Special arrangements for exams

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 take your exam, please contact us as soon as possible, and before the registration closing date.

We offer dedicated exam sessions exclusively for special needs candidates. Visit our registration page and select the town Diemen to view available exam dates.

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

What documents do I need to submit?

Your application must be supported by medical evidence, which should meet the following criteria:

  • be legible and either in English or in Dutch.
  • be an original document on headed paper and bearing the name, relevant qualification(s) and signature of a recognised practitioner.
  • give a clear statement of the candidate’s disability.
  • make it clear how the disability justifies special arrangements.

The medical evidence must be in the form of a report prepared in a period no more than two years before the test date (an exception can be made for certain medical reports, for example dyslexia statements).

The British Council is aware of the fact that Dutch medical practitioners are not always allowed to give out a statement regarding a patient’s condition. These practitioners can provide the patient with a note explaining why Dutch law no longer allows them to share this information with third parties. In this case your application can be supported by a similar note which does need to include the name and signature of a recognised practitioner and a date (can be no older than three months).

What type of support can I get?

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

  • Braille papers
  • Large print
  • Listening materials e.g. hearing aids, headphones 
  • Speaking materials e.g. visual prompts


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

  • Extra time
  • Supervised breaks during the examination
  • Use of a computer
  • An amanuensis (a person who will write down your answers)
  • A reader
  • A scribe/copier (verbatim transcript)
  • Transparent coloured overlays
  • Enlarged print


For more specific information please visit the Cambridge Assessment English website or contact your exam centre.