Working with a scribe

A Scribe will support you by writing what you speak. An invigilator will also be present in the exam venue along with the scribe. 

What can I expect?

The scribe will:

  • Have a copy of your exam paper 
  • Write down answers exactly as you dictate them. For foreign language examinations, you must dictate your spelling of the foreign language vocabulary.For any English language paper assessments, you must dictate their punctuation. In all other subjects’ punctuation can be completed by the scribe. 
  • Read back any of the answers if you request this 
  • Change an answer if you askthem to write something different 
  • Strictly follow your instructions when drawing any maps, diagrams and graphs.
The scribe will not: 
  • Explain or clarify any of the paper 
  • Prompt you to move onto the next question or help you to choose which question to answer 
  • Read any of the exam paper out loud to you, unless they are working as both Reader and Scribe 
  • Continue writing answers once the examination has finished. 

If you have rest breaks, your time will start only once the scribe has finished writing down your last answer.

For online long window exams, a Scribe can join you on MS Teams for a fixed period within your window. Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity (SWAI) will email you prior to the exam period to advise further on the time slots available for you.

What to do next?

You should check your current exam adjustments via your self-service portal here 

If they are not as you are expecting, please contact us by email ( or phoning on 01509 222765 with the stated deadlines in mind.

Respond promptly to the email you will receive from SWAI prior to the exam period asking you to confirm your scribe requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what adjustments I’ve already got in place at University?

Visit your self-service page here and view the ‘disability’ tab.

What paperwork do you need from me to arrange exam support?

For more information please view our SWAI Evidence Policy

Will adjustments stay in place for the duration of my studies?

Yes, they will. This includes upon your return from any placement or Leave Of Absence etc.

I had a Scribe for School exams, will I automatically get this for my University exams?

No, you will need to register with SWAI and be reassessed.

I think I might need a Scribe for my exams, what should I do?

Please contact or to request the adjustment you require. One of our advisers will review your request.

Last Updated: 6th January 2023