Special arrangements

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 contact the test centre immediately for consultation and 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.

Possible needs for special arrangements include arrangements for candidates who stutter or have some other speech impediments, not just arrangements for candidates with vision or hearing impairments. If a candidate is in a wheel chair or with any other permanent or temporary mobility impairment, we can organise the exam at an accessible venue or even separately for them if necessary. Please take this very seriously and consult with us if you have any questions before you register for the exam.



The IELTS test has been designed to be a fair test. Your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any disability that you may have. We make every effort to cater for the special needs of disabled candidates. You will need to provide a medical certificate issued within the last two years when you book your test.

If you have a visual impairment, we can provide enlarged print and Braille test papers or an amanuensis to write answers on a Braille word-processor.

If you have hearing difficulties, we can arrange special amplification equipment or a lip-reading version of the Listening module.

If you have learning difficulties, for example dyslexia, we can arrange a word processor, voice-activated software or extra time for the Reading and Writing tests.

Whatever your needs, please contact us to discuss them as soon as possible. Your request must be supported by original medical documentation not older than 2 years and with a diagnosis written in English or Latin.

If you require a modified version of the test, please contact us 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, e.g. extra time, you must contact us with at least eight weeks' notice. You will need to provide a medical certificate issued within the last two years at the time of registration to the office.

**It can take up to 3 months for us to put special arrangements in place.**

Professional and university exams

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?

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

  • be legible and either in English or in Croatian
  • 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.

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) or A3 size (15.5pt 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 dyslexia or physical difficulty you may be able to request special administrative arrangements, including:

  • extra time: 25-100 per cent extra time depending on your need
  • 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)
  • speaking test: standard format, with a ‘dummy partner’ or in single format
  • separate invigilation.