Dyslexia Action
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Change & Dyslexic Struggles

Hi guys, i haven't blogged for a few months and i'm sorry for that. In honesty i have had so much going on with college, moving to a new area and having everything turn upside down that i haven't had the time to blog. However i do now...

January exams have just finished, and the struggle i have had with them and the worry and stress i doubt i am alone. However just before the exams, i had my laptop use and the extra time i was rely on, that i had in my GCSE's revoked.

This is simply because they don't view me as 'struggling enough' as i'm coping of an average level. Yes, i'm a high performing dyslexic and i may be working at average level but i am NOT doing what i'm capable of. Aren't schools and colleges meant to help each student reach their individual potential? Clearly most don't follow that now.

Having these revoked just before my 4 January a-level exams, 2 which were heavily essay based and the two other a mix of short and long answer questions. Due to this i dropped one of my subjects that i was achieving A's in simply because i would not be able to do the exam with no extra time of laptop. Like many dyslexics when i have to hand write things, the knowledge gets lost as i'm concentrating so much on the actual writing being legible. I also didn't finish 2 of my exam papers, Psychology and Biology as i ran out of time due to it taking me longer to read and process the questions and then get the answers ordered then out of my head. This really knocked my confidence and increased my anxiety before exams which i know has affected my overall performance.

I know i'm not the first person to experience this, and sadly wont be the last however i'd like to think sharing this experience with others dealing with this problem, teachers and parents will help a wider understanding of the affect. I know many don't believe dyslexics struggle all that much, however i have to work twice as hard as my friends just to achieve semi-decent grades. I want others to know that there are some people out there that understand, and even when people seem to look you over, don't give up...

4 Replies

Exam arrangements can be given to those who have been assessed to have special educational needs; whose normal work involves those arrangements; and sometimes performance in standardised tests.

Rules for extra time rely on performance in standardised tests; which I agree is not the full story for a high attaining Dyslexic and the Dyslexic organisations are making this point whenever they can.

However, if using a word processor is your normal way of working then you can do so in exams without the college having to apply for it (spell check, grammar check, predictive text disabled). So I am confused as to why they would take this way. I would advise you to ask about this.

Hope my answer is helpful

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the exam board had agreed to my arrangements until 2014, so the need to get a 16+ dyslexic test wasn't a priority, however i've now had one the the decision is being appealed as i also heave Mears Irlin Sydrome.

The main problem, with the laptop and allowing me to make use of my extra time is not that i'm not entitled but because i'm performing to a level of others, so exams officers at college don't see that i need them nor do they understand why. The reason they are giving is that my school was far too lenient with what they allowed, it's all being appealed as my Dyslexic assessment and optometrist, professor evans are not happy with the decisions. Thankyou for your help :)

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Hi MollysVoice

I am so sorry to hear you have had trouble and stress with your exams - surely if someone has a diagnosis of dyslexia they should have extra time, as then it is a true reflection of their ability, without the reading/writing struggles. I guess my 10-year old has this all to come! He never got help at school as he was performing as 'average' - he was in the top quarter for IQ, but can't get his ideas down on paper.

I feel cross on your behalf! But don't let it get you down - please keep sight of the fact you are doing really well - and keep fighting to get the help you need.

Best of luck - look forward to hearing more from you.....


Thank you for your support, It is very annoying. Many people struggle with this on a constant basis, because not ALL dyslexics are under-achieving on an average level. It is annoying, and if you read my past blogs you'll see the constant struggle it's been through education.

It can really affect self-esteem, just got to keep the battle up against the schools, i'm hoping that slowly but surly it's becoming a better process and system for us and the people to come. Your son sounds the same as me, but it sounds like he's got a supportive, understanding parent so that's brilliant :) Thankyou for your kind comments


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