PMC Online Exam Accommodations – Frequently Asked Questions

How are my online exam accommodations different from those when I write my exams on campus?

The exam writing conditions of online exams written on cuLearn are very different from writing paper exams written on campus under formal exam rules/restrictions and supervised conditions.

In the comfort of your home, you have control over how to arrange your environment for your exams. As such, you will find that you will not need most accommodations you normally have for exams under formal exam conditions (e.g. quiet location, when/how to take breaks, comfortable furniture etc.)

The only things you do not have control over are the amount of time you have to write an online exam which is set by the professor, and the date and time of the exam.

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How will I receive my usual extra time for my online exams that are timed and administered through cuLearn?

The extra time that you normally receive for on-campus exams will be applied to your online exams in cuLearn.

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Will I have extra time for my final take-home exams?

Your extra time accommodation does not apply to final take-home exams. Most professors usually provide sufficient time for students to complete their take-home exams.

If you are unable to complete a final take-home by the deadline due to circumstances beyond your control, you may consider applying for a deferral through the Registrar’s Office. For more information: https://carleton.ca/registrar/special-requests/deferral/

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My only accommodation is “quiet room” or “alone room” for exams, do I need accommodations for my online exams?

No. In the comfort of your home, you have control over how to arrange your environment for your exams. As such, you will find that you will not need “quiet room” or “alone room” accommodations.

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I use Kurzweil reading software for my exams, and I don’t have access to this software at home. What are my options?

Carleton University has a site license for Texthelp Read & Write, which is a viable alternative to Kurzweil and is compatible with cuLearn.

Installing Read and Write on your computer at home:

  1. Start here: https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/read-write/#
  2. Click on Try Now
  3. Click on Windows (or Mac). Then click Install
  4. Additional step for Windows: from the dropdown list, select “Read and Write for Windows – CA”
  5. After you install and launch the product, you will be prompted to login. Select “Sign in with Microsoft”. Enter your Carleton student email address: username@cmail.carleton.ca. This will activate the product.

It is recommended that you download this software and try it out before your exams. Contact PMC’s Assistive Technologists, Jason Goveas (jason.goveas@carleton.ca) and Jordyn Tremblay (jordyn.tremblay@carleton.ca) if you have any questions or technical difficulties.

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I use Dragon voice recognition for my exams, and I don’t have access to this software at home. What are my options?

Here are some free dictation software options:

  1. Dictation in Microsoft Word – If you have the latest version of Microsoft Word installed on your computer you will be able to use the embedded dictation feature and dictate directly into your document. The following webpage explains how to use the dictation feature: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/dictate-your-documents-d4fd296e-8f15-4168-afec-1f95b13a6408. If you open Microsoft Word and do not see this feature I would recommend downloading the latest version of Microsoft Word for free just follow the instructions on this webpage: https://carleton.ca/its/ms-offer-students/.
  2. Google Docs voice typing – If you prefer to use Google Docs there is embedded dictation software that you can access from any doc.  The following webpage explains how to access and use voice typing: https://www.howtogeek.com/399757/how-to-use-voice-typing-in-google-docs/.
  3. Dictation on MacOS (please note this third option is only available for Mac users) – This is embedded dictation software that is available on any Mac computer you will be able to dictate into pretty much any place where you would typically be able to type but we would recommend dictating into either Microsoft Word or Pages. This webpage explains how to enable, set up, and use Dictation: https://www.howtogeek.com/178636/use-voice-dictation-to-speak-to-your-mac/.

After you have dictated text into a document you will need to copy and paste the text into the text box on cuLearn.

It is recommended that you download the software and try it out before your exams. Contact PMC’s Assistive Technologists, Jason Goveas (jason.goveas@carleton.ca) and Jordyn Tremblay (jordyn.tremblay@carleton.ca) if you have any questions or technical difficulties.

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I have no morning/afternoon/evening exam as an accommodation, will my start time be automatically adjusted on cuLearn?

Yes, your start time will be adjusted. Monitor your Cmail for communication from MEC with your accommodated start time. (Note: All times are in Eastern Time (EDT))

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I have an evening exam with a start time of 7:00 p.m., will my start time be adjusted so I finish the exam at 10:00 p.m.?

Your start time will be adjusted to an earlier start time. Example: for a 3-hour exam that starts at 7 p.m., you would start at 5:30 p.m. if you have 50% extra time.

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My professor is giving us less time to complete the online exam, can I get more extra time?

No. If the online exam has been designed to take the class less time to complete, then your current extra time accommodation will be sufficient.

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If I am sick on the day of the exam, what is the process for deferring the exam?

You can apply for a deferred exam through the Registrar’s Office if you are sick. Online application for deferral should be made no later than 5 working days after the original final examination date of the due date of the take-home examination. At this time the RO will accept self-declaration as medical supporting documentation.

For more information: https://carleton.ca/registrar/special-requests/deferral/

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How should I prepare my physical environment at home to ensure a quiet, calm and distraction-free exam writing experience?

  • Ensure your physical environment is quiet, comfortable and relatively distraction-free during your exams.
  • You may have to make prior arrangements with family members or roommates to give you the space and quietness you need during your exams.
  • Consider wearing noise cancellation headphones or ear plugs to reduce noise from your immediate surroundings.

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I have breaks (e.g. nutrition, washroom, rest) for exams, when can I take my breaks during an online exam?

Since you are writing in the comfort of your home, you are in control of when you take your breaks.

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Will I receive confirmation of my accommodations for my online exams?

You will receive confirmation of your online exam accommodations by email from the McIntyre Exam Centre.

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Who should I contact if I have any problems/issues with my online exam accommodations?

Please contact your PMC coordinator by email if you have any concerns about your online exam accommodations. If you do not know who is your coordinator, please contact the PMC front desk at pmc@carleton.ca

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Also visit Carleton University’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ webpage for more frequently asked questions in the following categories:

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