a crucial step in ensuring that they all have the same chance to perform at their best. How well a student does in school can depend on how well they understand the standards, how to apply them, and how to best use the extra time. To make sure that all students feel encouraged and welcome, the school system tries to understand and meet their needs. However, it’s very important for student’s to take all the advantages they can and use them to their benefit.