tests and examinations

exams and tests

Children often find tests stressful and stress can cause IBD to be more active. Flexibility around the start time of tests and free access to the toilets is important for children with IBD.

GSCEs, Nationals and other formal examinations

Children with IBD will need special arrangements for external examinations. It is recommended that schools meet with parents to discuss arrangements to support children with IBD at the point at which options are chosen. Stress does not cause IBD, but it can make the disease more active.

separate invigilation and extra time

Examinations officers should be notified of a child’s condition to allow for deadline extensions or ‘shortfall of work’ arrangements for coursework. During exams, children with IBD may be disadvantaged by:

  • being too tired to revise as much or effectively as they could
  • feeling considerably stressed and unwell on the days of examinations
  • being extremely anxious with concerns about being late for morning exams (bowels are normally most active in the morning)
  • thoughts during the exam about needing to use the toilet

It is normally recommended that children with IBD have separate invigilation so they can have free access to toilets during examinations and have 25% extra time. If a student has been very unwell, hospitalised or had surgery, the exam board should be asked to give them special consideration.

A student’s medical team will provide a supporting statement describing a child’s symptoms, side effects and the impact on their learning.

download our guide to help with exams

This leaflet includes an example of a request for exam support.

The leaflet also contains information on access arrangements and special consideration. It details the sort of reasonable adjustments that can be made before and during exams and what can be done after exams if a young person is absent from a timetabled component or unit due to illness or was present, but disadvantaged as a result of illness immediately before or during the examination period.

CICRA guide to exams

Click to read more on help before and during, and after, exams