April 10, 2014
-- Dyslexic students sitting May GCSEs will be eligible to use text readers such as Read&Write Gold from Texthelp to read out the scanned exam paper in the exam room if it is deemed the student’s “normal way of working”, used regularly in the classroom and in previous school tests. The software does not decode or interpret the paper but is used to help dyslexic students decipher questions – it is common for dyslexic students to get stuck on decoding a single word when they could have spent that time answering the question.
Exams are a concern for many students with dyslexia who may struggle with memory recall and thought processing speed. Depending on the level of support the student needs, they may also have the option to use a spell checker and a homophone checker (to help distinguish between words which sound the same but have different meanings – e.g. there
in the exam).
A computer reader will be allowed in papers (or sections of papers) testing jest reading where a human reader is not permitted and is an acceptable arrangement since it allows the candidate to independently meet the requirements of the reading standards.
Mark McCusker, Chairman of the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) and CEO of Texthelp, said, “Exams are particularly challenging for dyslexic students due to the difficulties they may have with their thought processing speed and reading and writing. With coursework and a modular approach being scrapped in 2015 in favour of exams at the end of two years of study, it is important that schools are aware that support is available for dyslexic students in the exam room”.
For information on Read&Write Gold, please contact Texthelp on T: +44 (0)28 9442 8105, E: firstname.lastname@example.org.