How to Receive Extra Time For GCSE, A-Level and University Exams

How to Receive Extra Time For GCSE, A-Level and University Exams

Often, students may need additional support to perform at their best during important exams such as GCSEs, A-Levels, and university assessments. One valuable accommodation that can greatly assist those facing certain challenges is the provision of extra time in exams.

Gaining extra time during your A-levels or GCSE could be the game-changer you need, particularly if you’re battling ADHD, dyslexia, recent trauma, physical ailments, or other issues of a similar nature.

A-levels can be extremely difficult, and every second matters. We’ll outline doable strategies in this blog for students who are eligible for an extension during any of their examinations. What a relief it would be to have that extra time to do well.

Extra Time in Exams

Extra time in exams refers to a specific accommodation provided to students who require additional time beyond the standard allocated period to complete their assessments.

This accommodation aims to level the playing field for individuals facing challenges such as children with special needs, certain disabilities, medical conditions, or cognitive differences that may impact their exam-taking speed.

The extra time granted is intended to ensure that these students have an equitable opportunity to fully showcase their knowledge and abilities without being hindered by time constraints.

Educational institutions implement this accommodation to promote inclusivity and support diverse learning needs during various exams, including GCSEs, A-Levels, and university assessments.

Read also: Why Many Fail GCSE Exams in 2024

Purpose of Extra Time in Exams

The purpose of granting extra time is to create a fair and accessible testing environment for all students. This accommodation acknowledges that individuals with certain disabilities, conditions, or learning differences may require more time to complete assessments accurately.

The extra time aims to mitigate the impact of these challenges, allowing students to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge without being disadvantaged by time limitations.

It promotes inclusivity by ensuring every student has an equal opportunity to perform at their best during exams.

By accommodating diverse learning needs, educational institutions recognize the importance of providing a level playing field, fostering a supportive atmosphere, and valuing each student’s individual strengths and capabilities.

See also: Can You Get Extra Time For Exams Due To Anxiety in UK?

Can I Receive Extra Time in Exams?

If you face specific challenges such as disabilities, medical conditions, or cognitive differences that affect your exam-taking speed, you might be eligible for extra time in exams.

Educational institutions strive to provide equitable opportunities for all students, and extra time is a common accommodation to support diverse learning needs.

To determine your eligibility, you’ll typically need to provide appropriate documentation and follow the application process outlined by your school or university.

If you believe you could benefit from extra time, it’s recommended to inquire with your institution’s designated department responsible for accommodations or student support services.

Also, see: How Many Marks Is It To Pass GCSE Maths In 2024?

Who is Eligible to Receive Extra Time in Exams?

Eligibility for receiving extra time in exams, such as GCSEs, A-Levels, and university assessments, is determined by specific criteria set forth by organizations like the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). Individuals with various learning disabilities and conditions may qualify, including:

  • Dyslexia: A common learning disability affecting reading, writing, and language processing. Around 10% of UK school children have dyslexia, making them eligible for extra time.
  • ADHD: Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may qualify for extra time as part of their accommodations, though other provisions may also apply.
  • Autism: Depending on the severity of autism, students may be eligible for various provisions, including extra time, to ensure a supportive exam environment.
  • Mental Health Conditions: JCQ is understanding of circumstantial causes of learning difficulties, such as anxiety. Students with mental health conditions might be considered for extra time based on individual assessment.

See also: How Many Times Can You Repeat a Year in University?

How to Recieve Extra Time in Exams

Receiving extra time in the exam hall involves coordinating with your educational institution and following specific procedures. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

1. Eligibility Confirmation:

Ensure you are eligible for extra time based on your documented disability, medical condition, or cognitive difference.

2. Contact Accommodations Office:

Contact your institution’s accommodations office or designated department for handling accommodation requests. Inquire about the process for receiving extra time during exams.

3. Documentation Submission:

Provide comprehensive documentation from a qualified medical or educational professional that outlines your condition and its impact on your exam-taking abilities.

4. Submit Accommodation Request:

Follow the procedure outlined by the accommodations office to formally submit your request for extra time during exams. This may involve completing specific forms or providing additional details about your needs.

5. Engage in Dialogue:

If required, participate in a conversation or consultation with the accommodations office. This interaction lets you explain your needs and discuss how the extra time accommodation will be implemented.

See also: What Time Do Schools Start and Finish in the UK?

6. Review and Approval:

Wait for the accommodations office to review your request and supporting documentation. They will assess whether providing extra time is appropriate based on your condition and academic requirements.

7. Receive Confirmation:

Once reviewed, you will receive an official communication confirming your request for extra time in the exam hall has been approved.

8. Discuss Logistics:

If your request is approved, communicate with the accommodations office to understand how the it will be incorporated during exams. Discuss any practical details, such as exam scheduling and room arrangements.

9. Inform Instructors:

Before each exam, notify your instructors or relevant exam proctors about your approved extra time accommodation. This ensures a smooth and organized exam experience.

10. Manage Time Wisely:

The additional time granted through your accommodation will be provided during the exam. Utilize this extended time thoughtfully to complete your exam without feeling rushed.

See also: How Does UCAS Extra Work: Mastering UCAS Extra

How to Receive Extra Time for GCSE

To receive extra time for your GCSE exams, consider your eligibility due to a documented learning disability, medical condition, or cognitive difference.

If eligible, contact your school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or the relevant department handling accommodations.

Gather comprehensive documentation from a qualified medical or educational professional illustrating your condition’s impact on exam performance.

Submit a formal request using provided school forms, explaining your condition and the necessity for additional time. Engage in discussions if necessary to ensure your requirements are understood.

Await the school’s decision after submission; they will evaluate if extra time aligns with your condition.

Upon approval, communicate your accommodation to subject teachers. During GCSE exams, the specified extra time will be granted. Utilize this time effectively to navigate exams comfortably.

See also: Can a Child With Special Needs Be Excluded From School?

How to Receive Extra Time for A-Level

To receive extra time for A-Level exams, determine eligibility due to documented learning disability, medical condition, or cognitive difference.

Contact your school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or relevant department. Gather comprehensive medical or educational documentation outlining the condition’s impact.

Use provided forms to formally request extra time, explaining the need. Engage in communication, if necessary, to ensure understanding. Await the school’s decision on extra time approval.

If approved, inform subject teachers. During A-Level exams, granted extra time will be available. Use this time thoughtfully for improved performance.

Also, see: What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an A-Level Pilot?

How to Receive Extra Time for University Exams

To secure extra time for university exams, initiate the process by confirming your eligibility based on documented disabilities, medical conditions, or cognitive differences.

Connect with your university’s disability support services or relevant department. Provide comprehensive documentation from a qualified professional that outlines your condition’s impact.

Complete the necessary forms to request extra time, explaining your specific needs. Engage in communication with the disability services team, if required, to clarify your requirements.

Await their decision after submission. If approved, utilize the extra time during your university exams to perform optimally. This process ensures equitable conditions for your assessment while adhering to university guidelines.

See also: What Happens if You Miss a GCSE Exam? | 2024 Expert Tips

Should You Ask for Extra Time in Exams?

Asking for extra time in exams is a decision that depends on your circumstances.

If you have a documented disability, medical condition, or cognitive difference that affects your exam-taking speed, seeking extra time can level the playing field.

It ensures you can demonstrate your knowledge and skills without time constraints. The decision should be based on your needs and the impact of your condition on exam performance.

Understanding the application process, gathering appropriate documentation, and engaging with your institution’s accommodations office is crucial. Seeking extra time can provide a fair opportunity for success and accommodate diverse learning needs in academic assessments.

See also: How to Easily Tackle 11 Plus Exam Revision with Your Child in 2024

How Much Extra Time Will I Receive in Exams?

The extra time granted in exams varies based on the specific exam and your institution’s policies. For GCSE and A-Level exams, the extra time can range from 25% to 50% in most cases.

This implies that if a standard exam is scheduled for one hour, you might receive an additional 15 to 30 minutes.

However, the exact percentage and time extension can differ based on your condition and the accommodations determined by your institution.

The granted extra time might follow a pattern of 25% to 50% in university exams. Yet, the duration could be more flexible, aligning with the university’s academic guidelines.

It’s essential to engage with your institution’s accommodations office to understand the specific extra time allowances for each exam you’ll be taking.

See also: 10 Effective Brain Foods for Studying During Exam Season in 2024


How can I get more time on my exams?

To secure additional exam time or testing accommodations, submit a request with valid documentation demonstrating your disability’s impact on timed testing. Past testing accommodation proof might also be necessary.

How do I request extra time in exams?

Contact your school or university’s accommodations office. Submit required forms and documentation that outline your condition and the need for extra time.

Can I apply for extra time during any exam?

While extra time is a common accommodation, its availability may vary depending on the type of exam. Check with your institution to understand which exams are eligible for that.


In seeking extra time for exams, remember that accessibility and equitable opportunities are paramount. With proper documentation and communication, institutions can provide the support needed for individuals to demonstrate their capabilities and excel in their academic pursuits.



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