Accessibility, special arrangements for exams and English courses
Accessibility, special arrangements for exams and English courses

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. 

If you require special arrangements to undertake your exam, please follow the instructions for each exam below. The assistance available depends on the type of exam and in some cases you may be exempt from a part of an examination because of a disability or difficulty.

Please note: Special Arrangements must be agreed with the British Council in compliance with the Awarding Body’s regulations. This process could take a few weeks from the registration date: please take this into consideration when choosing the date of your test and contact us about it as soon as possible. 

Special arrangements can be provided for:


If you need a modified version of test papers, please contact us at least 6 weeks before the test date.

If you require administrative changes (e.g. extra examination time), please contact us at least 6 weeks before the test date.

A medical certificate is required and has to be presented at the registration in both cases.

Aptis ESOL

Applications for special arrangements or modified versions must be submitted six to eight weeks in advance of your test date.

To apply for special arrangements, you should contact us by the above deadline. Your application must be supported by medical evidence, no more than 2 years old.


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. 

You can contact us for a special need request if you have registered with us for your exam. You will need to provide a medical certificate issued within the last two years at the time of registration.  

What documents do I need to submit?

  • A request via email or webform
  • A legible medical certificate, either in English or in Italian, prepared in a period no more than two years before the test date and bearing the name, relevant qualification(s) and signature of a recognised practitioner.

What type of support can I get?

If you have hearing or visual impairments, you may be eligible for modified exam materials, including:

  • Braille papers (Grade 1/un-contracted or Grade 2/contracted)
  • large print: either A4 size (18pt bold font)
  • listening materials: special needs CD or lip-reading test
  • speaking materials: Braille or large print written prompt or large print visual prompt.

If you have specific learning difficulties or physical difficulty you may be able to request special administrative arrangements, including:

  • extra time
  • supervised breaks during the examination
  • an amanuensis (a person who will write down your answers), (only in case of physical difficulties)
  • a reader (only in case of physical difficulties)
  • a scribe/copier (verbatim transcript)
  • separate invigilation.

It may take several months for some special arrangements to be made for you, so you should make your application as soon as possible.

The possibility to undertake the exam with special arrangements is subordinated to centre’s reconfirmation.

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