A9.1 Special assessment needs

The IB believes that all candidates must be allowed to take their examinations under conditions that are as fair as possible. Where normal examination conditions and assessment procedures would put candidates at a disadvantage and prevent them from being able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge adequately, reasonable forms of accommodation may be authorized. Candidates eligible for special assessment arrangements are those with individual needs such as specific learning issues, an emotional or behavioural issue, physical, sensory or medical conditions, or mental health issues.

For information about the IB’s policy on candidates with special needs, refer to the IB publication Candidates with special assessment needs. Please study this publication before contacting IB Cardiff with an inquiry or submitting a request for special assessment arrangements. For inquiries concerning candidates with special assessment needs, send an email to Special educational needs/adverse circumstances under the Contact us link on IBIS.

Do not inform an examiner about a candidate’s personal circumstances, disability, medical condition or special need of any kind and do not send a copy of the form Request for special assessment arrangement (form D1) or the form Candidates with adverse circumstances (form D2) to an examiner with a candidate’s assessment material.

A9.1.1 Assessment arrangements not requiring authorization

At the discretion of the coordinator (or head of school), the following arrangements are permitted in examinations without prior authorization from IB Cardiff.

  • A candidate is permitted to take an examination in a separate room if it is in the best interests of the candidate or other candidates in the group. For example, lighting may be a particular consideration for a candidate with a visual issue, or a room with an echo may be detrimental to a candidate with a hearing issue. Furthermore, a candidate’s condition or the nature of the special arrangement (for example, a scribe, or a word processor) may disturb other candidates, in which case a separate examination room is justified. If the examination is taken in a separate room, all regulations governing the conduct of the IB examinations must be observed. The candidate must be kept under the constant supervision of an invigilator.
  • The coordinator may arrange for appropriate seating to meet the needs of individual candidates (for example, sitting near the front may be appropriate for a candidate with a visual or hearing issue).
  • A candidate may take medication and/or refreshments to alleviate a medical condition such as diabetes.
  • A care assistant may be in attendance if this is necessary for the welfare or safety of a candidate. The assistant must not be another candidate or a relative of the candidate.
  • A candidate who normally uses an aid (for example, a coloured overlay, a sound amplification device, a radio aid, a hearing aid, a low vision aid, a magnifying glass, coloured filter lenses) is allowed to use the aid in examinations.
  • A candidate with a hearing issue may receive instructions from a communicator. This arrangement must be confined to explaining the conduct of the examination and the instructions in an examination paper. The communicator must not convey information about any aspect of a question in the paper.
  • For a candidate who is colour blind, the coordinator (or invigilator) is permitted to name colours in an examination paper (for example, on a map in a geography examination). However, no other form of assistance may be given without authorization.

A9.1.2 Assessment arrangements requiring authorization

All special assessment arrangements (that is, arrangements other than those listed in section A9.1.1) must have prior authorization from IB Cardiff.

A request for special arrangements must be submitted on the form Request for special assessment arrangements (form D1) and supported with medical documentation (translated into English, French or Spanish where necessary). Send the form and supporting evidence to IB Cardiff, addressed to the Assessment Operations Department, to arrive by 1 May/1 November, 12 months before the written examinations. Alternatively, the form and documents can be sent as email attachments using the Contact us on IBIS. The form must indicate the:

  • candidate’s name, intended registration category and examination session
  • subjects/components affected
  • nature of the condition
  • special assessment arrangements being requested
  • special assessment arrangements currently available to the candidate for class assignments and school examinations.

For candidates who are visually impaired, provide details about the modification of examination papers (for example, enlargement) including the Braille code required for certain subjects, such as languages and mathematics.

A9.1.3 Candidates registered for the anticipated category

It may not be possible to authorize certain special assessment arrangements for anticipated candidates (for example, modified examination papers) owing to the time taken to undertake this task.

For the diploma session one year later, it is not necessary to send a second request for special assessment arrangements. However, if a candidate’s condition changes after the first request for special assessment arrangements has been submitted, inform the IB using the appropriate link under Contact us on IBIS.

For retake candidates it may not be possible to authorize certain special assessment arrangements owing to the time taken to undertake the task. It is necessary to send a second request for special assessment arrangements.