The British Council aims to ensure that every candidate is treated fairly and objectively and that they are given optimum conditions to take their exams. 

We can make arrangements to accommodate special circumstances or requirements to enable test takers to attend a test centre, to understand questions and to give their exam answers.

If you require special arrangements to undertake your exam, please follow the instructions for each exam below. 

The special arrangements available depend on the examination board and in some cases you may be exempt from a part of an examination because of a disability or difficulty.

Please note, no documents regarding special arrangements will be accepted after registration has closed.

Special arrangements can be made for:


  • If you require a modified version of the test please contact us at least three months' before your test date. This notice period is necessary for the modified test version to be prepared. 
  • If your circumstances require special administrative arrangements to be made which include extra time, you must contact us with at least six weeks' notice. You will need to provide a medical certificate issued within the last two years at the time of registration to the office.

Cambridge IGCSE, O-level, A- and AS level and school exams

Centres entering candidates who have permanent disabilities or who suffer from medical conditions which affect performance at the time of the examination can apply in advance to the Cambridge examination board for a Special Arrangement to be made to allow the candidate gain equal opportunity during the examination.

The Special Arrangements for candidates include:

  • An extra time allowance
  • The provision of specially adapted question papers
  • Assistance with reading and writing

You are required to submit request for Special Arrangements by the following dates:

  • May/June exams - 20 February (20 January for Braille/Modified papers)
  • October/November exams - 15 August (2 May for Braille/Modified papers)

Professional Exams

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS)

CIPS has a responsibility to ensure all candidates have equal opportunities to reach their full potential. In some instances, candidates may require adjustments to the assessment process to give them an equal opportunity.

Applications for Reasonable Adjustments should be made at least eight weeks prior to the date of the examination or assessment.

Candidates may apply for Special Consideration in instances that could not possibly be predicted. Such applications must be made within 14 days of the date of the examination or assessment. This also applies to candidates wishing to report any incident which may have affected their examination or assessment performance.

Before applying for Reasonable Adjustment or Special Consideration, please download and read the related policy document:

Reasonable adjustments and special consideration policy

Reasonable adjustments guidance and application form for candidates

In most cases you will need to contact your examining board or university directly for a special need request. The examining board will contact the British Council about the arrangements and will inform you about the approval of your request. For example, if it will require we set up venue where you do not have to climb a stir case.

University Exams

You will need to contact your university for special need request and exemptions.

Once agreed with your university, please notify us in advance if you have any special needs that you will want us to give attention to. This will inform us as to what special treatment(s) should be given. 

In the case of a physical disability, we will set up a venue where you do not have to climb a stir case for convenience and comfort.

Equal Opportunity and Diversity

The British Council is committed to equal opportunities and diversity and as part of our exams work. Thus, you shall not in any way be discriminated either directly or indirectly on such grounds as sex, race, marital status, colour, creed, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or disability. 

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