Montana State University

Student Policy on Testing

To minimize the effect of disability on test and quiz performance, Disabled Student Services authorizes nonstandard testing conditions for qualified students with disabilities. Individual needs of the student, as supported by disability documentation, will be considered when determining appropriate testing accommodations. The following policies and procedures apply in all instances where nonstandard testing conditions are provided.

  1. A. When extended time and/or a distraction-free room are the only special testing conditions required, the instructor will arrange accommodations. The students's responsibilities are as follows:
    1. The student must contact the instructor as early as possible to request extended time and/or a distraction-free room. The student's DSS Certification Card should be shown when accommodations are requested. The instructor may contact MSU Testing Services at 994-6984 to arrange to have the exam given there (Renne Library Room 19). Testing Services can provide extended time and a relatively distraction-free environment. If extended time is the only required accommodation, the instructor may elect to provide the accommodation directly.
    2. The student should remind the instructor again 2-3 days before the exam that extended time and/or a distraction-free room will be needed.
  2. If the student has the accommodation of alternative format exams or use of assistive devices, the Testing Center will proctor the exam. The following procedures must be followed by students who wish to take exams in the Testing Center.
    1. The Testing Center will provide the student with a copy of the "Testing Information Form" for each class for which exams will be taken in the Testing Center.
      • The student and course instructor will discuss exam times and accommodation needs and fill in exam dates and times.
      • The student must ask the instructor to note special exam conditions (e.g., open book/open notes, use of a calculator, etc.) on the "Testing Information Form." Such special conditions will not be allowed without written approval from the instructor.
      • The instructor will indicate his/her preferred method for exam delivery and return.
      • The instructor will make a copy of the completed "Testing Information Form" for his/her files, and the student will return the original of that form to Disabled Student Services. If space is available at the times indicated on the information form, exams will be scheduled, and the student will receive a copy of the information form for his/her files.


      • No exam may be taken in the Testing Center unless it has been properly scheduled. This requires submission of a "Testing Information Form."
      • To assure availability of space and proper execution of accommodation arrangements, exams should be scheduled during the first two weeks of the term. If exam accommodations are not approved until after the beginning of the term, scheduling should be completed within a few days of that approval. Two to three working days before the exam, the student should again contact the Testing Center and the instructor to confirm scheduling and accommodation arrangements.
      • If an exam is canceled or rescheduled or if there is a change in needed testing accommodations, the student must notify the Testing Center of such changes at least two working days prior to the scheduled testing date. A student who fails to give proper notification of such changes will be required to confer with a Testing Center staff member before being permitted to schedule additional accommodated testing.
      • The student must Be ON TIME to take exams. The time allowed to complete an exam will be reduced by the amount of time the student is late. If a student fails to show up for a scheduled exam, the exam will be returned to the instructor, and it will be necessary for the student to reschedule the exam by completing another "Testing Information Form."
      • No unauthorized items (e.g., coats, backpacks, calculators, notes, books, etc.) may be taken into the testing room. Also, a student is not permitted to use his/her own personal computer on exams unless authorized by the instructor to do so. (A computer with Word Perfect software is available in the Testing Center and may be used for exams when appropriate.)
      • A student must remain in the assigned room once testing begins. All Tests must be returned to the front desk after completion. If a student leaves the Testing Center during the exam without permission, all exam materials will be collected immediately and returned to the instructor.

Additional Information

Extended Time Policy:
MSU Shall provide extended time on exams to qualified students with disabilities, based upon the individual needs of the student. Extended time will be granted in a manner that does not discriminate against the student on the basis of disability.

When extended time is warranted, the minimum and most common extension granted at MSU is time-and-a-half. If a reader or scribe is used, double time is the minimum and most common extension. Decisions concerning the appropriate time extension will be made on a case-by-case basis, keeping in mind such factors as the specific disability involved, other accommodations being provided, the type of test being administered, and the appropriateness of the accommodation to MSU's academic environment. (See King W. and Jarrow J., Testing Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities, pp. 11-12.)

MSU will not extend unlimited time to a student nor will it otherwise modify its examination policies in a manner which fundamentally or substancially lowers the essential academic standards of the institution, its colleges, its departments or any course it offers.

Assistive Devices:
The following assitive devices are housed in Disabled Student Services and, when appropriate, may be used by students during tests.

  • Kurzweil 3000 screen-reader software
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition system
  • CCTV with 20" color monitor
  • magnification device